Perseverance on Mars, 2021 - Man in the Moon, 1547

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by robinjojo, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    A new chapter started in the exploration of Mars with the landing of the Perseverance Mission on Mars last week, so I'm rolling out my "Man in the Moon" thaler, minted in Luneburg in the year 1547.

    Starting with Nicolaus Copernicus' formulation of the model, published before his death in 1543, that places the sun in the center of the solar system, instead of the earth, the science of astronomy grew with ground breaking discoveries by Galileo and Kepler in the following century, and Isaac Newton in the 18'th century, to mention a few giants in the history of astronomy and astrophysics.

    While there is a certain astronomical aspect to this coin, it much more rooted in astrology and folklore across many cultures.

    Here's a link for the excerpts that I cite:

    For example, here's an old German tale:

    A German version of the story goes something like this: Ages ago there went one Sunday morning an old man into the wood to hew sticks. He cut a bunch and slung it on a stout staff, cast it over his shoulder, and began to trudge home with his burden. On his way, he met a handsome man in Sunday suit, walking towards the church.
    " Don't you know that it is Sunday, when all good Christians should be resting from their labours?" said the stranger.
    "Sunday on earth, or Monday in heaven, it's all the same to me!" laughed the old man.
    " Then bear your bundle forever, and as you value not Sunday on earth yours shall be a perpetual moon day in heaven; and you shall stand for eternity in the moon, a warning to all sabbath-breakers" and the stranger banished him to the moon.


    In China, the man in the moon is called Wu Kang (Gekkawo in Japan) , the god of love and marriage, who unites lovers by tying their feet together with invisible cords. Wu Kang also cuts branches from the Cassia tree of immortality, which grows in
    the moon.


    In Malaysia, the man in the moon is an old hunchback sitting beneath an inverted banyan tree. He is plaiting bark into a fishing line to catch everything on earth. There is also a rat which gnaws through the fishing line and a cat which chases the rat. So long as this equilibrium continues, the world is safe, but if the hunchback ever completes his fishing line, the world will end. (Skeat,W.W. "Malay magic").

    The man in the moon can be found in children's rhymes, such as this Victorian version.

    The man in the moon came down much too soon.jpg

    The man in the moon came down too soon
    To inquire the way to Norridge;
    The man in the South, he burnt his mouth
    With eating cold plum porridge.

    Finally, for this post, in 1902, Georges Méliès directed this extraordinary silent film on a visit to the Man in the Moon:

    City of Lüneburg, 1547
    Obverse: Waxing moon (face to right) in circle, date in legend.
    Lettering: VISITAVI(T)*NOS*ORIE(NS)*EX*ALT(O)*1547
    Reverse: City castle with shielded lion arms in angle within gate.
    28.7 grams

    D-Camera Luneberg thaler, Man on the Moon, 1547, D-9419 28.7g Karl 2-90 2-28-21.jpg

    This is another coin that came to me by way of Karl Stephens, in February 1990. The small nick aside, it is a nice example.

    Please post your astronomical or astrological coins, and anything else you wish...the sky isn't the limit!
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
    PaulTudor, Kurisu, Steve66 and 6 others like this.
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  3. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class Poster

    Baron Munchhausen lands on the moon.

    Of course, some will say that the landing was a fake, but at least this one was in color.

    robinjojo likes this.
  4. Steve66

    Steve66 Coin People

  5. robinjojo

    robinjojo Supporter! Supporter

    One of the amazing things about the Méliès film is that each frame was hand tinted - a very laborious undertaking for sure!
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