100941 | GERMANY. Nürnberg. Copper Jeton or Rechenpfennig.
100941 | GERMANY. Nürnberg. Copper Jeton or Rechenpfennig. Issued 1611. Mythology series: Lucretia (28mm, 6.24 g, 6h). By H. Lauffer.
LVCRETIA LVX ROMANA, Lucretia standing facing, committing suicide with a dagger / GALLIA FORTIT, two soldiers standing facing, heads right, holding between them a branch topped with three lis; hound and rooster between.
Groenendijk & Levinson 63; de la Tour 409. Choice About Uncirculated. Charming red-brown surfaces, with some underlying luster remaining. Very rare type.
Rechenpfennigen, German for "accounting pennies," are similar to other tokens or jetons that could serve reckoning, gaming, or even semi-numismatic functions. In particular, the rechenpfennigen were made famous by their various manufacturers in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) from the mid-late 16th century to the early 18th century, with a host of themes used as subject matter. These topics included history, mythology, contemporary political affairs, and even satire. Though many were intended as aids in accounting and bookkeeping (with an accounting board and these tokens taking the place of an abacus or sliderule), they were also useful in other functions, such as in the world of gaming—as poker chips—or in commerce and monetary transactions—as a substitute for harder currency.
The theme of this piece recounts the historical legend of Lucretia, a noblewoman of ancient Rome who, after being seized and raped by Sextus Tarquinius, committed suicide with a dagger. As Tarquinius was the son of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the king of Rome, his vile act was believed to be a leading cause in the overthrow of the kingdom and the subsequent establishment of the Roman Republic.
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