Author Topic: Thoughts on a Grecian urn  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Thoughts on a Grecian urn
« on: September 05, 2011, 04:44:37 PM »
A French generic token, around 1920, 20 mm. Both sides are the same. There are many of those. They are not bound to a specific location, hard to place.

Two things set this one apart. First, there is the urn. I suppose it was meant to be a Grecian urn, but it looks more like what a Frenchman thought a Grecian urn ought to look like. The times of neo-classicism were over. This is one engraver who liked things the way they were when he was young and his parents had neo-classical stuff all over the house. Our engraver thought that was classy. No impressionism, he thought, and spare me that abstract art. It's not art at al. A child could do better.

More subtle is that this brass token was once nickeled. It is hard to see on the scan, but the real thing has retained some of its original shine. The token was meant to look classy, remind people of the days when 20 centimes coins were silver. Before the great war. Our engraver's memory told him things used to be better.

An insignificant token, but a window into the mind of its creator.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.