Readers commented on the odd Whitehead & Hoag token Len Augsburger asked about last week.
Joel Anderson writes:
"I had similar pieces in a collection of Magician's tokens that I handled
about 25 or 30 years ago. Alas, I do not recall any of the details.
Some of the pieces in the collection had nonsensical legends in order to
make them look exotic. Someone might explore magician token references."
Jud Petrie writes:
"I have also been intrigued by this token for many years. This 'Eve' token is in both copper and brass.
"Despite its longtime association with magic tokens it has never been 'officially' attributed as such, although many include it in their collections. Personally I can state that two of these tokens were found in a box of assorted magic tokens owned by my great-grandfather, John Petrie, who was in the magic manufacturing business (Petrie & Lewis). P&L was in business from the early 1900's until 1965; he died in 1954. I hope that further information is forthcoming, and am sure that other magic token collectors feel the same."
William Todd writes:
"Regarding the obverse of this token, I would strongly suggest that the image is NOT Eve tempted by the apple, but rather Fate/Nemesis/Fortuna balanced on a ball. Nemesis since ancient Rome has been portrayed with a wheel ("of fate") and since at least the Northern Renaissance (e.g. painter/engraver Albrecht Dürer), depicted as a naked woman standing on a sphere often floating in the air above a land- or cityscape. A Google-search will turn up numerous examples.
"I agree that the arm from the cloud is that of a Deity, but what is it offering? A heart as a love-token? In any case Fate appears to reject it or ignore it.
"There are many numismatic representations of Fate as described above. Here's a photo of a plaquette by German medallist and sculptor Heinrich Moshage from my collection. Fortune at right pursued across the world as Death presides overall."
John Sallay writes:
"I can't tell you much about the mysterious Whitehead & Hoag token, except that the obverse is not "Eve's temptation in the Garden of Eden." Rather, it is the Roman goddess Fortuna, the personification of luck, chance, fate, and fortune. And the arm coming out of the cloud is not the devil, but on the contrary, the arm of God bestowing some gracious gift.
"Unfortunately, I can't help you with the reverse, but to me, a few of the squiggles look like snakes."
John co-authored an article with Peter Olav Pleuss in The MCA Advisory (July/August 2017, pages 31-33) where they discussed the Fortuna iconography as it was used on some late-Renaissance medals.
Herre are some images from the article.
William Todd adds:
"Regarding the reverse, I hope someone will investigate occult signs. I'm no expert in this, but that is what they appear to be. They could be genuine, but they also may be loosely based on some examples without real significance, only added for hocus-pocus effect.
"I look forward to further readers' comments on this interesting piece."
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
A MYSTERIOUS WHITEHEAD & HOAG TOKEN
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2021 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster