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Author Topic:   Coins in Silver
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-26-2007 11:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are some interesting late 19th century American sterling items made using real coins. I think this type of silver is very appealing. I want one of those continental tankards that is covered with coins, but haven't been able to find an affordable one yet. Does anybody else have interesting coin-decorated silver to share?

George Shreve salt & pepper set with coins from France, England, Peru, and the East India Company:

Geo. Shreve souvenir spoon with Mexican coin bowl:

Sterling match safe, unsigned by maker, with US coins:

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Richard Kurtzman
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Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 01-27-2007 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul, Your matchsafe is most likely Gorham from the 1880's.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 01-27-2007 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also wondered if it could be Gorham, but the illustration I have of Gorham's coin-decorated match safe (in the 1880s catalogs) does not quite match...the Gorham safe has a different hinge and does not have that lip between the lid and the body. So I didn't want to jump to conclusions.

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 02-10-2007 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have no picture of this, but maybe could get one at some point...but The Newark Museum has a presentation bowl, made by Shreve in San Francisco. It is decorated with large silver coins around the rim (including a rather rare one of King Kahmehameha--sp?)and was presented to a Newark, NJ, wine merchant by the Wine Growers of California in the 1890s.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 02-11-2007 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have noticed that the detailed engraved pictures in catalogs do not always match the finished product. It is surprising, since the drawings are often very detailed, as if the engraver were working from an actual example. Maybe the illustrator worked from a prototype. Or, under the pressure of time, fudged some of the details.

I first noticed this phenomenon in an auction catalog for the famous Tiffany Conglomerate Vase. The listing showed an engraving of the vase that appeared in the original Fair exhibition catalog. Clearly it is the same item, but if you look closely at the details there are numerous differences between the very detailed engraving and the actual piece. I have always wondered exactly why.

Brent

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argentum1

Posts: 602
Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 02-11-2007 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just finished reading an article. This has almost nothing to do with silver coins but thought it interesting. In 1891 the Central Glass Company of West Virginia decided to introduce a new line. They made dies of existing US coins to make a mould. The line of glassware has become know as Coin Dot. Five months after starting production the US Treasury closed it down. The dies were considered counterfeiting. One would think they knew better. At least no one went to prison.

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-09-2007 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a description of the presentation bowl and spoon we have, by George Shreve & Co., dated 1893. I'm afraid I don't have pictures at this point. A. bowl of hemispherical form with six semicircular incurved panels around perimeter into which are set six silver coins showing sovereign rulers. Coins have been struck to make them concave to fit on the bowl. Seventh coin set in bottom of bowl. "M" and date April 16, 1893 engraved on left exterior face of bowl. Coins are: (center) Ludwig II of Hesse, 1841; Louis Phillippe I of France, 1834; Maxmillian of Mexico, 1866; Napoleon III of France, 1867; Kalakaua I of Hawaii, 1883; Republic of Argentina, "Liberty," 1882; and Wilhelm III of the Netherlands, 1872. B. Souvenir nut spoon ensuite with A: flat round bowl with scalloped edge, gilt, engraved with scene of "Seal Rocks," elaborately cast shaft with legend "San Francisco" below cluster of grapes and "Eureka," surmounded by Roman armed goddess with bear presiding over miners and fields, all in cartouche topped with a bear (grizzly). The bowl was a gift of the daughter of the original recipient, Philip Mueller of Newark, a wine importer.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1768
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 05-26-2007 10:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was on my way to the post office in SoHo this morning when I walked by a guy securing a chair into his pick-up truck outside of a furniture store. The form of the chair was essentially the same as the Eames chair I picture below. But the one I saw wasn't plastic, it was made entirely of silver dollars! Unfortunately I forgot my cell phone at home and wasn't able to snap a picture at the time, and by the time I walked home and back to the store, the guy was gone. I shudder to think of the labor involved in collecting hundreds of silver dollars and then soldering them into a chair form! Although a silver dollar chair isn't something I would want to own personally, it was very impressive to see. I would assume that the maker soldered all of the silver dollars together in a flat shape, and then formed the chair after.

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Richard Kurtzman
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Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 11-12-2007 05:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Paul, I was wrong about your matchsafe. Here is a Gorham one from 1887 and it is different than yours.


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mdhavey

Posts: 164
Registered: Dec 2003

iconnumber posted 11-15-2007 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdhavey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a coin in a dish that I found at a tag sale years back. There's no maker's mark (other than the coin). I've always wondered what this coin was - does anyone know?

The year on the coin appears to be 1780.

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swarter
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Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 11-15-2007 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mdhavey:
Here's a coin in a dish that I found at a tag sale years back. There's no maker's mark (other than the coin). I've always wondered what this coin was - does anyone know?

It is a "Maria Theresa Dollar", an Austrian coin that was legal tender throughout Europe and elsewhere (including the American Colonies) for many years. The date may not be indicative of the year of issue.

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mdhavey

Posts: 164
Registered: Dec 2003

iconnumber posted 11-16-2007 12:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdhavey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"The favorite coin in use in this part orf Arabia is the Maria Theresa dollar (riyal), the value of which is affected by the local demand. For the remoter parts of the interior little information is available; but it appears that the there Maria Theresa dollar is current almost everywhere."

"British Admiralty's Handbook of Arabia 1", 1920 (Aden and Vicinty)

"On Tuesday November 5, 2002, the operator of the lever press at the Austrian Mint in Vienna struck the final coin of a two-day minting. The almost 2000 proof coins, their cameo portraits frosted in relief against a mirror-bright background, were packed individually in glassine wrappers. Most of the remaining 12,974 coins, of normal "bright un-circulated" quality, were packed 500 to a burlap bag and prepared for dispatch to banks in Austria and Germany. The date on the newly struck coins was the same date that had appeared on these coins for 222 years: 1780." --Aramco World, Jan/Feb 2003.

Quite funny, really. --MDh

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 11-16-2007 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maria Theresa was Empress of Austria- Hungary. One of her daughters was Marie Antoinette.

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Richard Kurtzman
Moderator

Posts: 759
Registered: Aug 2000

iconnumber posted 07-24-2010 09:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Kurtzman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In response to Paul's original post, his match safe is most likely unmarked Tiffany.
Below is photo of an identified Tiffany match safe which is the same form, the only difference being the selection of applied coins.

Here's a link to an article from the International Match Safe Association on "Identifying Unmarked Tiffany Match Safes" to further support this attribution.

IDENTIFYING UNMARKED TIFFANY MATCH SAFES

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Ulysses Dietz
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Posts: 1265
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 07-27-2010 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still haven't images of the Shreve bowl set with coins in the 1890s--but here is a large 17th-century tankard by Gerrit Onckelbag, set with a 1691 coin of Leopold I, who I think was the Holy Roman Emperor. Odd coin for a Dutchman to put in a tankard...Descended in a Newark family, and the only piece of 17th-century silver with a NJ provenance back to its origins. It's been in Newark for over 300 years!

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