The Royal Belgian Mint has released new commemorative €2 coins, which highlight one of the world’s most admired and applied styles of art. Belgium is particularly associated with Art Nouveau because of the famed architect Victor Horta (1861–1947) and his application to a free movement of art which was integrated into his architectural designs. It is the first time a Belgian coin dedicates its focus to a style of art originating from the country. As part of the national and international festivities, a suitable commemorative numismatic tribute is offered as a unique show of praise for such an important anniversary. The delicate and stylish design perfectly reflects the refined elegance of the Art Nouveau style.
It was in 1893, 130 years ago, when the Belgian architect Victor Horta put the finishing touches to the Tassel House. With this, he gave the world the beginnings of Art Nouveau, originating in Brussels. The imposing facade, the sumptuous interiors full of stained glass, decorative mosaics, and the elegantly shaped wrought iron staircases soon left their mark on the architecture of the late Belle Époque period. Nature, in particular, was an important source of inspiration for Art Nouveau, which is illustrated by the generous use of plant and floral motifs and the many bird images. This pioneering architectural and decorative style was immediately followed by Horta’s colleagues and spread across not only other parts of Belgium but over the borders to France, the Netherlands, and even making its way over the ocean to America. Many of his talented contemporaries, such as Paul Hankar, Henry Van de Velde, and Ernest Blerot ensured that the Belgium’s capital city of Brussels streetscapes were embellished with hundreds of beautiful Art Nouveau facades in less than 25 years. More than five hundred architectural gems have survived, meaning the capital is considered a treasure trove and cradle of the Art Nouveau style. This year, 130 years later, Brussels marks this anniversary by highlighting its Art Nouveau heritage in the spotlight with a cultural program that is full of exceptional exhibitions, unique city walks, and many other exciting events.
The €2 Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coins are produced by the Royal Dutch Mint at their facilities in Houten, Netherlands, in association with the Royal Belgian Mint and are designed by Iris Bruijns. The obverse side focuses on the text ART NOUVEAU above the primary design. Below and around the text is the swirling detail from a wall mosaic by Victor Horta found at the Huis van Eetvelde, located in Brussels, and designed by Victor Horta. The building is on the UNESCO World Heritage List because it represents the finest Belgian Art Nouveau. Known far beyond the national borders, the detail can be found on the outer facade between two floors full of stained glass windows. On the left side is the mint master’s mark of an Erlenmeyer flask with aster and the Mercurius staff mintmark of the Royal Dutch Mint. Also included are the letters BE, denoting Belgium, and the year, 2023. On the right are the initials IB of the designer. The reverse side is that of the standard euro zone design for all circulating two-euro coins, the numeral 2 superimposed over a map depicting Europe created by artist Luc Luycx.
|2 euro FR||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm.||UNC||75,000|
|2 euro NL||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm.||UNC||75,000|
|2 euro||Bi-metallic||8.5 g||25.7 mm.||Proof||5000|
The Brilliant Uncirculated strikes are presented in a sealed, coin-card format with either French or Dutch text. The Proof version is encapsulated and presented in a custom case, complete with a numbered certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please click here.