100886 | UNCERTAIN. Religious/Anchor/F–M–W silver Love Token.

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    100886 | UNCERTAIN. Religious/Anchor/F–M–W silver Love Token. Engraved mid-late 19th century possibly on a Seated Liberty or Barber Dime (18mm, 1.80 g, 12h).

     

    Highly ornate F–M–W monogram / Anchor above "Heb. VI. 19."–a Biblical reference to Hebrews 6:19 [We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure]. Edge: Reeded.

     

    Engraving & host coin: Choice Extremely Fine. Lightly toned and lustrous; holed at the top.

     

    Being borrowed from the early 18th century practice in Great Britain, and being related to even earlier forms of engraving on European coinage, "love tokens" were an extremely popular form of sentimental art that saw their high point in the United States in the mid-to-late-19th century, whereby coinage was smoothed down on one or both sides, and some form of initials, a message, and/or imagery was engraved so that it may be presented to a loved one. The most commonly encountered 'canvas' in the United States was the dime, and usually one from the Seated Liberty series. At their height, the U.S. Mint blamed an alleged shortage of dimes—a staple of most late-19th century transactions—on this craze. Rising again in the early-mid 20th century during the depths of despair that were the world wars, this form of coin art, usually referred to in this context as "trench art," would see another revival, offering soldiers a brief chance at escapism through sentimental creativity.

     

    This example, owing to being a two-sided engraving, leaves a more certain attribution rather difficult, though it would likely be an American or Canadian 10 cent piece. The pictorial side serves great religious significance with its reference to Hebrews 6:19, the anchor in the passage being used metaphorically for that which supports or keeps one steadfast in a time of trial or doubt. Essentially, "if you fear, put all your trust in God: that anchor holds."

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