The H.C. Andersen coin set includes four partially coloured silver coins. The coins designed by Juha Kauko are called the Nightingale, Thumbelina, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Little Match Girl.
The Danish author and poet H.C. Andersen (1805-1875) is particularly well-known for his fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 150 languages. Andersen wrote about the magical power of love, and the fluctuation of happiness, success, sorrow and death. April 2, H.C. Andersen’s birthday, is celebrated as International Children’s Book Day.
A nightingale sings her captivating song in the Chinese Emperor’s park. The Emperor is so delighted with the nightingale’s song that he keeps her in captivity. One day, the Emperor is given a mechanical bird encrusted with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. When the mechanical bird is wound up, it can sing one of the real nightingale songs. While the mechanical bird repeats its song thirty-three times, the real nightingale flies back into the forest it has missed very much. The Emperor is so disappointed that he exiles the nightingale. The mechanical bird becomes the official court singer, but breaks down due to overuse. Soon after, the Emperor falls seriously ill. The nightingale learns of the Emperor’s condition and returns to the palace where the Emperor lies dying. Death is so moved by the real nightingale’s song that he leaves the Emperor alone and allows him to recover. The Emperor asks the nightingale to stay with him forever. The nightingale doesn’t want to exchange her freedom for the splendour of the palace but promises to visit the Emperor in the future.
A woman longing for a child goes to a witch for help. The witch gives her a magic seed and tells her to plant it in a flower pot. The seed grows into a beautiful flower and a sweet, tiny girl emerges from it. Her name is Thumbelina. The happy woman cuddles Thumbelina, but many others take a liking to her as well. A toad, a butterfly, a beetle, a mole and a swallow take Thumbelina on one adventure after another, until she stays south with flower fairies and marries a flower-fairy prince.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
On his birthday, a boy receives a set of toy soldiers. One of the soldiers has only one leg. Despite this shortcoming, the tin soldier stands up bravely. In the boy’s room, there is also a beautiful princess living in her paper castle. The soldier falls in love with the ballerina with a spangle on her sash. She too is standing on one leg. However, there is no happiness in store for them. Fate throws them into the fire. The paper ballerina is consumed at once but her spangle remains. The tin soldier melts into the shape of a heart round the spangle.
The Little Match Girl
On a cold New Year’s Eve, a poor barefooted girl walks alone in the street. She is trying to sell matches, but no one wants to buy them. The girl is afraid to go home to be punished by her strict father. She takes shelter in a nook and lights a match to stay warm. The match does not warm her for long, but in its glow, she sees a vision of her dead grandmother who always treated her kindly and looked after her. She strikes one match after another to keep the vision of her grandmother nearby for as long as she can. The matches burn out and the girl dies of the cold, but her grandmother carries her soul to heaven. The next morning, passers-by find the dead child and look sadly at the burnt-out matches, but they are unaware that she is enjoying her grandmother’s company and celebrating the New Year with her in heaven.
Nominal value 1 FJD
Metal Silver (Ag999)
Diameter 38.61 mm
Weight 31.1 g
Designer Juha Kauko
Year stamp 2010
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