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100943 | GERMANY. Nürnberg. Copper Jeton or Rechenpfennig.

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    100943 | GERMANY. Nürnberg. Copper Jeton or Rechenpfennig. Issued circa 1670 (27mm, 5.47 g, 12h). By W. Lauffer III.


    ICH HAB DIE ANGENEME KUNST DIE MACHT GERECHTIK V GVNST / WOLFF LAVFFER RECHPFENGMACHER, man standing slightly left in 17th century Spanish attire, with feet on a balance, and holding chalice, pocket watch, and money bag / GELT MACHT SCHELCK (money makes things bad), arm emerging left from the clouds, holding scales balancing pious figure of man with a crucifix against a skull and money bag; to left, craftsman standing right, holding compass, carpenter's square, and plumbline; to right, merchant standing left, holding book; between them, vomiting dog standing right.


    Cf. Mitchener 1747 note; cf. Neumann 32354. Choice Extremely Fine. Pleasing brown surfaces. Great allegorical 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.


    Rather ironically, this type points to the evils and complications that can come from wealth—an early modern attempt at the idea of "mo money, mo problems."


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