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Poland 2007 Joseph Conrad (Konrad Korzeniowski) & Sailing Ship Otago 2 Zlote Nordic Gold Proof-Like BU

Price: $4.95

Product Description

Celebrate the adventurous life of one of the world's greatest authors on this nautical beauty!

Sold out at the Mint!This new program by the mint of Poland commemorates the 150th anniversary of the birth of literary giant Joseph Conrad. Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, Conrad was the scion of a noble but impoverished Polish family. His father, one of the leaders of the January Uprising of 1863-64, encouraged the young Joseph to read extensively in both Polish and French, setting the stage for his later literary career. By age eleven Conrad was an orphan living in Cracow with his uncle, but he sought wider horizons. At sixteen he became an able seaman in the French port of Marseilles, embarking on his nautical career.

Otago.jpgThis great, three coin program includes an extremely affordable 2 Zlote Nordic Gold coin, a 10 Zlotych silver proof with a hologram (Poland's second hologram coin ever!), and a low-mintage 200 Zlotych gold proof. All three coins have different designs, but all three feature a portrait of Conrad as well as a depiction of his sailing ship Otago.

Click here for all of the coins in the Joseph Conrad program!

A Seafaring Life
Conrad lived an adventurous life. He survived a failed suicide attempt and was involved in both gunrunning and political conspiracy. It was at sea that Conrad accumulated the experiences that he would later shape into his stories. He spent sixteen years on merchant vessels, and was a master mariner. While at sea he learned English fluently by the age of 21, even though it was his third language. Conrad eventually earned the rank of captain, becoming master of the three-masted barque Otago, which he sailed to Mauritius in 1888. The Otago is the ship depicted on all three coins in this program.

Joseph_Conrad_Monument_Gdynia.jpgConrad became a British subject and changed his name to the Anglicized form of Jozef Konrad by which he is known the world over. In 1894 he reluctantly gave up his seafaring life, after fever and dysentery had laid him low in the Belgian Congo. Although Conrad was already 36 years old, he decided to pursue a literary career (in English, at that!), and the rest is history. He died at the age of 66 in 1924 of a heart attack. Poland commemorates its native son not only with this coin program, but also with a huge monument, shaped simultaneously like an anchor and the prow of a ship, in the port city of Gdynia on the Baltic coast of Poland.

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Conrad’s Literary Works
Conrad is considered one of the greatest prose writers in the English language, and the greatest novelist of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. Writing during the height of the British Empire, he drew upon his experiences at sea, in first the French, and later the British, Merchant Marine, to craft novels and short stories that reflected aspects of a far-flung colonial empire while also plumbing the depths of the human soul. His best known works include:

Joseph_Conrad.jpgThe Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’: A Tale of the Sea (1897), which set the tone and style of Conrad’s most significant works, a tone that is often considered the literary equivalent of painting’s impressionism.

Heart of Darkness (1899), famously adapted for film as Apocalypse Now by Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola.

Lord Jim (1900), remarkable for its complex structure, multiple points of view, and events described out of chronological order, all of which underscore its modern nature. Lord Jim has been adapted for film twice, the second time in 1965 starring Peter O’Toole as the title character.

Nostromo (1904), a dense novel about human nature, which gave its name (and the name of its setting, the mining town of Sulaco) to two of the spacecraft in the Alien movie series.

The Secret Agent (1907), one of the first modern works to deal with the topics of terrorism, bombing and espionage. It was adapted for the screen as Sabotage by Alfred Hitchcock in 1936.

Conrad’s influence can be found in the writings of any number of modern literary greats, including Ernest Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, and V.S. Naipaul.

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A tour de force of engraving! Pictured on the obverse are:
• A realistic portrait of Joseph Conrad, facing 1/4 right;
• A reproduction of Conrad's famous signature;
• Conrad's famous three-master, the Otago; and
• An open book, representing one of Conrad's novels, with the pages ingeniously melding into the waves beneath the sailing ship!
Conrad's name in Polish, KONRAD KORZENIOWSKI, and the dates of his birth and death, 1857-1924, are also indicated.

The crowned white eagle, the national emblem of Poland, with the year of issue, the denomination and the legend RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA ("Republic of Poland").

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Edge Lettering
NBP (for "National Bank of Poland") is repeated eight times around the edge, each time rotated 180 degrees from the previous "NBP".

Country Poland
Year of Issue 2007
Issuing Authority National Bank of Poland
Face Value 2 Zl
Weight 8.15 g
Diameter 27.00 mm
Mintage Limit 990,000
Finish Proof-Like Brilliant Uncirculated
Composition Nordic Gold, a four-metal alloy composed of copper, aluminum, tin and zinc, that looks like real gold and does not tarnish
Edge Lettered. "NBP" (for “National Bank of Poland”) is repeated eight times around the edge, each time rotated 180 degrees from the previous “NBP”.

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