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House Good Luck Token, A Kettle USA Imitation Gold Half-Eagle 1803


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Henry Kettle in 1801, 1803 and possibly 1805 struck imitation gold eagles as card tokens for the US market. I have wanted an example for quite sometime for my Kettle collection, unfortunately these are rather expensive due to the large number of US collectors, this example was more reasonably priced due to the large hole in the middle.
DSCF4098-horz.jpg
Fauver. U.S. Gold 1803-4kpa (E) 25mm R. 7
I have no problem with the hole as the hole matches the nails in use in the early 1800's. If it had been holed to indicate it was not a genuine coin(cancelled) it would not have been necessary to drive the nail hard enough to sink the nail head into the token. I believe it was, as the following describes, used as a good luck token. As such I find the hole, though it defaces the token, adds to its history.
In the USA during the early 1800's coins were nailed to the rafters of new houses to bring good luck to the inhabitants. These are found with the characteristic square nail holes through them and have been nicknamed "rafter cents". Also coins were nailed inside door frames or to basement beams etc. Here is a picture of one, with the nail still in place.
Nailed-horz.jpg

 

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Nice pics and info. I have a few us large cents that are holed. According to their histories one was used as a washer in a mill in Conn. The second is an xf cent removed from a beam in a farmhouse in VA.

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Thanks guys, I was glad to find the pics online of the one with the nail still in place as though we all know about coins etc nailed to beams etc used as goodluck house tokens it is nice to see one with the its original nail.

 

It is not every day I find a token with a large jagged hole in the middle and happily buy it!

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