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JAMES Ist & CHARLES Ist Circa 1620 SILVER GAMING TOKEN


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Circa 1620 silver gaming token, about 25mm & very thin planchet. Pictures James I (died 1625) and Prince Charles (beheaded 1649). These were issued in silver tubes for use in gambling, with various designs, including foreign rulers. The "Niello-work"images look engraved but there is debate about the actual method of manufacture. Listed in Medallic Illustrations, page 376, #272 (variety II).

 

GIVE THY JUDGEMENTS O GOD UNTO THE KING. AND THY RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO THE KINGS SONNE.

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terrifically cool. I am experiencing great drooling envy. :drool:

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This actually looks better in the photos than the hand, it is a wonder that it survived this long, it is so thin. You need a glass to appreciate it and need to angle it for the best light.

Even so the portraits are very nice, especially for so early a time. Most experts think that these were struck, even though they appear to be engraved. They are quite impressive.

 

By Simon Passe, compare with this medal.

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"Simon De Passe was the son of prominent Dutch engraver and publisher Crispijn Van De Passe the Elder. His father was the founder of a distinguished publishing house in Cologne that produced portraits of European nobility and religious and other prints. The family were forced to leave Cologne because of their Anabaptist faith. They moved to Utrecht, and in 1616 Simon settled in London where he established for himself a successful portrait engraving practice. He contributed portraits to Henry Holland's Baziliologia (1618) and made a number of portraits of the royal family, noblemen and scholars. In 1624, he moved to Copenhagen as royal engraver to the king of Denmark, a post he held for the rest of his life"

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If they are struck instead of engraved, that might explain why they are so thin. Given when they were produced, it must have taken a good deal of pressure to create that engraved look. If many examples were produced as gaming tokens, then it seems they must have been struck. The cost of engraving for a gaming token? Whatever the case, it is a fascinating piece.

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If they are struck instead of engraved, that might explain why they are so thin. Given when they were produced, it must have taken a good deal of pressure to create that engraved look. If many examples were produced as gaming tokens, then it seems they must have been struck. The cost of engraving for a gaming token? Whatever the case, it is a fascinating piece.

 

I agree with you Bill. I assume these counters/gaming-pieces must have been made using a screw-press to achieve such a uniform strike. Interesting, how an engraver of plates for producing prints turned his talent to making these silver tokens. Which in themselves look like an engraved print of the time.

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