101805 | NETHERLANDS & SPAIN. Dutch Republic copper Rechenpfennig.
101805 | NETHERLANDS & SPAIN. Dutch Republic copper Rechenpfennig. Issued 1587. Contrasting the prosperity of the Dutch Republic with the poverty of the Spanish Netherlands (30mm, 5.88 g, 5h). Dordrecht mint.
MVLTA SVNT MALA IMPIORVM, Spaniard standing facing; to left, Famine seated right; to right, Death (as a skeleton) seated left among pile of shields / QVI DNO FIDIT BONITATE EIVS CIRCVM / DABITVR, cornucopia overflowing with fruits and grains.
Dugniolle 3143. Mint State. Dark brown surfaces, with excellent overall detail for the 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 slide rule), 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.