Designers: J. Benda (Lion) and O. Spaniel (Prince Wenceslas)
Minted from 1923-1939
Obv.: Czech lion with Slovak shield, minting date
Rev.: Prince Wenceslas (Vaclav)
The ducat coinage, which was introduced on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Republic, did not belong to the canon of regular coins. They were special means of payment, with the minting of which Czechoslovakia continued the great tradition of Czech ducats. Thus, the first 1000 copies were numbered. The commemorative issues were so popular that in June 1924 the Minister of Finance issued a notice on minting ducats on private account. This meant that anyone could order the pieces in exchange for gold. The pieces were designed by Otakar Španiel and Jaroslav Benda. From 1929, the great jubilee year of St. Wenceslas, whose death in that year was one thousand years ago, coins of five and ten ducats were also offered. On them the patron saint of Bohemia is depicted on horseback with a flag, sword and palm branch.
The Bohemian Lion is a common figure of heraldry. Started in the 13th century as the heraldic animal of Bohemia, it is still a state symbol of the Czech Republic. Particularly noteworthy is its double tail, which is rare in heraldry for lions.
The first state symbol of Bohemia was not the lion, but the flaming eagle of the Přemyslids, later called the Wenceslas eagle. This is already found on coins from the time of Prince Bedřich in the 12th century. While the Dalimil Chronicle associates the heraldic lion with the granting of the royal title to Vladislav in 1156, however, it is only reliably attested on the seal of the Moravian Margrave Vladislav Henry in 1213. From 1248, the two-tailed is documented and with the rise of Ottokar II to king, the heraldic animal established itself as the symbol of the kingdom. The lion, which had its beginning in the coats of arms of various rulers, spread to many coats of arms with the expansion of the Bohemian sphere of influence and outlasted the Přemyslid dynasty. It remained the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia until its end in 1918 and was later included in the coat of arms of Czechoslovakia.