The latest commemorative 200 CZK silver coin from the Czech National Bank is dedicated to the revolutionary events of 1815, when, with great pomp, a first steam car was presented to people in the Royal Game Preserve. Its designer was none other than Josef Božek.
The Czech mechanic became famous by his successful control over steam and using its power as a machine propulsion. He was born 28 February 1782 in the Silesian town Biery. In his youth, he graduated from high school in Těšín, later he enrolled in university studies in Prague, and started working as a mechanic at the Estates Polytechnic Institute. Mechanics fascinated him during his high school studies, and then at university he designed and manufactured mobile prosthesis and various special clocks designed for example for teaching - the exact hours, which was constructed for the Klementinum observatory in 1812, which worked until 1984.
Josef Božek reached his greatest fame in August 1815, when he presented the second steam-powered car in the world. Two years later he presented a steam ship designed by himself. During this event someone stole cash register with the admission, which was a big blow for indebted Božek. He reacted very fiercely breaking his creations and he renounced the steam for the rest of his life. Then he designed pumps and railroad cars for horse-drawn railway. He had two sons, František and Romuald, both of them, as well as their father, became successful design engineers too. Josef Božek died 21 October 1835 in Prague.
Authorship of the wonderful CZK 200 coin at occassion of the 200th anniversary of the presentation of the steam engine by Josef Božek includes only two important artists. The Board of the Czech National Bank decided to realize the obverse side according to the design by Academic Sculptor Zbyněk Fojtů - he convinced them and the Competition Committee by his beautiful composition comprising a steam car, the inscription CZECH REPUBLIC and the nominal 200CZK. The reverse side of the coin was prepared for mintage by MA. Martin Dašek, whose portrait of Josef Božek was clearly the most successful. It is complemented with despription PRESENTATION OF THE STEAM CAR, JOSEF BOŽEK and the years 1815-2015. Perfect artistic harmony of both parts and a high collector value predispose a new commemorative coin to take prominent places in your numismatic collections.