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Any idea? Token?

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this was posted on another forum, quite some time has passed without any real answer as to what it is. I keep seeing it as someone bumps the thread but with no real answer :ninja: I have exhausted all my resources (that aint saying much) and now I am just wondering what the heck it is for my own curiosity? Has anyone seen this before?






front has a bust (i assume) of minerva with the word Minerva broken so it reads MIN - ERVA


the other side has what appears to be a temple? and the words Reche: Pfenn: and I.L. below the structure...


It was found in Lincolnshire UK



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If it's brass, I'm thinking that it's a German jeton. The I.L. may be the mintmaster's initials. Try this site for some direction...http://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/nuremberg-jetons.html


definitely a Nuremberg jeton. Rechenpfennig = reckoning penny or counting token.

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okay, thanks for the help, it is indeed a Nuremberg rechenpfennig. Apparently made by one Johann Jakob Lauer (1806-1865) who seems to have been a member of a family of counter makers that include Ernest Ludwig Sigmund Lauer (1783-1833) and Ludwig Christian Lauer (1842-1873). They seem to have produced quite a few counters including a series of counters with Roman and Greek themes. Although I could not find this example, I found several other examples:




one with venus



one with alexander the great


The style on these examples are just like the style of the one posted above so I think its safe to say it was produced by the same person.


I think his tokens are listed in Michael Mitchiner's work on Jetons, Medalets & Tokens Vol 1 The Medieval Pd. & Nuremberg. A book I do not have.


This example seems to be in UNBELIEVABLY great shape. I dont know if this guy made gold versions of his counters but I doubt a brass one would last in the ground for any amount of time and come out it such good shape.


In fact something interesting I found about this family of counter makers:


'As the use of these tokens diminished so did the makers. In 1783 there were still 12 masters making computing Pfennigs. In 1830 there were 7. In 1843 it was only one. By lack of sales Ludwig Christian Lauer, the last yielding was forced to stop production and died in 1873.'


so it seems that his son? was the last if not one of the last producers of these counters.

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Lauer was a German company that manufactured thousands of miniature 'toy' money in Victoria's reign, interesting to see that their family trade stretched over many family members.



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Lauer continued producing medals and tokens into the 1900s. I've been searching for references to the company and would welcome any leads that anyone has uncovered.



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The base metal jeton became popular as a counter for use in the gaming houses which were increasing in number in the early 17th century. This use of the jetons was to continue until the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the later base metal jetons were also produced for advertising purposes. One of the Nuremberg producers, the Lauer family, is also well known for the production of a series of 'Toy' coins - minature coins probably mainly intended for use in dolls' houses. These were produced from the late 1880's until about 1906. The Lauer firm was in the family's hands from 1783 until 1906, when ownership passed to the Rockstoh family. In recent times the firm continued to produce medals, badges and electoplated ornaments and components.




The firm of Lauer of Nuremberg, Germany, was a main issuer and striker of miniature replica imitation currency toy coins, usually between 12mm and 14mm in diameter, for very many countries from about 1880 until about 1950. The metals were brass for the gold, iron - usually thinly plated with silver,for the silver denominations,but also zinc or nickel, and copper for the copper. Their purpose was to show the engraving skills of the firm and to act as advertising their business, for sale as toys for children and for dolls houses, for educational and teaching and for promotions for other businesses. A vast series, sometimes issued in a variety of boxes. Most of the boxes and some of the coins are now very rare and hard to find. The silver denominations are hard to find in mint condition as plating wears off and the iron oxidises. Other main issuers were Balmberger, Arld, Zeiser, Mayer and more. The reference book still current is "Toy Coins" issued in 1990 by David Rogers


just a start I know...seems it passed to the Rockstroh family in 1906

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Thanks. That contained some helpful bits of information. I'm interested in Lauer's architectural medals struck for world's fairs in Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and St. Louis. I've been wanting to trace how they grew from jetons to world's fair medals. You've helped me find a few more threads to search. Lauer is still in business today. They make grills for radios in automobiles.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 months later...
Definitely a Lauer token -German made. The IL stands for Jeton of Lauer - the I = J.

IL are the initials of Johann Jacob Lauer , a member of the Lauerfirm in Nuremberg. He worked from 1806 and retired in 1852. See Mitchiner page 555/556.


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