Pattern Coin, 1874

Issued by King Orllie-Antoine I of Araucania and Patagonia


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This Dos Centavos pattern coin along with coins of different Peso values was minted in 1874 during Orllie-Antoine I's third attempt to take ownership of his Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia. They were reputedly struck in Belgium by sculptor/medalist Henri Charles Würden. 

After founding the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia in 1860, Orllie-Antoine I was captured by Chilean authorities and deported to France in 1862. He returned in 1869 and was expelled again in 1871. In 1874, he staged a penultimate attempt, this time bringing arms and — it is believed — these coins, but was recognized and deported upon arrival in Argentina. His last attempt at reaching Araucania in 1876 also failed, after which he returned, and died in France in 1878.

The obverse side of the coin depicts the coat of arms of the Kingdom ensigned with a Royal Crown and surrounded by twenty-seven stars. It is inscribed “ORLLIE-ANTOINE IER ROI D'ARAUCANIE ET DE PATAGONIE.” The reverse reads “NOUVELLE FRANCE” with the value and denomination “DOS / CENTAVOS / 1874” between two palms and surmounted by eleven stars. It appears that the Nouvelle France inscription served to give the impression of French protection in order to ward off potential incursions by Argentina or Chile and to provide material evidence — "facts on the ground" — to France that such a realm indeed existed and was available to join their resurgent empire.

At least four different types of Dos Centavos coin designs have been identified. Our coin is Type C, which is the only model where the diagonal bar of the "4" is open. More information about the history and different types of coins commissioned by King Orllie-Antoine I  can be found on the official website of the Kingdom. The Bank of Canada museum, which has three coins in its collection, has a short essay on them.

Medium & Techniques

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  • Diameter: 30.5mm
  • Axis of the corners: 6h.
  • Weight: 10.18

People involved

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Acquired from Chuck's Coin (Redding, California)