World of Coins

Other tokens and medals => Advertising, propaganda and numismatic artefacts => Private countermarks => Topic started by: brandm24 on September 14, 2020, 04:41:09 PM

Title: An interesting Danish token
Post by: brandm24 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)
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: Figleaf on September 14, 2020, 08:51:28 PM
Though capitalised, corset (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corset) is not necessarily a family name.

Peter
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: brandm24 on September 14, 2020, 09:36:11 PM
I think you may have found the business they were in, Peter. :)

Bruce
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay 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 (https://www.samlerforum.no/viewtopic.php?t=1189) 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.
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay 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.
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay 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.
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: eurocoin 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. (http://web.archive.org/web/20070806092907/http://www.numis.dk/artikler/Danske_reklame_kontramarkeringer.asp)
Link in the third post:Små håndgribelige minder fra Korups have. (https://www.danskmoent.dk/soemod/korup.htm)
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay 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.
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: brandm24 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
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: brandm24 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
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay 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
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: brandm24 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
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay 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...
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: brandm24 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

Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: Globetrotter 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.
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: brandm24 on September 16, 2020, 04:57:05 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.
In reply #1 Peter had hinted at that also, but I think the correct determination was reached by FosseWay and eurocoin. Though an odd thing to counterstamp on a coin, I've seen stranger. Perhaps both will weigh in on your comments.

Many thanks for your input, Globetrotter.

Bruce
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay on September 16, 2020, 06:21:08 PM
It rather depends what the Corsethuset mentioned in the source used by Brunk and others - the one at Østergade 29 - actually was.

Another possibility links both the Østergade 29 and the toilet door hypotheses. There was evidently a business of some description called Corsethuset at that address. At the same time, Sømod mentions that the word "closet" as applied to toilets was seen as too vulgar for refined people and was replaced by a minced variant. Could it be that "closethuset" became "corsethuset" precisely because there was a known business by that name? A sort of in-joke for residents of Copenhagen?
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: Globetrotter on September 16, 2020, 07:07:05 PM
http://web.archive.org/web/20070806092907/http://www.numis.dk/artikler/Danske_reklame_kontramarkeringer.asp (link 1)

gives this name: Corset Huset.

Svensk 5 öre: 1875, 76, 78, 82, 84, 86, 87, 88, 91, 93,

95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 1900.

Norsk 5 øre: 1875, 76.

Indehaveren af dette firma, der havde 50 filialer i hele Norden, var Duzaine Hansen, Østergade 29, København. English: The owner of this firm, which had 50 outlets in Scandinavia, was Duzaine Hansen, Oestergade 29 in Copenhagen.

From this I came to this via Yahoo search:

www.coneliand.dk/Danmarks aeldste forretninger/DAEF100...

Duzaine-Hansen A/S, specialforretning i kor­setter en gros og en detail. Grundl. d. 16. jan. 1883 af P. Duzaine Hansen (f. 16. juni 1857 i Løgstør, d. 1924). Forretningen startede under meget beskedne former på Østergade nr. 45, med stifterens hu­stru som eneste ekspeditrice. I 1897 flyttede den til større lokaler på Østergade nr. 29 ...

English: Duzaine-Hansen (joint stock company), special store in corsets en gros and detail. Founded on 16th of January, 1883, by P. Duzaine-Hansen (born 16th June in the town Loegstoer, died in 1924). The shop started small i Oestergade 45, with the owner's wife as only employee. In 1897 the store move to a bigger place in Oestergade 29....


When searching for the owner's name and jeton, I don't get any hits.



Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: Figleaf on September 16, 2020, 09:39:41 PM
So know we have two conflicting stories. For background, both Jørgen Sømod (https://www.danskmoent.dk/soemod.htm) and Peter Flensborg (https://www.danskmoent.dk/flensbrg.htm) were well-known and respected Danish numismatists with a long list of publications to their name.

Flensborg's story has some advantages. Corset Huset actually existed and was successful in the timeframe of the host coins. An advertising campaign à la Pears' soap is credible. It also leaves a major question. Why only 5 øre coins? Unlike in France and Italy, where 1 and 2 centesimi/centimes coins were hard to find and 10 and 5 centimes was the rough equivalent of a penny and a halfpenny but 1 and 2 centimes/centesimi didn't fit in, 1 and 2 øre coins were in full use during my first visit to Denmark in 1956. An advertising campaign could have been much cheaper by also using the lower values.

The Sømod story needs an awkward deus-ex-machina to turn Closet Huset into Corset Huset, but it has non-numismatic witness support and it explains neatly why only 5 øre coins were used.

So for the moment, the question boils down to: was 5 øre a reasonable price for a visit to a toilet around 1900? Here is a hint. The equivalent of 5 øre in 1900 today is 3.57 kroner (https://www.oldmoney.dk/?val=0%2C05&fra=1900&til=2020) or about € 0.48, or USD 0.57. That's credible to me.

Peter
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: Globetrotter on September 16, 2020, 09:51:00 PM
We have THREE, I think,

one from Soemod (RIP), one from Flensburg and one about a crafty business man with 50 filials of shops all over Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and he might have used counterstamped 5 oere coins for his at least 50 toilets in Scandinavia. The only thinge is that he never used a Danish 5 oere coin for the toilets outside Denmark? Where is the logic to that.

A part from that, I'll let you think about that, but the price for a toilet visit in those days I simply don't believe were that high, but maybe the customers came for a clean toilet and not a corset :P
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: FosseWay on September 16, 2020, 10:03:24 PM
I read somewhere very recently in another context that the exchange rate between the Scandinavian Monetary Union and the Latin ditto was about 0.72 : 1. In other words, in round figures, 5 öre was the equivalent of 7 French etc. centimes. Alongside that, we know that LMU 5c and 10c coins circulated for a while in the UK as halfpennies and pennies, implying that 5c was roughly equivalent to a halfpenny.

As anyone with any knowledge of English idiom from my grandparents' generation will instantly recognise, to "spend a penny" you had to, er, spend a penny, which if the exchange rates were fixed three ways (I know they weren't, but as a first order approximation it'll do) would have been the equivalent of more than 5 öre but less than 10.

The size of the coins gives it away as well - the 5 öre, 10 centimes and 1 penny coins all must have played a similar financial, social and cultural role in their respective societies.

So 5 öre for a toilet visit seems reasonable compared to the going rate in London at the same time. (BTW Peter, the going rate for public loos here now is 10 kronor, or 1 euro give or take!)
Title: Re: 29 Ostegade, Copenhagen
Post by: Figleaf on September 16, 2020, 11:07:50 PM
Yes, comparing prices in time and place is tricky, as price inflation may be quite different from wage inflation and I suspect that was the case both in the UK and in Denmark in the period 1900-2020. That's why I called it a hint.

In view of the drinking habits in Scandinavian countries, I am not surprised that peeing is more expensive there. :)

Peter
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: brandm24 on September 17, 2020, 07:36:11 PM
This really turned into an interesting discussion and I thank you all for your input.

I decided to re-check the Brunk reference to see if I'd missed anything. I did.

Prior to the two entries for Corset-Huset (C-944 / C-945) there is another for 2 Norwegian 5 Ore and 2 Swedish 5 Ore coins counterstamped "CLOSET-HUSET" (C-610) The four coins are dated 1876, 1896 (2) qnd 1901. BTW, the two entries for Corset-Huset include one with a hyphen and the other without. A minor variety maybe but still an indication that a fair number of coins must have been stamped to require at least a minumun of two dies.

Maybe the prescence of a known Closet-Huset issue is of no significance, but I can't help but wonder. Brunk doesn't include an image as he's probably never seen an example. I'm going to look for one myself as a comparrison to the style of the other might be interesting.

Bruce
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: Figleaf on September 17, 2020, 09:58:30 PM
That's a link between Closet-huset and Corset-huset, making the Sømod story more credible. How reliable is Brunk, in particular for stuff he hasn't seen?

Peter
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: Globetrotter on September 17, 2020, 10:01:22 PM
Peter,

Why do you insist? It was a lingerie shop spread all over Scandinavia.....

Ole
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: Figleaf on September 18, 2020, 12:32:23 AM
I am insisting only on finding out which of the stories is correct. I don't care which one it is. See my post of 16th September above, where in my eyes the problem with the Sømod story is the Closet - Corset connection, while the problem with the Flensborg story is the use of one denomination only. Now, brandm24 comes up with new information that looks like it removes the Sømod problem, while it maintains the Flensborg problem, making the Sømod story more credible.

I don't doubt the chain existed, but that's not evidence but a sine qua non. I once had a token with initials CM. I took that to be "Cercle Militaire". They existed. Nevertheless, it turned out that CM stood for "Casino Municipal". Too bad. I would have liked "Casino de Monaco" better. ;)

Peter
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: FosseWay on September 18, 2020, 08:33:43 AM
As I said above, it could be both.
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: brandm24 on September 18, 2020, 10:37:32 AM
That's a link between Closet-huset and Corset-huset, making the Sømod story more credible. How reliable is Brunk, in particular for stuff he hasn't seen?

Peter
Greg Brunk is thorough and will dismiss anything that he thinks may be incorrect or will at least add a disclaimer. He can be careful to a fault as I found out more than once. A good trait for a numismatic author but frustrating to the extreme at times. He sometimes doesn't see things the way that you do. But his name's on the cover of the book so he wins ;D

In short he's highly intelligent, thorough, and dedicated to finding the truth.

Bruce

Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: Figleaf on September 18, 2020, 11:51:57 AM
Thank you Bruce. Gregs are good. ;)

@Fosseway, yes, it could be a pun. It might have been a pun before the punching, even. Sømod has a witness for his story, though and the witness implies the punches were not made by Corsethuset (which doesn't mean that the joke was not on them) and he states they were used in many places (which doesn't exclude Corsethuset), so it wasn't "their" token in any sense.

I am intrigued by you writing Closethuset as one word and Brunk stating that on at least one token it was hyphened CLOSET-HUSET while the word was broken off on Corset huset (note capitalisation) punches. Is that meaningful in any way?

Peter
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: Globetrotter on September 18, 2020, 12:13:34 PM
Danish is like German, we accumulate nouns without end......
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: brandm24 on September 18, 2020, 02:57:01 PM
I was searching for an image of a "Closet-Huset" counterstamp. I didn't find one but did stumble across this discussion on Samlerforum in 2009 that included input from Jorgen Somod concerning the "Corset-Huset" issue. Unfortunately, there was no translation available to me so I'm not sure if this material has already been covered in the thread. Anyway there might be something of interest in it, so thought I'd post a link.
                                                     https://www.samlerforum.no/viewtopic.php?t=1189

Bruce
Title: Re: An interesting Danish token
Post by: Globetrotter on September 18, 2020, 03:22:17 PM
I'm not going to translate all that, but it goes mainly that it was a common jeton for lokummer (Danish for the private place) also then being being called a closet hus (corset). Soemod.