100740 | GERMANY. Set of 4 silver Jetons or Gaming Counters for Boston Whist.
100740 | GERMANY. Set of four silver Jetons or Gaming Counters for Boston Whist. Issued circa 1840. By Loos in Berlin.
1). (26mm, 5.57 g, 12h). ICH FORDERE (I bid [the trick]), gentleman seated left at table, with grip of cards and playing an A♤ / SIMPLE; 5•6•7/8•9 above, alternating groups of three and four pellets below. Edge: Plain. Hasselmann 0393 var. (brass).
2). (26mm, 5.53 g, 12h). SIE MACHEN FARBE (you reveal the trump), gentleman seated right at table, laying down his grip of cards / DOUBLE; 3•4• above, group of three and four pellets below. Edge: Plain. Hasselmann 0392 var. (same).
3). (26mm, 5.51 g, 12h). ICH LACHIRE (I send a signal), gentleman seated left at table, revealing his grip of cards to us / TRIPLE; 1•2 above, one and two pellets below. Edge: Plain. Hasselmann 0391 var. (same).
4). (26mm, 5.51 g, 12h). ICH INVITIRE (I invite [you to follow suit]), gentleman seated right at table, with grip of cards and playing uncertain card, possibly a 3♧. Edge: Plain. Hasselmann 0394 var. (same).
All pieces: Mint State. Highly prooflike, with some scattered hairlines and a few spots. Includes metal case. Very rare and interesting piece of gaming history, especially so attractive and with original case. Compare to a similar set, though struck in tin-silver, with more contact marks and rub, and without the case, which realized just under $300 (after buyer's fee) in Höhn 77 (19 April 2013), lot 338.
Whist is a trick-taking game played in pairs and with a standard "French-style" 52 card deck, immensely popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. Countless varieties on the standard game exist, one of which is "Boston" whist, which was played in the west outside of Great Britain and involves an element of bidding to further augment skill in gameplay. Due to the nature of scoring, some form of notation was required, and tokens provided a popular means. The various reverses of the present pieces display the point scenarios, while depicting jovial aspects of the game on their obverses. Additionally, containers for the pieces were also produced, allowing the owner to conveniently bring their tokens to the table for use. These sets represent a 19th century analog to a contemporary chip set brought for a spirited night of gameplay.
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