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NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: APRIL 30, 2017

The E-Sylum (4/30/2017)


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Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor

Fantasy Ming Dynasty Coin

Fantasy Ming Dynasty Coin

Historical fantasies for the unissued reign titles - During several Ming reigns no coins were produced, because of large scale emissions of paper money. As a gesture of filial respect the emperor Shi Zong (1522-67) ordered in 1553 their production. There remains still some difference of opinion among numismatists, whether these are fantasies produced in Japan and/or Vietnam or Ming supplementary issues. Nevertheless examples are rare and very much in demand (DH20.137a, Schjöth1173, Zeno179343) - 4.10 gr. - good VF

Can any of our Chinese coin experts chime in on these? Are these considered legitimate parts of the series? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Coins, Currency and Medals May 2017 (https://mpoauctions.com/en/browse?aid=26&cid=16129&lid=100885)

Late Kushan Period Gold Coin

Late Kushan Period Gold Coin obverse Late Kushan Period Gold Coin reverse

Description: Kushan Kingdom, Gold Coin Late Kushan Period Shaka 8.00 grams / 25.25-24.60x2.84mm / The coin designs usually broadly follow the styles of the preceding Greco-Bactrian rulers in using Hellenistic styles of image, with a deity on one side and the king on the other. Kings may be shown as a profile head, a standing figure, typically officiating at a fire altar in Zoroastrian style, or mounted on a horse. The artistry of the dies is generally lower than the exceptionally high standards of the best coins of Greco-Bactrian rulers. Continuing influence from Roman coins can be seen in designs of the late 1st and 2nd century CE, and also in mint practices evidenced on the coins, as well as a gradual reduction in the value of the metal in base metal coins, so that they become virtual tokens. Iranian influence, especially in the royal figures and the pantheon of deities used, is even stronger.

Interesting designs - primitive, yet modern-seeming at the same time. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 215: Ancient Kushan Gold Coin Late Kushan Period Shaka (www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/-1-c-A3C4D0E894)

1797 Irish One Penny Provisions Token

1797 Irish One Penny Provisions Token

BRITISH 18TH CENTURY TOKENS, IRELAND, Uncertain Issuer, Copper Penny, 1797, obv TO PREVENT THE ABUSE OF CHARITY, IN THE CONSUMPTION OF WHISKEY, THIS IS GIVEN TO THE POOR, IN DUBLIN. F., rev VALUE ONE PENNY, IN PROVISIONS (ONLY) AT 168 JAMES'S-GATE 44 LOW . KEVIN-STREET 55 UPPER-COOMBE & 23 BARRACK-STREET. 1797, edge plain, not in collar (Atkins p.332, 1; D&H Dublin 1). Nearly very fine and rare.

This Baldwin's auction archive lot is a wordy 18th century Irish token meant to be given to beggars. It is redeemable only in food "to prevent the abuse of charity, in the consumption of whiskey." Kinda like saying "here's some food stamps" vs. "here's some beer money". People, politics and social issues rarely change, but the means of addressing them constantly evolve. And I'll bet some of these got turned over to a third party for booze anyway. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
BRITISH 18TH CENTURY TOKENS, IRELAND, Uncertain Issuer, Copper Penny, 1797 (www.numisbids.com/n.php?p=lot&sid=1695&lot=2769)

1851 Robert Patterson Mint Medal

1851 Robert Patterson Mint Medal obverse 1851 Robert Patterson Mint Medal reverse

Description: Director Robert M. Patterson U.S. Mint Medal, Julian-MT-2, Obv: Obverse bust facing left, "ROBERT M. PATTERSON DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. MINT 1835-51"; Rev: snake biting its own tail, curled within a wreath, furled scroll at top, "CODEX MONETAE 1837" ("monetary codification," a reference to the 1837 mint monetary reforms), central inscription "A PARTING TOKEN OF REGARD FROM THE OFFICERS AND CLERKS OF THE MINT. 1851." Dies by famous early engraver Charles Cushing Wright. The reverse was hubbed from the 1812 Winfield Scott medal (MI-20).; Ae, 65mm, 130.64gms, EF, some stray marks, small edge bumps and a few spots. Julian MT-2.

The "CODEX MONETAE 1837" is what caught my eye on this one. I don't recall seeing this term anywhere else, and searches for the term on the Newman Portal and the larger web find nothing but references to this particular medal. Can anyone point us to more information about the 1837 monetary codification, and the U.S. Mint's involvement? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 260: DIRECTOR ROBERT M. PATTERSON U.S. MINT MEDAL (www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/-1-c-0C141A7973)

1899 German Deutcher Automobil Club Medal

1899 German Deutcher Automobil Club Medal obverse 1899 German Deutcher Automobil Club Medal reverse

That's a weird looking tree, but I like the angel on the reverse. This medal might benefit from some conservation. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 517: 1899 German Deutcher Automobil Club Medal (www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/-1-c-6FF4EE68C7)

1902 Boer War Mocking Medal

1902 Boer War Mocking Medal

Boer War Mocking Medal 1902 commemorating the Ragama Boer POW Camp in Ceylon (AM133, Hern300, Laidlaw0786a) - Obv: Man wearing cap standing beside palm tree, possibly chopping it down with machete; hut on the left; BRITSCHE.1902.BESCHAVING / Rev: SCUM OF THE SCUM, legend around: RAGAMA KAMP HERINNERING - bronze 10.13 gram 30.4 mm - rough strike, VF/XF, very rare.

Reputedly struck over ZAR pennies (but unlikely) from dies made by C.F. Keyzer, a former employee of the N.Z.A.S.M. (NEDERLANDSCHE ZUID-AFRIKAANSCHE SPOORWEG MAATSCHAPPIJ). Presumably the work was done after Keyzer had been repatriated.

The first batch of prisoners arrived in Ceylon on 9 August 1900 and subsequently others followed until some 5.000 prisoners had landed. Diyatalawa was the main camp. Mt Lavinia was the convalescent camp while foreign volunteers, dissidents and irreconcilables were housed at Ragama.

In the wartime correspondence of Jeannot Weinberg, a Jewish POW in Ragama Camp, he writes, 'The Germans, Hollanders, Irish Americans are, with a few exceptions, a most disreputable lot. They are without exaggeration the scum of the scum'. This appellation also appeared in an article in the Times of Ceylon.

Most of the prisoners in Ceylon were repatriated to South Africa at the end of the war after signing the oath of allegiance to King Edward VII. The foreign volunteers and those who refused to sign were probably given passage on Dutch ships to the Netherlands

A crude but quite interesting piece. I'd never heard of these before. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Boer War Mocking Medal 1902 (https://mpoauctions.com/en/browse?aid=26&cid=16628&lid=101598)

1926 Red Cross Inundation Lifesaving Medal

1926 Red Cross Inundartion Lifesaving Medal

1926 - Medal 'Red Cross reward for helping victims of the inundation 1925-1926' by G. Devreese (1916) - Obv. Bearded man carrying boy / Rev. Six lines of tekst and white/red enamelled shield of arms - brass 70 mm - XF

Lifesaving medals are a great class unto themselves. See my Numismatic Diary elsewhere in this issue for exhibits on Pennsylvania Railroad and Carnegie Hero lifesaving medals. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1926 - Medal 'Red Cross reward for helping victims of the inundation 1925-1926' by G. Devreese (1916) (https://mpoauctions.com/en/browse?aid=26&cid=15163&lid=96239)

1936 Joy of Youth Medal

1936 Joy of Youth Medal

Medals: 1936 Commemorative Joy of Youth Medal in bronze with original box, 73mm, by R. Tait McKenzie, showing shot-put athlete between 'Rejoice oh Young Man in thy Youth', reverse shows four nude runners to right. geese and greyhound racing right, medal commemorating the 1936 Olympic Games

A great piece by R. Tait McKenzie. My old friend from Pittsburgh Rodger Hershey collected medals and tokens depicting "athletes in action" like this one. Nice. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Medals: 1936 Commemorative Joy of Youth Medal (www.davidfeldman.com/auctions/browse-lots/aucP/2017-olympics-online-auction/item/289254/)

Atomic Age Medal

Atomic Age medal obverse Atomic Age medal reverse

Interesting piece, which I guess dates from the 1950s. The auction lot description had no additional information. Has anyone seen this medal before, or have any information about why, where or when it was made? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 417: ATOMIC AGE MEDAL (www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/-1-c-86042C78F9)

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