John Kraljevich poses a question for our readers about this unusual piece.
Here's a query for the biggest collective brain trust in numismatics: the E-Sylum readership!
I've enclosed an image of one of the most unusual pieces I've ever acquired, an item that walked up to my table at FUN. The fellow who brought it to me asked what it was, to which I confessed I had absolutely no idea but that I found it interesting. I made him a fairly moderate offer, after which he frowned but admitted the most he'd been offered for it so far was $50. He left the table, but returned the next day and sold it to me. Noted E-Sylum contributor Alan Weinberg was at the table, looked at the piece, and told me I had really "stepped up" by paying such a strong price for something that was so entirely mysterious.
Getting home, I lucked into a lot description in one of my favorite and most oft-used catalogues: the 1914 George Parsons sale by Henry Chapman, which happened to be sitting on my desk:
2077a. Unknown origin. 1811. Snake and 15 stars. R. Eight separate triple leaves, enclosing OIE DIOE, outside .1.0. 8 *0. I D S.
Feuchtwanger metal. Size of a dime. Good. Have never met with another — though bearing date of 1811, I take it to be of 1835-1840 work.
My copy has no PRL, so I'm not sure how much it brought. It was the final lot among the Parsons Hard Times tokens.
The piece has a regular if crude reeded edge. The workmanship is reminiscent of circulating counterfeit one real coins of the era, including a piece in my collection dated 1811, though clearly OIE DIOE and the wreath is suggestive of a dime denomination.
Has anyone else ever encountered one, or a reference to one?
Interesting item! Has anyone seen something like this before?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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