Author Topic: Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?  (Read 347 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?
« on: April 20, 2019, 03:17:05 PM »
This odd counterstamp has always interested me. As a matter of fact I bought it at auction several years ago for that very reason. Since the substrate is an 1820's American Large Cent it's almost certainly a US issue. Foreign counterstamps rarely appear on US coins with the exception of the Canadian company issues of Devins & Bolton and a few others.

In searching the internet, I came across the Initials "J. Sch" stamped on a WW 2 German bayonet. The manufacturer was a company named Jetter & Scheerer of Baden-Wurttemberg. Although the style of the stamp on the bayonet didn't look anything like the style of my stamp, it seemed to be to an unlikely coincidence. As you can see by the attachments, the coin's counterstamp is gothic-like while the Bayonet markings have a modern, sterile appearance.

Tracing the company's history as best I could led me to the following information.In 1867 Gottfried Jetter founded a surgical instrument manufactory  with his brother in law William Scheerer. He was later joined by a second brother in law named Karl Christain Scheerer. I'ts unclear when the company sarted trading under the name Jetter & Scheerer, but likely it did on it's founding in 1867.

Though I was fairly confident at this point that I had a valid attribution there was one point that particularly bothered me.. the German company's stamp on a US coin...I'm aware of no others. That concern was removed when I came upon information pertaining to the company's expansion into the American market in 1893. Though not particularly successful, it would at  least make sense that their logo would appear on an American coin.

To a lesser degree, I was puzzled by the size and quality of the stamp. Surgical instrument makers (edge tool makers) generally have smaller, higher quality stamps as evidenced by the bayonet's markings. Since I wasn't able to discover the full line of items they manufactured over the years, this might account for the difference. Who knows what else they might have made. Larger, "rougher" tools might be marked with my "J.Sch" stamp.

In any case, your comments are welcomed. Thanks for looking.

Bruce

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Offline THCoins

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Re: Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 06:30:10 PM »
Interesting story, i can relate very much to the quest it led you to !
I can't give any hints for a probable solution. However, i do have a question on your starting point. For is this indeed a countermark ? Looking at the coin i would rather think this is a hand engraving, like was later done even more extensively on the "hobo-nickels". If it was a hand engraving, than this was more likely a private activity. That would make the object more unique, but also render finding the origin very difficult.

Anthony

Offline brandm24

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Re: Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2019, 08:18:08 PM »
That's a great question, Anthony.

 Though I don't collect engraved US coins, I do collect engraved Irish Troubles issues. The slogans, pictorials, and acronyms  still tell a story just as compelling as those on counterstamped pieces.

I've always had an easy time distinguishing engravings from counterstamps, but you had me thinking on this one.

 Many times a heavy strike on a coin will leave damage or flat spots on the other side. This one doesn't have any obvious damage, but I did notice some weakness through the the center in particular. I believe this is due to both natural wear and effects of the hammer blow. One thing I've found out about counterstamp damage is it often appears less distinct when the punch is a large prepared piece. They have a habit of flattening lager areas of the reverse rather than small pronounced areas like those damaged by heavy individual strikes. Of course the coin being struck has something "to say" about it. While the US Large Cent is a robust coin, it can't compare to an English cartwheel Penny. They almost never show reverse damage.

You may be right, but I just never thought of it as being engraved. If it were though I'd be looking for a different issuer. Thanks, Anthony.

Bruce

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Offline Manzikert

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Re: Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2019, 10:48:20 PM »
I am the librarian at a medical museum here in the UK and I am very familiar with the products of the Jetter and Scheerer company. It was founded in 1867 (as you said) by Gottfried Jetter and traded under his name until 1887, when he took two of his brothers in law, Wilhelm and Carl Christian Scheerer, into partnership to form Jetter & Scheerer. In 1895 it became 'Atiengesellschaft fur Feinmechanik vormals Jetter & Scheerer', and in 1899 it registered the trade name 'Aesculap', under which name it still trades. I have not seen an example, but I would assume that all items made 1867-1887 would have been marked G. Scheerer or just Scheerer. Oops, G. Jetter or just Jetter.

All their later medical products used a crowned J and S monogram, starting off in 1899 as a crowned J with a snake curled round it in the form of an S. That bayonet is the first thing made by them which I have ever seen marked 'J & Sch' (and if you don't mind I will be taking a copy of that picture for our database). I knew that Aesculap had been rather reluctantly forced to make military items (I believe including badges, etc.) during the Second World War, but otherwise the only other marks I knew of were cutlery items made from the late 1920's marked with JESCO and JS entwined with orb above.

To me your item seems to have been planed flat on the reverse and then engraved, and I believe it has nothing to do with the German firm. I think it is more likely to be a personal token of somebody with a surname beginning Sch... and the initial J.

Alan
« Last Edit: April 21, 2019, 09:46:51 AM by Manzikert »

Offline malj1

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Re: Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2019, 12:39:20 AM »
I agree that it is planed flat, on a very worn coin, and engraved rather than stamped. If you enlarge the picture the edges of the letters and the other details are very ragged.


I have moved the topic to advertising tokens which most of these counter-stamps are; ...although this one may be a little different!
Malcolm
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Jetter & Scheerer counterstamp?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 11:13:56 AM »
Your expertise on the history of Jetter & Scheerer is much appreciated, Alan. I could find very little about them in my original research, and nothing that might have led me in an different direction. The "J. Sch" logo was so unusual that I kept gravitating back to the company even though I had some reservations about them being the issuers.

It's been a number of years since I last looked for an attribution and the new information you've provided, plus the leaned comments of others has renewed my interest in this piece. Though engraved, it doesn't lessen my interest in it. It still tells a story that I'd like to know.

Thanks, everyone. Your comments are much appreciated.

Bruce
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