General Coin Information
The Austrian Mint's theme of "Austria and its People" has a new sub-series "Tales and Legends in Austria". The first coin offered in this sub-series features a beast from medieval times, and is called the Basilisk of Vienna Coin. It was released on April 15, 2009.
In a tale attributed to the year 1212, a terrible stench was discovered coming from a well near the baker's shop at Schönlaterngasse (Lovely Lantern Lane) No. 7. So horrible was the smell, it was said to kill all those that inhaled it. Upon investigation, it was determined the stench was created by a basilisk, a creature of legend that was part snake, toad and cockarel. Legend also states that to look into the eyes of the basilisk would mean instant death.
Unsure of how to proceed, an advisor was brought to the shop who said the only way to destroy the monster was for someone to go down into the well with a mirror, and confront the basilisk with its' own image. However, no one would volunteer for the treacherous mission.
That was until the baker's apprentice finally offered. He was in love with the baker's daughter and stated he would do the job if he could marry her. The baker had refused this in the past. Without any other options, the marriage was agreed to.
The apprentice was lowered down into the well where he came upon the basilisk. As it turned towards him, the apprentice shielded himself with the mirror. Catching site of itself in the mirror, the basilisk died instantly!
This unique coin is available in three version: proof with a maximum of 40,000 pieces, special uncirculated with a maximum of 30,000 pieces and circulation quality (130,000 pieces).
An image of the baker's house is depicted on the right side of the coin with the street name "Schoenlaterngasse" inscribed across the top of the coin in a scroll. The face value of 10 euros, "2009" and "Republik Oesterreich," or Republic of Austria are also present.
The reverse of the coin features an image of a basilisk at the bottom of a well. Peering over the edge of the well are two on-lookers as they watch the baker's apprentice holding the mirror in front of him. The inscription "Der Basilisk" is shown below.
Basilisk of Vienna Coin Specifications
Austrian Silver Coin Auctions
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