1877, Kingdom of Sweden, Oscar II. Beautiful Gold 20 Kronor Coin.
Mint Year: 1877 Reference: KM-744 . Mintage: 103,000 pcs. Denomination: 20 Kronor Mint Master: Emil Brusewitz (E.B., 1876-1908) Material: Gold (.900) Diameter: 23mm Weight: 8.96gm
Obverse: Head of Oscar II as King of Sweden and Norway right. Designer´s signature (L.A. - for Lea Ahlborn) and date below. Legend: OSCAR II SVERIGES OCH NORGES KONUNG * 1877 * Reverse: Crowned coat of arms, flanked by privy mark (crowned bust) and engraver´s Initials (E.B). Legend: BRÖDRAFOLKENS VÄL – 20 KRONOR
Lea Fredrika Ahlborn (née Lundgren) (18 February 1826 – 13 November 1897) was a famous Swedish artist. She was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, and the first woman to be appointed royal printmaker. The position of royal printmaker was public office, and thereby also made her the first female official in Sweden.
As the child of printmaker Ludvig Lundgren, Lea Ahlborn early decided to follow him in his profession. In 1849, she, as well as Amalia Lindegren and Agnes Börjesson, became one of the four women who were given permission to study art at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts.
In 1851, she made a study-trip to Paris with her teacher Carl Gustaf Qvarnström (1810–1867) and her brother Pehr Henrik, where she worked with the sculptor Toussaint, the printmaker Barre and her maternal uncle, the medal designer Johan Salmson.
In 1853, she returned to Sweden; the same yer, her father died, and she functioned as royal printmaker until the return of her brother, who was decided to take over their fathers position, but her brother died in Paris. In 1855, she was appointed royal printmaker and elected as a member in the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. She kept herself updated in everything regarding her work, and was given assignments from the Swedish Academy, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the royal academy Pro Patriaa and by Empress Eugenie of France. She made the medal-portraits to the celebration of the anniversary of the wedding of the king and queen, and she was hired by the United States government to make the medal of George Washington at the centenary (hundred years anniversary) of the end of the war of independence in 1883, and to the celebration of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America in 1892. In 1892, she was given the medal Illis Quorum by king Oscar II of Sweden.
Her sister, Carolina Weidenhayn, (1822–1902), became the first professional female xylographer, who after studies in Paris 1858–1867, became an instructor (1859–1881) at the technical school Tekniska Skolan (now Konstfack or University College of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm, Sweden. Lea Ahlborn married the artist Carl Ahlborn and had several children.
Oscar II (21 January 1829 – 8 December 1907), born Oscar Frederik was King of Norway from 1872 until 1905 and King of Sweden from 1872 until his death. The third son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Josephine of Leuchtenberg, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden through his mother.
Himself a distinguished writer and musical amateur, King Oscar proved a generous friend of learning, and did much to encourage the development of education throughout his dominions. In 1858 a collection of his lyrical and narrative poems, Memorials of the Swedish Fleet, published anonymously, obtained the second prize of the Swedish Academy. His “Contributions to the Military History of Sweden in the Years 1711, 1712, 1713,” originally appeared in the Annals of the Academy, and were printed separately in 1865. His works, which included his speeches, translations of Herder’s Cid and Goethe’s Torquato Tasso, and a play, Castle Cronberg, were collected in two volumes in 1875–1876, and a larger edition, in three volumes, appeared in 1885–1888. His Easter hymn and some other of his poems are familiar throughout the Scandinavian countries. His Memoirs of Charles XII of Sweden were translated into English in 1879. In 1881 he founded the World’s first open-air museum at his summer residence near Christiania, now Oslo. In 1885 he published his Address to the Academy of Music, and a translation of one of his essays on music appeared in Literature in May 1900. He had a valuable collection of printed and MS. music, which was readily accessible to the historical student of music.
Also being a theater lover, Oscar II told Henrik Ibsen that his Ghosts was “not a good play”. As he was dying, he requested that the theatres not be closed on account of his death. His wishes were respected.
King Oscar II was an enthusiast of Arctic exploration. Along with Swedish millionaire Oscar Dickson and Russian magnate Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Sibiryakov, he was the patron of a number of pioneering Arctic expeditions in the 1800s. Among the ventures the king sponsored, the most important are Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld’s explorations to the Russian Arctic and Greenland, as well as Fridtjof Nansen’s Polar journey on the Fram.