Author Topic: NY beer token  (Read 71 times)

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Offline gpimper

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NY beer token
« on: October 05, 2020, 03:43:54 PM »
This one I had to research but still didn't come up with much.  1870(?) New York Schmitt and Koehne token.  https://coinappraiser.com/coins/schmitt-koehne-new-york-post-war-tokens/   She's in remarkable condition all considered.
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline Figleaf

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 04:45:26 PM »
I am sure Bruce will have more detail in his vast documentation, but I wanted to see how far I would be able to go.

Schmitt & Köhne were New York brewers and traders in beer and lager around 1870-80. This token is assigned to 1870. In 1874, the firm applied for a water grant on East river, between 56th and 57th street, which locates the place of a brewery. While later hits mention only trading, this application shows they were also brewers as brewers need very large quantities of water. It demonstrates too, that at the time, the water of East river was considered to be drinkable. :P The denomination of 1 GLASS shows that the token was for retail use, but it is not clear to me whether it is a deposit for a glass or a credit for beer.

The cent imitated is the 1840 - 1850 type that should still have circulated around 1870. Note that as the US civil war raged 1861-1865, this is not a civil war token. Rulau NY NY 271. Very few specimen known.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 05, 2020, 05:31:27 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline gpimper

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2020, 05:11:21 PM »
Peter, could you shift that post for me?  I wasn't sure if it was in right place.  Thanks!
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline brandm24

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2020, 05:27:26 PM »
Schmitt (William R.) & Koehne (Christian) was actually organized in 1867 when Koehne joined an already establisher brewery partnership called Elias & Schmitt. Elias had retired from the business that year so Schmitt took on Koehne as his new partner. I found conflicting dates for this new partnership including 1867, 1870, and 1872 depending on the source. 1867 is probably correct but a check of New York directories would be helpful.

The business listed several addresses over the years. 161 E. 58th (1876), 164 E. 60th (1878), and 168 E. 50th (1881). The 1881 address is likely that of the Central Park Brewery incorrectly attributed to Schmitt & Koehne. By that time Christian Koehne had died and was replaced by a Mr. Schwanenfluegel in the partnership then called Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel. They were the actual operators of the Central Park Brewery according to the information I saw. I've attached an image of the brewery.

I noticed in your link, Greg, the value of your piece was estimated to be about $9. In reality it should be worth about $150 or so...just an estimate. Steve Hayden sold an example at auction in 2013 for $140. Its condition was very similar to yours. Another auction record I found was another Hayden austion, this one in 2015. While I don't know the eventual hammer price. he estimated its value at $150. He also estimates that no more than 5 examples survive, so you have a pretty rare token.

The denomination of 1 GLASS shows that the token was for retail use, but it is not clear to me whether it is a deposit for a glass or a credit for beer.



That would be a credit for a beer, Peter.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2020, 05:48:10 PM »
Great picture! There's a sign on the left that I tentatively read as "FELSENKELLER" (rock cellar), where KELLER in German can be used for watering hole. I think it was a stand-up beer joint. Neighbourhood workers would have gone there e.g. to celebrate the end of the week, taking their glasses out of sight of the bar staff. Unless you have a reliable source for saying it's a credit for beer, I maintain for the moment that it could have been a deposit for a glass. BTW, have you noticed that several street lights are a bit tipsy? :)

On glass deposits, there was a fee of ƒ2.50 for a broken glass in a student-driven bar in Amsterdam I frequented. One day, it was used by a student who was very popular, because he had way too much money and gave rounds of beer to his friends. He put a ƒ25 guilder note (good for about four days of food in the university mensa) on the bar and demanded 10 empty glasses. He smashed the glasses in the piano, because he didn't like the sound of it - he had a point, it was soaked in beer every night.

Students *sigh*

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 07:12:48 PM »
The street lights are probably bent over from drunks trying to climb them. :o

Bruce
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Offline gpimper

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 07:27:21 PM »
Bruce, that's nuts!  I don't think the wife payed $12 for that bag of tokens!  I'll post some more very interesting ones :-)  Might have to start a new thread on tax tokens, though... 
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline Figleaf

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 07:37:12 PM »
I think Bruce's estimate is conservative.

You are discovering US tokens at lightning speed, Greg. Contrary to US coins, they are under-researched, cheap and of an unimaginable variety. Transport tokens alone come in more types than coins. By coin standards, a very large majority of tokens are scarce to rare. Imagine what they'd ask for a coin type (not a date) with a population of five.

Please do post your tax tokens. They are my favourite US tokens. Hardship turned to opportunity. While you are at it, attend next Saturday's live event. We'll present some fine research, also on tokens. ;)

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

Offline brandm24

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2020, 08:09:34 PM »
Bruce, that's nuts!  I don't think the wife payed $12 for that bag of tokens!  I'll post some more very interesting ones :-)  Might have to start a new thread on tax tokens, though...
I forgot to mention, Greg, I had a Schmitt & Koehne token like your in my collection many years ago. Wouldn't it be cool if we actually had the same one?

Bruce
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Offline gpimper

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2020, 08:20:46 PM »
Bruce, that would be funny!
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline brandm24

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2020, 08:21:00 PM »
I think Bruce's estimate is conservative.


Back in 2004 Russ Rulau estimated a total population of only 3 Schmitt & Koehne tokens have survived. This he published in his extensive US token reference. Moving up to 2015, Hayden says perhaps only 5 are extant. While Rulau was a marvelous researcher ( I did some research for him years ago), Steve Hayden is the owner of a comprehensive database on the history of token auction sales and private treaty sales over many years. His numbers ar likely as good as you'll ever see. I would suspect that his estimate is as close as possible to the real number.

Bruce
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2020, 12:17:50 AM »
The phrase you quote referred to the price, not the population.

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

Offline gpimper

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2020, 12:33:17 AM »
Just spoke with Mr. Haden.  He verified it and said $250 to 300.  Interesting...the wife will be thrilled!
The Chief...aka Greg

Offline brandm24

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Re: NY beer token
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2020, 10:12:16 AM »
Even better at  $250 / 300. What other goodies did you get in that bag of tokens?

Bruce
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