Hard Times Tokens - Post Your Images
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Hard Times   
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In celebration of these hard times, and the wonderful article by Ernie Nagy in the September issue of the Numismatist, I am going to post my collection of tokens from the Hard Times in the 1830's and 1840's where Andrew Jackson started a bank war and threw the US into a recession that makes our present one seem pretty mild. This history contained in these tokens is very embracing. Many are presenting political satire while others are store cards. I will post one per week, moving up the series using Rulau numbers. My collection is sparse - go to Alan Fisher's website to see perhaps the most complete collection of HT's.

 

Up first is my specimen of HT-8 (mislabelled as HT-7). It has a typical weak strike, and Rulau lists this as R6, meaning he estimates 13-30 survive. So with that few in existence, you have to take what is available. NGC has only certified one HT-8 at MS62, so this specimen below may actually be condition census. It depicts our man Andrew Jackson, and commerates his successful battle against the Brits iin New Orleans:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_New_Orleans

 

Most of the HT tokens depicting Jackson are not so kind, instead the satirize his banking policies and debacles.

 

So for the few HT collectors out there, let's see what you got!! :)

 

HT-8NGCAU58comp.jpg

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MJ   
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1837ht34comp.jpg

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Bugmann1974   
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Here are mine, none rare and none high grade but I like them none the less. (thumbs u

 

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IMG_0529.jpg

 

IMG_2792a.jpg

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IMG_2814a.jpg

IMG_2815a.jpg

 

 

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Bugmann1974   
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Oops, I can't forget this one. This is my favorite Hard times token in my collection!

97860.jpg

97861.jpg

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Hard Times   
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All nice tokens everyone, keep them coming and tell your story about them!

 

:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

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BillJones   
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This is the best example of this variety that I have ever seen. It was first sold recently from the Ford collection.

 

Low57O.jpgLow57R.jpg

 

I wish this were a little nicer, but it's still a Low #1.

 

Low1Obv.jpgLow1Rev.jpg

 

And this is among the better known example of this scarce variety.

 

Low7Obv.jpgLow7Rev.jpg

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Hard Times   
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Some very nice tokens everyone. I will proceed up the Rulau numbers in my sparse collection. I have a pair of HT-9's. HT-9, Low-8, Obverse: Running Boar with Obverse: "Perish Credit, Perish Commerce, 1834, My Victory, My Third Heat, Down with the Bank". Reverse: Andrew Jackson Bust, "My Substitute for the U.S. Bank, My Experiment, My Currency, My Glory". This is one of the earlier political hard times tokens that was 'celebrating' President Jackson's banking policies that forced the US into a recession with huge amounts of private bank failures. The running boar may be President Jackson's experiment running wild and causing havoc to the nation. The image of Jackson's bust on the reverse reminds of a statue that could have been displayed high on a pedestal.

 

These two specimens both show the die breaks along their obverse and reverse rims. It is a common token, R1, and presumably, one may be able to collect a range of die states. Strike quality varies greatly from specimen to specimen. Their are a series of these with different die characteristics and struck in different alloy compositions. In my next post, I will show my HT-10 from the Ford Collection auctioned at Stack's June 23, 2004. The outstanding auction catalog is a wealth of information and a great reference guide.

 

 

 

HT-9-1NGCMS62comp.jpg

 

HT-9-2NGCMS62comp.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Hard Times

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ErnieN-migration   
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/41299033@N02/4991172605/in/photostream/

 

Above are links to pictures on Flickr of a token I picked up at the Michigan State Numismatic show last November from Glenn Cunningham which I find interesting.

 

(Not sure if I am attaching pictures properly, I'm new here)

 

Lyman Low’s Hard Times token book devotes a lengthy footnote to Verplanck (Low originally misspelled his name as Verplank) describing him as a scholar more than a politician, and noting that he was never the governor of New York. He states that the reason for this token’s issuance is a mystery, waiting to be unlocked. I love mysteries; here is what I have found so far:

 

He was a US Congressman from New York from 1825 – 1833, where he was chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee 1832-1833. During this period the great nullification crisis occurred, where South Carolina led by John C Calhoun threatened to secede over opposition to Federal tariffs. History credits Henry Clay with negotiating a compromise which saved the Union. Few mention that Clay’s compromise was subsequent to a Verplanck engineered bill which passed the House of Representatives and would have diminished the tariffs even more rapidly.

 

After leaving the US Congress, he was an unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of New York City in 1834, during the election cycle preceding Seward's candidacy for Governor of New York. How are the Verplanck for Governor tokens to be explained? Maybe they are an error, maybe the intention was for them to be struck as Verplanck for Mayor??

I have found a reference on page 157 of Seward’s autobiography of a brief attempt to discuss the possibility of Verplanck as candidate for Governor:

 

http://books.google.com/books?id=eCwOAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq='william+seward%22&cd=10#v=onepage&q=Verplanck&f=false

 

I wonder if these tokens would have been struck under these circumstances. For me, this is still an open question.

 

 

Thanks

Ernie

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coinsarefun   
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It was a great article!!!

 

Here are a few, I lost the other images of the tokens I have in a computer crash

and have to re do most

 

18371CFeuchtwangerCentPCGSMS64CACsm.jpg

1837HT34IllustriousPredecessorMS-1.jpg

1833AttleboroMAHT152MS65BNNGC.jpg

1834HT9RunningBoarMS65RBNGC.jpg

 

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Hard Times   
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Nice tokens everyone, nice research on Verplanck, Ernie, keep us posted if you find out more.

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BROADSTRUCK   
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Never thought I'd post ATS, but this is a very enticing thread! :acclaim:

 

1837 Shin Plasters HT-56 / Low-45

 

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1837 Shin Plasters HT-57 / Low-46

 

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1837 May Tenth HT-66A Low-47A

 

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The name "Shin Plasters" was applied to bills of irresponsible banks and private parties. The device of the phoenix rising from flames seems to mean that the paper money was only fit to be burned, and that with its destruction new life would spring from its ashes, The date, November, 1837, is that of a convention held in New York on the 27th of that month, by representatives of leading banks in nineteen states to fix a date for resumption. They met again the 16th of April, 1838 and decided to resume specie payments the 10th of May following, which was successfully accomplished after a suspension of exactly one year.

 

 

 

 

 

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BROADSTRUCK   
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1837 New York Merchant's Exchange HT-291 / Low-95

 

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1837 New York - Merchant's Exchange HT-292 / Low-96

 

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1837 New York Merchant's Exchange HT-293 / Low-97

 

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1837 New York - Merchant's Exchange HT-294 / Low-98

 

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Both the Merchants Exchange and the Tontine Building are mentioned on hard times tokens HT-291 through HT-294.

 

Behind these names is one of the most unusual business arrangements America has ever seen. AS a "tontine" was a legal device whereby survivors split an inheritance at some point specified, adn those unfortunate enough to die earlier get nothing.

 

The Tontine Coffee House building, at the corner of Wall and Wate Streets in New Tork, was commenced in 1792 and completed in1794. It and a large amount of surrounding land were owned by and association of 203 cirty merhcnats and other prosperous persons, who has subscribed at $200 per share. Thus the initial capital was $40,600.

 

The Tontine scheme was to divided equally when the original 203 holders had been reduced by death to just seven! Share purchasers often named their children, not themselves, as the share owners. Meanwhile, shareholders shared the income of the entity, which owned a good portion of what was then the 2nd Ward (bounded by Pine St., Nassau St., East River, and Gold and Geogre Sts.). The first five trustees for the 203 shareholders, who were to meet every year in the Tontine Coffee House, were John Broome, Gulian Verplanck the Elder, John Delafield, William Laight and John Watts.

 

The Tontine was also a hotel, and rented street shop space to certain merchants, such as John R. D. Huggins, the famed hairdresser who kept his shop ther 1794-1800. The Tontine's charter was signed Nov. 4, 1794.

 

The largest room in the Tontine housed the Merchants Exchange 1794-1825, but it soon outgrew its quarters, with bargaining being conducted in the bar, etc. A supposedly fireproof Merchants Exchange building was erected 1827 on Wall Street, but it was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1835.

 

From 1797-1812 the Tontine Coffe House served from 11AM to 1PM punch, lemonade, crackers, cheese, and codfish at their splendid bar. The merchants called this "lunch." The Gulian C. Verplanck of HT 30 (born 1786) and William Bayard (born 1791) were original shareholders as children. The Tontine Coffee House was renamed the Tontine Building in 1843.

 

The Tontine scheme was sort of "Russian roulette". When the 203 were reduced to 7, the survivors were to divvy up the loot. By 1862, 70 years after the plot was hatched, it was found that a family named De Peyster had bought up some two-thirds of the outstanding shares.

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BROADSTRUCK   
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HT-69

 

2vimj3p.jpg

 

HT-70

 

6yo3km.jpg

 

HT-71

 

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HT-72

 

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Recent research has shown that token HT-70 is probably the first cent-sized political type token which achieved wide circulation, and it opened the door for a flood of similar items. The die was cut by Edward Hulseman in Attleboro, Mass. in the fall of 1833, and the tokens were struck by the button-makers, Robinson's Jones & Co. of Attleboro, who were Hulseman's employers 1833-1836. The tokens of this and later types (HT 69, 71 and 72) refer to Jackson, who is shown with sword and purse.

 

The feeling which led to to adoption of the sword and purse device continued for some time after the Whigs had taken the reins of government. The Albany Argus daily city gazette for October 1, 1842 published "The liberties of the country were alarmingly threatened under Mr. Van Buren's administration by a union of the purse with the sword in the same hands."

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BROADSTRUCK   
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1838 New York - Am I not a Woman & Sister HT-81 / Low-54

 

hx7pnc.jpg

 

This is the classic antislavery token is also said to commemorate the formation of the Liberty Party in 1838. Thanks to the research of Eric P. Newman, collectors may now know a good deal more about the background of HT 81 and HT 82. His conclusions are summarized here: In late 1837 the American Anti-Slavery Society, located at 143 Nassau Street, New York, commissioned the firm of Gibbs Gardner & Co. of Belleville, N.J. to strike copper tokens (HT 81, the Kneeling Female piece). The tokens probably cost the AASS about 50 cents per hundred, as they contained copper then worth 39.5 cents per hundred. Beginning May 4, 1833, the AASS published a weekly newspaper, The Emancipator, published by Charles W. Denison and edited by Joshua Leavitt. In its issue of Nov. 23, 1837, the Emancipator ran an advertisement offering the Female Slave tokens at $1 per hundred. Made of good copper and with a device on reverse similar to legal U.S. cents, they sold well. The ad also said that it was proposed to issue Kneeling Male Slave tokens as well, and this accounts for the few pattern pieces of HT 82, which were never produced for circulation. U.S. Mint Director Patterson moved quickly to suppress the circulation of HT 81, and it is apparent that by late December, 1837, he had succeeded in part. No further ads for the Female Slave tokens appeared in the AASS weekly or in other Journals, but since the number of pieces of HT 81 still surviving is quite large, they may well have been distributed by middlemen who paid about 62 cents per hundred for them in early 1838. Gibbs Gardner & Co. were selected by the AASS in part because John Gibbs’ Belleville Mint had also struck the 1833 Liberia cent tokens for another American anti-slavery group in Maryland. The AASS actually distributed a British anti-slavery medal in the U.S. in 1835, selling for 25 cents each, the 1834 Emancipation Jubilee Medal.

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Just Bob   
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Welcome to the forum, BROADSTRUCK! :hi:

 

Wonderful tokens, and well-done write-ups. Please post more!

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BROADSTRUCK   
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Thanks for the nice welcome Just Bob & Coindude! :whee:

 

HT-32 / Low-18

 

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HT-33 / Low-19

 

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HT-34 / Low-20

 

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Referring to Andrew Jackson, President Martin Van Buren stated in his inaugural address that, “I follow in the steps of my illustrious predecessor.”

 

 

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Elbesaar   
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Broadstruck...insomnia is a terrible thing... 3:08 AM ... and you're

still posting !!

 

Your Hard Time Tokens are always a pleasure to look at !!

 

Welcome to NGC !!

 

 

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Hard Times   
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Absolutely fantastic tokens everyone, let's keep it going and have this thread be a record of HT's for a long time to come. As I said, I am going up the HT numbers for my collection. The next one I have is HT-11, I bought it raw off of ebay a few years back. It is from the John Ford Jr. collection that was auctioned by Stacks in 2004. I wanted to get the spot off the obverse, so I sent it to NCS for conservation and grading at NGC. The removed the outer ring on the spot and made it smaller, but could not completely remove it without compromising the surfaces.

 

The Stack's auction on the Ford HT's took place June 23, 2004. This was Part IV 'United States Hard Times Tokens, United States Encased Postage Stamps'. The auction catalog is a wealth of information and I recommend picking it up if you can find it.

 

Lot #37 description: L.1-, HT.11. Choice About Uncirculated. Lustrous pale brown with some iridescence. ANDREW JACKSON/RUNNING BOAR. Jackson has broad shoulders. Reverse of boar's snout pointing between 'H' of PERISH and 'C' of CREDIT. Die broken from 'C' of CREDIT to snout.

Ex. F.C.C. Boyd Estate

 

Voila:

 

 

HT-11FordNGCMS63comp-1.jpg

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BROADSTRUCK   
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Thanks tejas1836! :) Elbesaar, Actually it was only 2:08AM :preach:;)

 

Spots aren't a bad thing and I'd never send anything I'd want to keep long term to NCS. Here's one of my favorites which do to the disgusting spots I was able to trace the provenance back to to the late 19th / early 20th Century.

 

HT-20 / Low 62 - 1841 Daniel Webster - EX: Gilbert Steinberg, Joseph Griner, Herbert Oeschner, QDB/John Ford (?), Donald Miller, Anderson DuPont (?), George T. Tilden.

 

Some Tilden pedigrees are noted as also ex Anderson DuPont. DuPont was the intermediary when Miller purchased the Tilden collection. These pieces were offered individually in a fixed price list by Kenneth Rendell in the late 1950’s that contained 154 different pieces. David Bowers purchased the primary Miller collection from Mrs. Miller after Donald passed. It's safe to assume that Herbert Oeschner either purchased it from David Bowers or John Ford? I'll speak to David Bowers at the Philly show and see if he can shed some light on this. As I know Donald Miller and John Ford where Hard Times Collecting Archrivals (See QDB Story Below) but John Ford was at David Bowers office in a second flat to cherry pick Donald Millers collection prior to David Bowers selling the rest privately as a whole. Donlad Millers duplicate collection was purchased as a whole privately by Pittsburgh dealer/collector Charles Litman.

 

Anyway back to the token... I own a few other HT-20's as I've found with HTT's that it's not too tough to accumulate duplicates, triplicates, and quadruplicates of some examples. Most HT-20's show patches of die rust as they where struck from rusted dies. This example here which is nearly fully mint red has no such issues and was most likely struck from fresh dies as it's an early die stage which posses fully struck centers, crisp fully defined sail lines, and all edges on the reverse "Experiment" letters are sharp.

 

25ftyco.jpg

 

I image all my own HTT's yet this photo is courtesy of Mark Goodman.

 

Here’s a story I read by QDB in an auction catalog... Enjoy!

 

“In the mid 20th century Hard Times Tokens became a passion the passion for many leading numismatists, with John J. Ford, Jr. and Donald Miller perhaps being the best known. At a memorable New Netherlands auction in the 1950’s a collection of Hard Times Tokens was scheduled to cross the auction block, including rare varieties of Low-1, with the portrait of Jackson. A catalog was prepared by Walter Breen and John Ford of New Netherlands Coin Company, of which Ford was co-owner. The sale was held on the rooftop facility of the New Weston Hotel in New York City, in an assembly room, next to which there was a bar. Miller well lubricated an with a fighting spirit, was set to capture a number of rarities for his own account, while Ford made it known that he was going to be the leading buyer. On the terrace near the bar Miller grabbed Ford and pushed him partially over the railing, high above the streets below. The present writer (QDB) and another bystander grabbed Miller and pulled him away, much to Ford’s relief. Others rushed to hold Miller, and eventually calmed down. The sale proceeded, and record prices where set.”

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bsshog40   
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I'm not a token collector but there sure are alot of nice ones here with some pretty cool designs!

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ErnieN-migration   
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Can someone get me instructions as to how to post an image? It must not be difficult, as I see everyone seems to be able to post an image, but I am not able to add an image from a directory on my PC

 

I see the enter an image icon, click on it and a bugandy bar appears which states 'Posting Form. HTML is enabled. UBBCode is enabled.

 

Are the directions for adding an image to a post available somewhere?

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BROADSTRUCK   
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[q]1837 New York - Geo Jarvis Wine Dealer HT-283 / Low 122

 

34sjt6t.jpg

 

1837 New York - Geo Jarvis Wine Dealer HT-284 / Low 123

 

5nljsn.jpg[/q]

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