Author Topic: Post exchange?  (Read 130 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Post exchange?
« on: October 08, 2020, 11:06:11 AM »
If someone could help me identify this token I'd appreciate it. It was suggested by the seller that PE stood for Post Exchange which would make it a military piece. That's possible I suppose, but the token just doesn't look like any other exchange tokens I've seen.

There may be a clue in the manufacturer. L.H. Moise was a token maker in San Francisco in the later parts of the 19th century. While he worked for another manufacturer C. A. Klinkner from 1880 until 1893, he didn't organize his own company, L. H. Moise, until 1893 when he left Klinkner. The company under the Moise name only lasted until 1897 at which time he bought out the assets of his former employer at his death. From 1897 on the company was known as Moise-Klinkner. The signature "Moise" then would only apply to tokens manufactured during those four years.

It would seem that I'm looking for an issuer from the 1893-1897 time frame. A little help but not much.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Post exchange?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2020, 11:08:06 AM »
A good thing you deciphered the signature, or I would have argued that it looks too modern for a pre-1900 token. Both the design and the colour of the metal put it at a later date. Also, if Moïse bought the equipment of Klinkner in 1897, why did he need it if he could strike high-quality pieces like this one already?

I can perhaps add a clue. The design shows an Asian device, yin and yang. IF the client knew his Chinese symbols (there's no lack of Asians in SF) , the P and E would be complementary opposites (e.g. Peters & Edwards), rather than parts of a whole (e.g. Potty Engineering or Peter Edwards). NB: if the piece were British, I would have thought of Phonographic Equipment immediately, in spite of the Yin-Yang.

Probably not a clue, but there you go. Moïse is French for Moses. As a family name, it is mostly in use by black people in former French colonies, including e.g. Haïti. Adding the German-sounding name Klinkner would have given Moïse some racial cover, but I don't think that by itself, that adds up to a reason to take over the Klinkner inheritance.

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: Post exchange?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2020, 02:41:34 PM »
A good thing you deciphered the signature, or I would have argued that it looks too modern for a pre-1900 token. Both the design and the colour of the metal put it at a later date. Also, if Moïse bought the equipment of Klinkner in 1897, why did he need it if he could strike high-quality pieces like this one already?

I can perhaps add a clue. The design shows an Asian device, yin and yang. IF the client knew his Chinese symbols (there's no lack of Asians in SF) , the P and E would be complementary opposites (e.g. Peters & Edwards), rather than parts of a whole (e.g. Potty Engineering or Peter Edwards). NB: if the piece were British, I would have thought of Phonographic Equipment immediately, in spite of the Yin-Yang.

Probably not a clue, but there you go. Moïse is French for Moses. As a family name, it is mostly in use by black people in former French colonies, including e.g. Haïti. Adding the German-sounding name Klinkner would have given Moïse some racial cover, but I don't think that by itself, that adds up to a reason to take over the Klinkner inheritance.

Peter

Moise bought Klinkner's business from his heirs so it probably included equipment, customer lists and everything including the kitchen sink. I don't know if he "needed" Klinkner equipment but it would certainly allow him to expand his business.

The date range is correct as far as I can tell. After 1897 when the company became Moise-Klinkner tokens were signed "Moise K", at least ones I saw. The ying / yang is interesting. Chinese businesses in San Francisco used tokens extensively so it wouldn't be a stretch to assume Moise made his share of them. I'll have to look into that angle a bit more.

Thanks for your interesting reply, Peter.

Bruce
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Post exchange?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2020, 05:42:30 PM »
I didn't find any Chinese / American tokens manufactured by Moise specifically, but came across an interesting bit of information. Apparently, Moise continued using Klinkner signatures along with his own up until 1904 so the PE token may have been made c1893 / 1904 instead of what I'd first thought.

I've attached two images of Moise signatures...Moise S.F. and Moise K. BTW, the LAH token was used at the Leatherman Army Hospital in the Presidio.

Bruce
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