coinsbygary's Blog

25 Nov 2015

Franz Joseph I & Klymene, the Titan Goddess of Fame

Coins - World | coinsbygary

I know that the images of this coin and its description reside in one of my ANA collections, but I thought to post it as a blog to give it more visibility and to display my newly taken and improved images.

The 1908 Austrian 100 Corona is widely considered as one of the most beautiful coins in the world. The obverse features a bust of Emperor Franz Joseph 1st and commemorates the 60th anniversary of his reign over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The reverse design often referred to as “The Lady in the Clouds” is a representation of Klymene, the Titan goddess of “Fame."

This NCS/NGC AU details, 1908 100 Corona gold coin with the Krause Publications catalog number of KM# 2812 is 37mm in diameter and weighs 33.8753 grams. The metallic composition of this coin is .9000 gold at .9803 Oz AGW. The designer of this coin is Rudolf Marschall, and the mintage is 16,000. I bought this coin from an E-Bay seller in Germany.

The Latin inscription on the obverse of this coin around the perimeter is translated “Franz Joseph by the grace of God, Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, Galicia, Illyria, etc. and elected king of Hungary.” The central device on the coin’s obverse is a right facing bust of Emperor Franz Joseph 1. Additionally, there is Latin phrase in incuse lettering around the plain edge of this coin. That phrase, “VIRIBVS VNITIS” is the emperor’s personal motto and is translated “With United Forces."

On December 2, 1848, Franz Joseph 1 became Emperor of Austria succeeding his uncle Ferdinand 1. This began a reign that would last nearly 68 years until his death on November 21, 1916. Throughout his reign, various nationalists disputed the reign of Franz Joseph. One such dispute led to the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867, uniting the empire under one king but ceding certain rights and autonomy to Hungary. Then in 1908 (the year that my coin was minted), Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina and consequently, on June 28, 1914, Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Shortly thereafter, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia thus triggering several opposing alliances to usher in the beginning of World War 1. Franz Joseph’s grandnephew Charles 1 succeeded him on the throne at his death in 1916, and became the final emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The monarchy dissolved following World War 1 on November 12, 1918.

The reverse inscriptions on this coin display the coin's face value of “100 Cor.” along with the dates 1848 and 1908. The Latin phrase “DVODECIM LVSTRIS GLORIOSE PERACTIS” appears on the lower-center of the reverse and is translated “60 years gloriously accomplished." The central device on the reverse is an image of Klymene, the Titan goddess of “Fame." Klymene appears at rest, reclining in the clouds and leaning on a shield displaying the coat of arms of the Austrian Empire. In her right hand is laurel wreath symbolizing victory, achievement, prosperity, status, and of course fame. In the field around and behind Klymene are rays of sunlight. A heavenly or celestial setting accentuates the “glorious reign” theme of this coin.

Klymene is the Titan goddess of fame, renown, and infamy. Kymene was married to the Titan god Iapetos and two of her better-known offspring are Prometheus and Atlas. Another name Klymene is known by is Asia and as such she was the goddess of Asia-Minor. Klymene was also the handmaiden of Hera, the wife of Zeus. At “The Judgment of Paris” Hera probably offered Paris of Troy the “fame” of rulership in return for Paris awarding her the “golden apple.” Subsequently, Paris awarded the golden apple to Aphrodite in exchange for the hand of Helene in marriage. The abduction of Helene led to the Trojan War and the rest as they say is mythology.

The coat of arms on the shield portrays a crowned double-headed eagle underneath a single crown. In the left talon of the eagle is a cross-bearing orb and in its right talon, a scepter and a sword. These items represent the church and state respectively. The crowned double-headed eagle underneath the single crown represents that Emperor Franz Joseph 1 has authority over both church and state. The crest on the eagle’s breast represents the “House of Habsburg-Lorraine” of which Franz Joseph is a family member.


Ian Fenn

Level 5

That coin has been on my hunt list for 15 years It just keeps on slipping down the list as other coins take higher priority. It is one of the worlds most impressive coins; one day I will have one!!!


Level 6

Gorgeously photographed coins. Well done. Very instructive and detailed. Thank you very much!


Level 5

Nice information, very detailed


Level 5

Thank you


Level 5

Nice coin and wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing.


Level 5

Very nice coin and thanks for the coin history lesson!

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.