Author Topic: An interesting Danish token  (Read 396 times)

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Offline brandm24

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An interesting Danish token
« on: September 14, 2020, 04:41:09 PM »
According to Greg Brunk in his world cointerstamp reference, there was a "business " named Corset-Huset at this address in the late 19th century. He doesn't say what the business was, but Huset translates to House if Mr. Google is correct, so I would guess that it was a hotel. I couldn't find any additional information here about the company so am asking for your help.

Althoygh Danish merchants weren't known for using counterstamping as an advertising method, they're are a surprising number known from Copenhagen, including quite a few from Hotels and restaurants. It seems to have been a local phenomonem as very few are known from other Danish cities. A handful have been noted from Odense, Esbjerg, Kjoge, and Assen, but not from many others.

It may have been illegal to deface coins in the day and one of the reasons for the scarcity of Danish issues. That contention is at least partially supported by the fact that many examples were struck om Norwegian and Swedish coins. Apparently they circulated in Denmark alongside official currency. This was the case with French and English counterstampers as well. Many French merchants stamped British coins and vice versa.

Bruce

(Images courtesy JLH Coins)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2020, 07:17:09 PM by brandm24 »
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 08:51:28 PM »
Though capitalised, corset is not necessarily a family name.

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 09:36:11 PM »
I think you may have found the business they were in, Peter. :)

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 09:43:25 PM »
Bruce, you're quite right about it being illegal to deface Danish coins in Denmark, hence the use of Norwegian and Swedish ones.

As to this specific "advertising token", there may be more to it than meets the eye. There are various known Danish hotels and other businesses that used overstamped foreign coins for advertising, many of which can be traced through their owners' entries in directories to specific addresses. One prolific one is Allan Dahl.

Doing a bit of googling in Danish yielded this discussion on Samlerforum about just this token. (Be aware if you use Google Translate that posts 1 and 3 are in Norwegian and 2 and 4 are in Danish ;) ) Unfortunately neither of the links given by vestmar on that page are live any more.

The same is unfortunately true of the late Jørgen Sømod, who was *the* expert on Danish tokens. I therefore credit his opinions and findings considerably more highly than the average random comment on the internet. His theory is:

Quote from: Jørgen Sømod
Det er en dansk polet beregnet til at aktivere automatdøre til lokummer eller closetter, som detr rettelig hed. Ordet closet var dog i manges øjne for vulgært, hvorfor det blev omskrevet til corset.
Denne polet har i bogen Poletter & Pengetegn bind 2 nr. 4706, hvor jeg har registreret årstallene 1875, 1876, 1878, 1896, 1899.

This is a Danish token supposed to have been used to activate automatic doors to toilets or closets, as they were properly known. But the word closet was too vulgar in many people's eyes, and it was bowdlerized into corset. This token is no. 4706 in vol. 2 of Poletter og Pengetegn [Sømod's series of books on Danish tokens], where I have recorded the following dates: 1875, 1876, 1878, 1896, 1899.

Actually it's probably worth translating the rest of his information (post 4) properly as it is relevant and interesting:

Quote
De dukker op omkring 1901. Senere end 1899 og før 1902. Der kendes ingen overstemplinger i disse serier med årstal senere end 1905. I mange år troede man i samlerkredse, at det var reklamemønter i stil med visse udenlandske. Men, CORSETHUSET og CLOSETHUSET stod ikke i telefonbog eller vejviser. Andre var så små forretninger, at de ikke var kendt af alle og dertil, at adressen ikke var angivet på mønten. Jeg søgte da en fællesnævner for alle disse 5-ører og først da jeg blev klar over, at CLOSETHUSET ikke var et firma, men et lokum, gik det hele op for mig. Et af indslagene refererer til en cykelhandler her i nærheden af, hvor jeg bor og cykelhandleren eksisterede vist stadigvæk. Dagen efter, at jeg havde udtænkt brugen henvendte jeg mig til cykelhandleren, som på daværende tidspunkt havde haft forretningen i mere end 50 år og spurgte, om man i tidernes morgen havde beskæftiget sig med andet end cykler. Han fortalte nu, at dengang han overtog forretningen var der en dame, som fortalte ham, at hun havde samlet låse for hans forgænger. Det har selvfølgelig været sådanne automatlåse og cykelhandleren har reklameret for sig selv. Mønterne blev fortrinsvis brugt på trarverlige småhoteller og udskænkningssteder.

They turn up around 1901 - later than 1899 and before 1902. No overstamped dates later than 1905 are known. For many years it was believed among collectors that these were advertising jetons in the same style as certain foreign ones. But CORSETHUSET and CLOSETHUSET were not to be found in any telephone book or directory. Others were such small businesses that they were not generally known and moreover no address was given on the coins. I therefore looked for a common denominator for all of these 5 øre coins and only when I established that CLOSETHUSET was not a company but a toilet did the penny drop. One of the directory advertisements referred to a cycle dealer near where I live, which was probably still in existence. The day after I'd worked out the purpose of the token, I went to the dealer, who at that time had had the business for more than 50 years, and asked whether back in the day he had occupied himself with other things than cycles. He told me that when he took over the business, there was a lady who told him that she had put together locks for his predecessor. The locks were of course these automatic locks, and the cycle dealer had been advertising his business. The tokens were mainly used in small hotels and bars.

This doesn't quite hang together, as as far as I can see the cycle dealer has not put his business name on the tokens. But it might have been known in the area that he was also responsible for the toilet locks and that "Corsethuset" became associated with his business.

I'd be interested to know what if any reference or background Greg Brunk has for associating the business Corset-Huset with Østergade 29, as Sømod doesn't mention this.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 09:57:02 PM »
Here is the Allan Dahl piece I mentioned, overstruck on a Swedish 5 öre from 1875.

Allan Dahl ran an advertising bureau on Admiralgade, Copenhagen.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 10:01:10 PM »
And another that I'd forgotten I had - HOTEL MOLLBERG KØBHVN (i.e. Copenhagen) overstruck on a Swedish 5 öre.

I can't immediately find anything about this hotel - all internet searches lead to a current hotel of the same name in Helsingborg, which isn't even in the right country - but I haven't looked closely at city directories.

Offline eurocoin

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 11:48:42 PM »
I have found copies of the articles about the Corset Huset piece that vestmar referred to in the topic on Samlerforum. There may be some further details in them.

Link in the first post: Danske reklame kontramarkeringer på svenske og norske mønter.
Link in the third post:Små håndgribelige minder fra Korups have.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 08:07:49 PM by eurocoin »

Offline FosseWay

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2020, 07:29:32 AM »
Thanks for digging those up, eurocoin.

The second is by Sømod and he recounts the same story as I translated above, but in more detail and with fewer leaps of logic. His theory is that *all* or at least very many of these various countermarked 5 øre/öre coins were intended to be used in toilet door locks that took large copper coins, and that they fulfilled both this function and that of advertising. Of course, since the base coins were perfectly legal coin of the realm, they will have been used for ordinary transactions as well, which will have given the advertising purpose added significance. NB Sweden, Norway and Denmark were in a monetary union at this time and struck their coins to the same standard. However, prohibitions on defacing coins only applied to coins of the country issuing the prohibition, in that country. So Danes were free to use Swedish or Norwegian coins for this purpose, even though the non-Danish coins were just as legal tender as the Danish ones.

We still have the question raised by Bruce in his original post about the existence of a business called Corset-Huset on Østergade. This seems to be confirmed by the first of eurocoin's links, which presumably used the same source as Greg Brunk.

Offline brandm24

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 09:09:11 PM »
I thank you both very much for the information you've provided me on the Corset-Huset counterstamp. Although Brunk doesn't link the 29 Ostegade address to any source, he used the Carl-Erik Jensen reference for much of the information he provided on a whole host of Danish counterstamps. The only instance that I found of him refrencing Jorgen Somod was the counterstamp of "A. Dragsen." (a silversmith and coin collector who stamped many coins in his collection with a small "AD" hallmark-style stamp...possibly the stamp he used for his silverware). He also referenced Peter Flensborg on several occassions.

In any case, Brunk lists...in 2003...54 known examples of the Corset-Huset counterstamp. All are on 5 Ore coins...46 Swedish, 1 Danish, and 7 on Norwegian coins.

It seems then that Corset-Huset wasn't an actual company if I'm reading your information correctly. Nevertheless, an interesting issue. Again, many thanks for your hard work deciphering the stamp. It's much appreciated.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2020, 09:22:32 PM »
And another that I'd forgotten I had - HOTEL MOLLBERG KØBHVN (i.e. Copenhagen) overstruck on a Swedish 5 öre.

I can't immediately find anything about this hotel - all internet searches lead to a current hotel of the same name in Helsingborg, which isn't even in the right country - but I haven't looked closely at city directories.
Brunk lists the Hotel Mollberg at 9 St. Kongensgade (information found in Jensen). He has documented 31 examples, all on Norwegian or Swedish coins dating from 1874 to 1898.

Interestingly, he also lists an example on an 1875 Swedish 5 Ore that has a second stamp applied reading "Landhotellet / 30 Landmaerket". This issuer also stamped coins independently of the Mollberg, and was likely a rival. That would explain the one- upmanship game of placing both stamps on the same coin. That's not unknown on US issues either.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2020, 09:50:52 PM »
Brunk lists the Hotel Mollberg at 9 St. Kongensgade (information found in Jensen). He has documented 31 examples, all on Norwegian or Swedish coins dating from 1874 to 1898.

Interestingly, he also lists an example on an 1875 Swedish 5 Ore that has a second stamp applied reading "Landhotellet / 30 Landmaerket". This issuer also stamped coins independently of the Mollberg, and was likely a rival. That would explain the one- upmanship game of placing both stamps on the same coin. That's not unknown on US issues either.

Bruce

Thanks for this - that's another unknown struck off the list  ;D

Offline brandm24

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 10:10:02 AM »
I want to thank you for the picture of your coin. I've been aware of thse Danish counterstamps for sometime, but haven't seen images of many. This is one of them.

The only Danish counterstamp I have in my collection is an example of Allan Dahl...the most common issue by far. I rarely, if ever, see any others offered at auction.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 10:39:12 AM »
I want to thank you for the picture of your coin. I've been aware of thse Danish counterstamps for sometime, but haven't seen images of many. This is one of them.

The only Danish counterstamp I have in my collection is an example of Allan Dahl...the most common issue by far. I rarely, if ever, see any others offered at auction.

Bruce

I'll keep an eye out and let you know if I find any. Like many tokens and other paranumismatic items, worthwhile examples do turn up in junk trays from time to time because the seller doesn't know what they are. Unfortunately I haven't seen any junk trays all year because of the dreaded C-word...

Offline brandm24

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 12:14:00 PM »
I'm in the same situation as you on the coin shows. I always attended three large national shows in Baltimore each year, but not recently. The next is scheduled for November, but I'm not sure that will happen. It's still scheduled but with some disclaimers like it might not be held at it's normal venue (Baltimore Convention Center). Even if it goes according to schedule, I'm not sure I'll go.

There are some smaller local shows that seem to be "waking up" so I may attend one or two of those. One in Pennsylvania seems to have a good plan in place to protect dealers and collectors. A possibility at least.

I appreciate your keeping an eye out for any Danishn stamps you see.

Bruce

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Offline Globetrotter

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Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2020, 01:40:40 PM »
This is a corset:
https://www.amazon.com/Charmian-Womens-Cotton-Hourglass-XXXX-Large/dp/B00NMNBPV0/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=corsets+for+women&qid=1600256213&sr=8-2

I cannot think it means anything else, in Danish you would normall spell it with a K, but C is also allowed, so it was a lingerie (undertoej) shop for Ladies.
Ole

If you're interested in coin variants please find some English documentation here:
https://sites.google.com/site/coinvarietiescollection/home
and in French on Michel's site (the presentations are not the same):
http://monnaiesetvarietes.esy.es/