Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Austrian Mint Release 5 Euro "Tyrolean Freedom - Andreas Hofer" Silver Coin

Issued from the Austrian Mint just today is the second of their 5 euro commemorative silver coins for 2009. There are only two 5 euro issues released each year, with the first for this year honoring the anniversary of Joseph Haydn, released in January. This second issue commemorates the 200th anniversary of the Tyrolean Rebellion, as well as paying tribute to the man regarded as the hero of the rebellion, Andreas Hofer.

Austria 2009 5€ 200th Anniversary Of Tyrolean Freedom Silver BU

The Tyrolean Rebellion began on April 9, 1809. It came about after four years of Bavarian rule due to the signing of the Treaty of Pressburg. The treaty, signed between France and Austria after the latter was defeated at Ulm and Austerlitz, ceded Tyrol to Bavaria (part of Napoleon's realm) in 1805. Andreas Hofer, the son of an innkeeper, was a sharpshooter during the War of the Third Coalition which concluded in 1805 with the defeat of Austria by French troops. He became a politician in the late 18th century, being elected into the Tyrolean parliament in 1791. It was Hofer who rallied his fellow Tyroleans to join forces and fight against Napoleon's troops. With the Austrian Emperor Francis I's approval, Hofer and his troops began to fight and in only a few days managed to take back several towns of Tyrol, including Innsbruck. Due to the successes of Hofer and his fellow resistance fighters, Hofer was designated the commander of the Tyrolean resistance by the Imperial Court of Vienna, with the support of other leaders such as Josef Speckbacher and Father Joachim Haspinger.

The successes, however, were short-lived and France managed to gain much ground over the Austrian armies. Despite the eventual defeat of Austrian troops and the signing of the Treaty of Schönbrunn by Francis I, which gave Tyrol back to Bavaria, Hofer and his rebellion refused to lay down their arms. However with fewer numbers they were quickly defeated by the vastly stronger French army. Hofer escaped into the mountains but was later betrayed by a neighbour who wanted the bounty placed on his head by Napoleon. Hofer was court martialed and executed by firing squad in February 1810.

Known for their stunning attention to detail the Austrian Mint has produced a superb commemorative issue here, with an image of the bearded Hofer wearing a wide-brimmed hat, on the reverse side of the coin. Behind and to the left of him is Guiseppina Negrelli, a fellow Tyrolean who fought in the rebellion. Her presence on the coin is representative of the very active and vital roles that women played during the resistance. In her hands she holds the Tyrolean flag showing the Eagle of Tyrol. Above the figures is the inscription "Tiroler Freiheit" (Tyrolean Freedom), and to the right are the years of the anniversary (1809-2009).

The obverse design is common to all commemorative 5 euro coins issued from the Austrian Mint. It featured the "5" denomination in the centre, surrounded by the shields of the nine federal provinces of Austria. The country name is also inscribed on this side.

Each of these nine-sided silver coins are struck from 8 grams of 80% silver on a 28.50mm flan. The coin is presented in a full-colour information coin pack, with details on Andreas Hofer and the Tyrolean Rebellion in both English and German.

As official distributor of the Austrian Mint, Euro Collections International has stocks of the 2009 5€ 200th Anniversary Of Tyrolean Freedom Silver coins already available to order. A must-have issue for any collector of Austrian 5 euro coinage, as well as anyone keen on collecting high quality silver issues.

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