The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 30, July 24, 2022, Article 16


Jeremy Bostwick at Numismagram had a couple uploads of fresh medals and related exonumia to his website this month, and passed along some of these highlights. For all of the new items from this month, please visit -Editor

  François & Mary silver Jeton

102115 | SCOTLAND & FRANCE. François & Mary silver Jeton or Pattern Testoon. Dated 1553 (though the couple wouldn't be married until 1558) (28mm, 3.71 g, 10h). By N. Emery, likely in Paris. DILIGITE IVSTICIAM 1553, crowned FM (for François & Mary) monogram; sunburst to left and right / DELICTE DNI COR HVMILE, crowned coat-of-arms. MI 65/5; Burns vol. II, pp. 344-346 & pl. LXVI (fig. 916); Forrer II, pp. 15-16 (this type mentioned and illustrated); National Museum of Edinburgh 248; Lucien LaRiviere Coll. 285 = Marian Sinton Coll. 1683 = Robert William Cochran-Patrick Coll. 18 = London Coins 126, lot 559; Dundee Coll. –; McDonald Coll. –; Loch Ness Coll. –; NY Sale XXXII, lot 355 (which realized a total of $1,872 in January 2014). NGC EF-45. Lightly toned and fairly well struck for the type. For cert verification, please follow this link: An extremely rare and historically important type missing from most advanced Scottish collections. Apart from the specimen here, only two other examples of the type have been observed to have sold over the past two decades, the more recent being the specimen in the 2014 NY Sale. $1,985.

Mary was just six days old when her father, King James V of Scotland, died, leaving her as an infant queen. During her minority, the realm was administered by regents, with King Henri II of France proposing an alliance between France and Scotland through an eventual marriage of Mary to his son and heir, François. Given the enmity at that time with England for both France and Scotland, such an arrangement made sense, and Mary was sent to France for safety and upbringing in 1548. According to French tradition, when Mary was deemed to have come of age, she was able to formally ratify her marriage contract to François. This occurred in December 1553, though the wedding itself would not occur until 1558.

In the meantime, it is likely that this jeton, as well as the similar type (MI 66/6), sometimes referred to in the past as "pattern testoons" on account of their similarities to actual Scottish coinage of the time, was intended for usage within the royal household up until the marriage took place. Sadly for Mary, this marriage would be very short-lived, as François died just two years later. Mary would marry two other times before her forced abdication and then eventual execution under the orders of her first cousin once removed, Queen Elizabeth I of England. Incorrectly attributed on the holder as MI 66/6, as it is actually MI 65/5.

To read the complete item description, see:
102115 | SCOTLAND & FRANCE. François & Mary silver Jeton or Pattern Testoon. (

  Germany Zellerfeld Copper Rechenpfennig

102094 | GERMANY. Zellerfeld. Copper Rechenpfennig. Issued mid 17th century (25mm, 2.39 g, 4h). By H. Schlüter. CONSIDERA NOVISSIMA ET NON PECCABIS (consider thy end and sin no more), skull facing slightly right, surmounted by hour glass and with eye sockets pierced by worms; behind, scythe and spade crossed in saltire / HENNING SCHLUTER F B L M M Z Z, civic coat-of-arms. Neumann 31695; Appel 3416. About Uncirculated. Even brown surfaces, with some darker green around the devices. $465.

Rechenpfennigen, German for "accounting pennies," are similar to other tokens or jetons that could serve reckoning, gaming, or even semi-numismatic functions. In particular, the rechenpfennigen were made famous by their various manufacturers in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) from the mid-late 16th century to the early 18th century, with a host of themes used as subject matter. These topics included history, mythology, contemporary political affairs, and even satire. Though many were intended as aids in accounting and bookkeeping (with an accounting board and these tokens taking the place of an abacus or slide rule), they were also useful in other functions, such as in the world of gaming—as poker chips—or in commerce and monetary transactions—as a substitute for harder currency.

To read the complete item description, see:
102094 | GERMANY. Zellerfeld. Copper Rechenpfennig. (

  Netherlands St. Servatius's Church lead Funeral Token

102066 | NETHERLANDS. Maastricht. Chapter of St. Servatius's Church lead Funeral Token (Begrafenisloodje). Dated 1828. Receipt for funeral expenses or as a funeral commemorative (28mm, 12.98 g, 12h). Skull and crossbones / ECCLESIÆ STI SERVATII, upright key. Edge: Some roughness, otherwise plain. Cf. Minard p. 196, 359 (cancellation punch on the reverse). Very Good. Graphite gray surfaces. A very rare and engaging type. $395.

Begrafenisloodje served multiple roles in the Low Countries during the 16th-19th centuries, acting as payment for gravediggers, pallbearers, or other funerary expenses, or acting as a commemorative for the funeral of the deceased—either to those attending the ceremonies or to the respective church in remembrance of the departed. Where they were utilized to indicate payment, a punch was generally placed upon one or both sides to act as a form of "cancellation" for the services rendered and payment received.

To read the complete item description, see:
102066 | NETHERLANDS. Maastricht. St. Servatius's Church lead Funeral Token. (

  Netherlands Looking at Time 2 medal

102068 | NETHERLANDS. "Looking at Time 2" cast bronze Medal. Issued 1990 (71mm, 195.72 g, 12h). By the Auguralis group. Serpent coiled left around egg; outward-facing skull to left and right / kijken naar tijd 2 / panta rhei (p??ta ?e?, "everything flows," –adapted from Heraclitus), lemniscate shape, representing infinity. Edge: "4" stamped at the top. "De Beeldennar" (Jan/Feb 1991), p. 273. As Cast. Forest green surfaces, with great relief and some glossiness; date on egg erased, likely at the time of manufacture. Incredibly rare, with an output of just 5 pieces. $465.

From a series of Dutch modern art medals, somewhat similar to the former Society of Medalists series in the United States and BAMS series in the United Kingdom, this entrant from 1990 considers the idea of the passage of time—a very modern take on the concept of vanitas or a memento mori. The egg represents birth or the creation of life, while the serpent—that of its winding journey, and the skull—that of death or the end of the journey. Similarly, this concept is reiterated on the reverse, with a nod to the Heraclitus phrase, p??ta ?e?, or "everything flows." In the middle is a lemniscate shape, representing the seemingly endless, infinite, and somewhat entropic aspect of individual journeys in life.

To read the complete item description, see:
102068 | NETHERLANDS. "Looking at Time 2" cast bronze Medal. (

  Our Mother of Perpetual Help enameled silver Madonna Taler

102121 | RUSSIA & GERMANY. Our Mother of Perpetual Help enameled silver "Madonna" Taler. Created circa late 19th century (41mm, 26.60 g, 12h). Representation of the famous icon, engraved and then enameled: Virgin Mary in colorful cloak, composed of blue (for motherhood) and red (for virginity), with head and eyes facing the viewer (her children on earth); the star on the top of her cloak indicates that she is the one who will lead us to Christ; she holds the Infant Christ, whose head is uplifted and looking off at a distance, with more adult-like features as a symbol of wisdom beyond His years; His green tunic symbolizes His humanity and creation, while the red sash around His waist symbolizes the Blood of Christ shed for our salvation, and the gold cloak is symbolic of the Resurrection; together, the colors of the garments are a statement of the Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ; His falling sandal informs us that He became human like us in all things but sin; showing his heel is from the promise of God in Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel; around the Virgin Mary are small representations of the Archangels Michael (holding a lance, a pole with a sponge, and a vessel of vinegar; these prefigure scenes from Jesus's crucifixion) and Gabriel (holding a cross and nails; these prefigure scenes from Jesus's crucifixion); all four figures are identified with liturgical Greek abbreviations: MP T? (for the Virgin Mary), OP M and OP G (for the Archangels Michael and Gabriel), and IC XC (for Jesus Christ) / Reverse of a 1754 Taler from the Electorate of Bayern (Bavaria) in the name of Maximilian III Joseph: crowned Madonna seated facing among the clouds, holding scepter and Holy Infant. Edge: Floral pattern. Cf. Davenport 1952; cf. KM 500.2. Host coin: Extremely Fine. Deeply toned. Enameling: About Uncirculated. Very vibrant and unbroken, and expertly rendered. Pin back attached to reverse. An extremely rare, impressive, and wearable icon in miniature form. $1,095.

Associated with a 15th century Byzantine icon with an alleged Marian apparition, Our Mother of Perpetual Help is believed to have originated at the Keras Kardiotissas Monastery (???? ?e??? ?a?d??t?ssa?) in Crete, and has since been in Rome from 1499. It was canonically coronated in 1866 by Pius IX, and has since become one of the most popular icons within Roman Catholicism. Here, it has been expertly rendered, likely rather contemporaneously with the icon's coronation, on the obverse of the prior century's "Madonna Taler" from Bayern (Bavaria), with the fields smoothed, a light engraving created, and highly colorful enameling employed in order to evoke all of the hidden meaning throughout this heavily iconographic piece.

To read the complete item description, see:
102121 | RUSSIA & GERMANY. Our Mother of Perpetual Help enameled silver Icon. (

  Garrett Mid-American E-Sylum ad07a

Wayne Homren, Editor

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