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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
651166
Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 1166. Estimate $750. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $825. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GERMANY, Westphalia. Jerome Napoleon. 1807-1813. AV 10 Franken (3.23 gm). Cassel mint. Dated 1813C. HIERON NAPOL, laureate head left; "Tiolier" (engraver) below / KOEN VWESTPH FR PR, 10 / FRANK across field; eagle's head and C below; 1813 in exergue. Schütz 2660; Friedberg 3518; KM 32.1. Lustrous UNC, light hairlines. ($750)

As Napoleon extended his empire across the continent, he found it provident to establish his male relatives as rulers of the various kingdoms now under his control, as well as marrying-off his sisters to other European monarchs. Joseph was declared King of Spain; brother-in-law Murat, King of Naples; Louis, King of Holland; and Jerome, the King of the new kingdom of Westphalia. Westphalia was cobbled together out of bits of Hesse-Cassel, Hannover, Brunswick, Minden, and Saxony in 1807 after the Treaty of Tilsit between Napoleon and Czar Alexander of Russia cemented French control of the German States. It had a curious monetary system, having two parallel coinages, one on the German thaler standard, the other based on the French franc. This obvious source of confusion reflects the chaotic state of affairs in the area. The supposed constitutional government imposed by the French was never established, Jerome was helpless to stem bureaucratic corruption, and his brother's demands of manpower and resources for his further wars left Westphalia stricken. Nonetheless, when Jerome joined his brother on the Russian campaign he was accompanied by a baggage train of seven wagons, bearing 50 uniforms, 60 pairs of boots, 200 shirts, 300 silk handkerchiefs and copious amounts of champagne. When the Grande Armée retreated from Russia across Germany in 1813 Jerome fled with the French forces, and after a surprisingly brave showing at Waterloo, lived in exile abroad for the next 35 years, returning to France upon the coming to power of his nephew, Napoleon III.