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Marchands Fruitier de Paris


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There is some debate as to who the following (undated) jetons were issued for / by.

Feuardent, the main reference source for french jetons cites the Horticulteurs de Rouen and goes on to assert that they may have been struck for the Orangerie at one or other of the Royal Chateaux near Paris (citing Versailles or Chateau de Sceaux as possibilites). `Hortus Hesperidum' (Garden of Hesperides) appears in the exergue obverse, while the reverse legend is Cultori Aurea Poma (Golden apple cultivation).

 

Both CGB and Mitchiner state that although Feuardent was correct in thinking the trees are orange trees (obverse), he was incorrect in thinking that the fruit in the basket (reverse) was oranges. Although `aurea poma' is easily construed as being oranges, it is also the name of a type of apple (some mention is made that the type is used in cider making. Mitchiner notes that the modern view is that the jetons most probably relate to the Paris Fruit Merchants and that there is no relevance to the town of Rouen.

 

Both jetons are quite similar but clearly from different dies. I'm reminded of newspaper type puzzles showing two similar pictures and asking you to `spot the differences' . With that in mind, i'll leave you to see how many differences you can spot. Sorry, no prizes in this case folks! :)

 

In terms of dates for these....generally perceived to be early republic /Napoleonic era (circa 1792-1806)

 

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I like the top one but that might just be the toning or photography, it seems to give a bit more depth.

 

One has fruit on the ground, the other doesnt.

The baskets have different design.

One has 6 rows of apples in the basket, the other 7?

Different borders

Period after A in one and not the other?

 

Both very nice tokens.

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I am with Feuardent in that I think oranges are depicted on both the obverse & reverse, as to his Rouen connection I have no idea.

 

I thought I should explain my reasons for my comment quoted above.

 

The obverse of the jeton shows the crucial element in the cultivation of the orange in northern climes, that is the ability to protect it from the cold by moving it to a heated enviroment by the use of 'boxing' the tree. The reverse spells out the 'cultivation' that is shown on the obverse, the fruit piled high in a basket for display below the inscription is surely the fruit from the cultivated orange trees shown on the obverse, the oranges cultivated at Versailles were arranged for display in the palace.

 

Why would you produce a jeton clearly showing the cultivation of oranges on the obverse, use cultivation in the inscription on the reverse and then place a basket of apples below it? Does not seem to make much sense!

 

As for the cider, it is named Poma Áurea for the special golden color of the cider, not because it is made from a variety of apples, in fact it is made from several varieties of local apples from the area around the town of Gijon, Asturias, Spain, where the cider originates. Why would a French jeton be inscribed with the name of an obscure cider from Spain? I can find no reference to an apple variety called Aurea Poma.

 

In Medieval Latin Aurea Poma meant orange, much, if not most, of europe used 'golden apple' for orange. The French for Potato is pomme d' terre(apple of the earth), Tomato, pomme d'amour(love apple), Pomegranate, pomme-grenade(apple-seeded). From Medallic Illustrations, 1689 Coronation medal, Aurea Poma Mixta Rosis. (Oranges mingled with roses.) Ex. D . F . A . Wllh . Henr . Et Maria M . Brit . R. (Defenders of the Faith of England, William Henry and Mary, Sovereigns of Great Britain.), Oranges & roses were William III(of the House of Orange) emblems.

 

Perhaps CGB and Mitchiner imbibed too much of a Spanish cider called....

 

 

I don't think that F would have just plucked The Horticultural Society of Rouen from a hat, he must have some evidence or reason for ascribing these jetons to it. Perhaps it was an error but it would be nice to have some concrete reason or evidence for that.

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The Chateau de Sceaux is a great place to visit when it's nice out --beautiful gardens and extensive fountains. Big enough that you could read a book on the lawn without being found out and scolded by one of the groundskeepers. :blol: The Orangerie (a building) is still there but closed to visitors .

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I thought I should explain my reasons for my comment quoted above. (snip)

I don't think that F would have just plucked The Horticultural Society of Rouen from a hat, he must have some evidence or reason for ascribing these jetons to it. Perhaps it was an error but it would be nice to have some concrete reason or evidence for that.

 

I have to say that i agree with you. However I've spent only a limited amount of time to date in researching these and as yet I have been unable to ascertain why both Mitchiner and CGB both feel that Feuardent was wrong in assuming the reverse to be oranges. I'm less than convinced, although i did come across one article describing `aurea poma' as being a variety of apple. Never followed up on that.

 

On the other hand i've been equally unable to find anything that would validate Feuardent having associated these jetons with the `Horticulturists of Rouen' (as opposed to the Horticulturists of somewhere else).

 

I've got a healthy respect for CGB's relative breadth and depth of knowledge of `jetons'. I will however be asking Michel Prieur at CGB for some insight and hopefully some source reference for their belief that Feuardents classification is no longer sustainable.

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The Chateau de Sceaux is a great place to visit when it's nice out --beautiful gardens and extensive fountains. Big enough that you could read a book on the lawn without being found out and scolded by one of the groundskeepers. :blol: The Orangerie (a building) is still there but closed to visitors .

 

you are a much traveled man Frank. I am quite envious of your in-life experience. I've yet to visit that location, and suspect that short of a substantial lottery win i'm unlikely to be reading a book on the front lawn any time soon :)

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I like the top one but that might just be the toning or photography, it seems to give a bit more depth.

 

One has fruit on the ground, the other doesnt.

The baskets have different design.

One has 6 rows of apples in the basket, the other 7?

Different borders

Period after A in one and not the other?

 

Both very nice tokens.

 

The top one is my favourite too...

The bottom one has a crisper strike and less wear to it, but for me it lacks `character' (for want of a better word!). i think the toning adds some definition to the subject matter.

 

PS in the first example the angle of the boxed tree in relation to the exergue line is more pronounced :)

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I assumed the obverses depict the boxed orange trees within an orangerie and was trying to figure out what was between the lines of boxes, I could only come up with seed beds with decorative adornments of small orange trees at each corner, which would make sense if the view was from inside the orangerie. Any other ideas?

 

CULTORI would then seem to be even more relevant to the obverse and oranges and, by extension, lean to it being oranges on the reverse.

 

The Greek botanical name chosen for all citrus species was Hesperidoeidē (Ἑσπεριδοειδῆ, "hesperidoids") from the belief that aurea poma(golden apples) in the Garden of Hesperides were oranges.

 

http://archive.org/s...ge/n33/mode/2up

Appel Sina of Lisbonse

Oranje Appel

(Chinese Apple of Lisbon. Orange Apple)

The Belgick, or Netherlandish hesperides ?that is, the management, ordering, and use of the limon and orange trees, fitted to the nature and climate of the Netherlands /by S. Commelyn 1676; made English by G.V.N. (1683).

 

If so, the jeton's obverse & reverse, would show orange cultivation from seed propogation right through to the fruit in a basket.

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you are a much traveled man Frank. I am quite envious of your in-life experience. I've yet to visit that location, and suspect that short of a substantial lottery win i'm unlikely to be reading a book on the front lawn any time soon :)

 

Oh, Ian it doesn't take much to visit Sceaux --it's just south of Paris on the RER line that passes north and south (the one that goes through Cité universitaire). The stop is "Parc de Sceaux." Hop off the train and walk a little bit and there you are --you could be en pleine campagne, it's so calm and bucolic.

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