PEARS' SOAP and other counterstamps of the era

Started by JBK, July 09, 2019, 08:06:47 PM

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JBK

Quote from: brandm24
I'd like to see the one you have with the broken S. That's a new one on me.

Bruce

/quote]

Actually, I think the partial strike above also has the broken S. (Thw lower left part of the S in "Soap".).

I'll try to post another example when I come across one but I think this is one.

brandm24

Quote from: JBK on June 06, 2022, 08:25:35 PMI'd have to agree - a likely sneeze.  :-\

The placements I've seen are fairly consistent but I do see ones where the counterstamp favors one direction on the coin, and I've also seen a few where one word or the other is stronger/deeper. 

Though, I strongly suspect that they used some sort of jig or holder to keep the punch in place.
You think the coins were hammer-struck then and not on a press?

Bruce
Always Faithful

Figleaf

I have hammer-struck coins. It's very tiring. It's not even the strength necessary, but the concentration to do a very dull job. At the time, all kinds of clever contraptions became available. I can't imagine Pears producing large quantities of counterstamped coins with what basically amounts to ancient Greek technology. You'd have to do a lot of measuring on a lot of c/s, but you can arrive at divining what aids they used.

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

brandm24

Agreed. Far too many struck to have been done by hand. JBK is the expert on these pieces and would know more about them than I.

Bruce
Always Faithful

JBK

I'm thinking a set-up similar to what our friend in the Pacific Northwest uses on quarters.

A sort of contraption that holds the punch in place, the coin is positioned under it, and then the punch is struck with a hammer.

I agree with the above statements that entirely free-form is highly unlikely, but the variations encountered suggest a process that had lots of room for occassional inconsistencies (uneven strikes, etc.).

There is also another anomaly that I have seen and I own a couple examples - apparent evidence of the base surface having been struck one or more times with no coin under the punch.  The result is that the anvil surface acts as a die and the incused (on the anvil surface) letters are struck up on the reverse of the coin when the counterstamp is applied.

I have not gotten good pictures of this effect but I'll keep trying.

I'm on the lookout (at reasonable prices) for some more of the less-than-perfect strikes.  I think they help tell the story of how these were done.

brandm24

You know a lot more about these pieces than I do so thanks for your observations. I'm especially interested in the error coins that you talk about. If you ever get any good pictures I'd like to see them.

Bruce
Always Faithful

JBK

Here is the seller's photo of a broken S coin I just won on ebay.

s-l400 (5).jpg

Figleaf

Good fun piece, JBK! It confirms that the counterstamps were made with one single punch. In this case, a corner broke of and nobody noticed or cared.

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

brandm24

Thanks for the pic, JBK. An interesting variety that I haven't seen before.

Just a thought. There must have been a goodly number of dies used to strike these coins since there are so many...that goes for the Devins & Bolton, Lloyd's Weekly, G G Wilkins issues and others. Strangely, I've never seen any show up on auction sites or in museum collections like the Vote The Land Free punch did. Have you seen any?

Bruce
Always Faithful

JBK

Good question.

I've never seen any of the punches (except the VTLF) appear.  Then again, even that one sat in an historical society collection, unknown to the numismatic world for over a hundred years.

I've bought a few vintage punches and if not properly stored they can deteriorate (rust) pretty quickly. I have a couple that probably would just be a ball of rust by now had they not made to ebay, based on the damage they had already suffered.


brandm24

True, all of theses punches would be well over a hundred years ago if any survived at all.

Bruce
Always Faithful