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A scarcer silver French jeton

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This latest addition to my jeton collection is catalogued in Feuardent as 10792 and can also be found in CGB's `Jetons XII' no. 279. CGB class it as RR.




It is a jeton engraved by Benjamin DuVivier and issued for the manufacturers of silk materials in silver and gold at Lyon, France. I presume that this relates to the weaving of silver / gold thread into silk fabrics.


The manufacturing facility at Lyon, having gone through a bit of a financial crisis was the subject of restructuring, and following an ordonance dated 19th June 1744 provision was made for the amount of 1000 french livres in silver per annum to be taken from the public purse and manufactured into jetons and thereafter used in payment on an equal and weekly basis to the four master craftsmen engaged at Lyon for their services to the trade and community. Each jeton struck (in this particular case) was roughly equivalent to two livres , a substantial amount of monetary value at that time..


The obverse shows arms of Lyon. The revers shows Minerva with two cherubs one of which is sketching designs, the other playing with a weaving implement (shuttle).


As an added bonus for me, the jeton is dated 1745 which is a year I specifically coll;ect in relation to coins, jetons, and other artefacts.



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It's a beauty! Are you a Jacobinite?


Thanks. While i'm not a `Jacobite', 1745 was indeed the year of the second Jacobite rebellion (Bonnie Prince Charlie's attempt at the throne) and a very significant year in Scottish history . Charles Edward Stuart and his father before him were chaps who thought that their divine right to be king also meant they were divinely endowed with military skill. Sadly for his army, the young `Charlie' was not one of the worlds best listeners and as a consequence his campaign ended in disaster not only for him but the whole of Scotland.



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Did the jetons serve as a form of coinage then?


Yes and no. You have to bear in mind that copper, silver and gold were the basis of all `monetary' values at that time, and merchants were less bothered about whose head and scribbling were on coins than they were about the purity and weight.


Jetons are not `technically' coins (as in coinage of the realm) but they did indeed serve as a means of recompense for services rendered and in a way which could be readily translated into purchasing power. The prime purpose was a grace and favour `recognition' made to individuals in office. Consider the status conferred through being paid for your services in pieces that have been minted specifically for you (and in most occasions in extremely small quantities!). If my calculations are right (probably not though) each of the four master craftsman involved with this particular industry in Lyon in 1745 would have been `paid' two of these jetons per week.

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Thanks for the link - can you translate the German "AUF DASS DIR'S WOHL GEHE" (For the yours well go??), I find it interesting this is a gift medal for children? So it's not a jeton??


It is a medal by Loos, not a jeton. The german, I think, means "if you honour your Father & Mother things will go well for you" in other words you will have a good life, hence the cornucopia, flowers & bowl of fruit. I assume it would have been meant as a gift or keepsake for a new-born or for a christening etc, but that is only my opinion. Very nice though.

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