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Hungary issues art nouveau coin

When Aladar Korosfi-Kriesch moved northeast from Budapest in 1901 to the nearby town of Godollo, he laid the foundation for the Hungarian art nouveau movement's only organized school, the Godollo Artist Colony.

Now, on the colony's centennial and in line with art nouveau's concept of "all-embracing art," the National Bank of Hungary is evoking a new concept of monetary art by issuing the nation's first rectangular legal tender coin, the 4,000-forint.

The piece was released Wednesday with a maximum mintage of 4,000 each in proof and in brilliant uncirculated quality. The coin is made of sterling silver, weighs 31.46 grams and measures 26.4 by 39.6 millimeters.

The proof-quality coins cost $49.50 and the uncirculated $42.50. Add $4.50 to each order for shipping and handling.

The new coins draw on a typical sample of Hungarian art nouveau for the obverse design, stained glass cabinet windows entitled Sisters. Designed in 1910 by Sandor Nagy, they are on display in the Godollo City Museum's permanent exhibition.

To order or for information, contact the Coin and Currency Institute, Box 1057, Clifton, N.J. 07014; phone toll-free 1-800-421-1866; fax (973) 471-1062; e-mail,