January 24, 2013 – On 24th January 2013 Federal Mint Swissmint launched two new commemorative coins for collectors and aficionados. A bimetallic coin honours the ‘Silvesterchlausen’ custom rooted in Appenzell Ausserrhoden; the silver coin ‘First complete transalpine flight’ recalls the daredevil flight across the Alps by the Swiss Oskar Bider. These two coins will be followed in early summer by the coins ‘Schwingen’ (Swiss wrestling) in silver and ‘Gotthard Mail Coach’ in gold.
Silvesterkläuse in Urnäsch 1 (Kanton Appenzell, Schweiz). Photo: Nofnof / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.de.
With the bimetallic coin ‘Silvesterchlausen’, Federal Mint Swissmint honours the ‘Silvesterchlausen’ custom from the Appenzeller Ausserrhoden as one of the most impressive traditions in the Alpine region. Before and after the turn of the year, the costumed ‘Chläuse’ go on a procession through the villages according to strict rituals singing, ringing bells and wearing colourful masks. Visually, they are divided into the ‘ugly’, the ‘pretty’ and the ‘pretty ugly’.
Switzerland / 10 CHF / aluminium-bronze and copper-nickel / 33mm / 15g / Design: Sylvia Bühler / Mintage: 92,000 (Uncirculated) resp. 11,500 (Proof).
The bimetallic coin ‘Silvesterchlausen’ was designed by artist Sylvia Bühler who lives in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, The coin has a face value of 10 Swiss francs. The commemorative coin is obtainable in the minting qualities ‘uncirculated’ and ‘proof coin’ in a presentation case. The coin is the third in the series ‘Swiss customs’. The current effigy ‘Silvesterchlausen’ also supplements the Swiss circulation coins in the 2013 coin set.
Oskar Bider starting his flight across the Alps in 1913. Source: Wikipedia.
In 1913, the Swiss Oskar Bider was the first pilot to complete the flight across the Alps from Bern via Domodossola to Milan. To this day, Oskar Bider is regarded as the pioneering pilot who paved the way for Swiss commercial aviation.
Switzerland- 20 CHF / .835 silver / 33mm / 20g / Design: Angelo Boog / Mintage: 50,000 (Uncirculated) resp. 7,000 (Proof).
Swissmint is commemorating him with an official silver coin. The coin has a face value of 20 Swiss francs and was designed by Swiss illustrator Angelo Boog. It is obtainable in the minting qualities ‘uncirculated’ and ‘proof coin’ in a presentation case. On 22nd June 2013, Swissmint will hand over a model of the commemorative coin in a symbolic gesture to the organisers on the occasion of the anniversary celebrations for Oskar Bider in Langenbruck in the Canton of Basel-Landschaft (Basle Land), the site of his grave.
To learn more about these coins go to the website of Swiss Mint.
The Bider hangar dedicated to the pioneer’s memory presents many images and texts (in German) regarding Oskar Bider.
Basle Canton where he died has dedicated a very informative page to Mr Bider too.
Silvesterchlausen is explained by the German Wikipedia – but there are photos as well, just to give you an idea.
The museum in Urnaesch has a whole section about this locally firmly rooted custom.
To get some impressions (even if you do not understand Swiss German) there is a documentary at YouTube …
… and a clip of the recent Silvesterchlausen in Urnäsch on January 12, 2013.