French Empire, Napoleon III, 20 Francs 1856

Such golden 20-franc-coins were called "Napoleons" in French vernacular. The first of them were minted during Napoleon Bonaparte's consulate in 1803, and the last were issued in 1914. Under Napoleon III (1852-1870), vast amounts of Napoleons d'or were issued: more than 424 millions during the 18 years of his reign. On this piece the emperor wears short-hair cut – with the French Revolution of 1789, the court wig had gotten out of fashion. Additionally Napoleon fostered a bodkin beard or "Osirian beard," which combined a chin-beard with a twisted moustache. This style of beard was reminiscent of ancient Egypt, which had come into fashion through the first Napoleon's campaigns. However, it also showed characteristics of a goat's beard, which was in line with Napoleon III's sexual activity. His marriage to the Spanish beauty Eugénie de Montijo was overshadowed by his numerous affairs.

Year of issue

1856 n. Chr.

Country