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102484 | UNITED STATES. Chicago, Illinois. C. D. Peacock silver Token.

  • Details

    102484  |  UNITED STATES. Chicago, Illinois. C. D. Peacock silver "Hard Times Token." Dated 1837, though issued ca. 1900-1906 for the jewelry firm founded in 1837 (31mm, 23.30 g, 12h). By Gorham Mfg. Co.


    C. D. PEACOCK. / JEWELER 1837 CHICAGO, peacock standing facing, head left, with tailfeathers fully spread // TIME / IS / MONEY in three lines within center of clock, with time reading 9:11. Edge: Sterling.


    Rulau HT-M24 (R9). PCGS MS-62. Light gray surfaces, with some enchanting pastel toning on the obverse and great brilliance throughout. Incredibly rare, and likely one of just three known. A similar type in silver, the slightly less rare right-facing peacock (Rulau HT-M20 [R7] in PCGS MS-65), recently realized a total of $5,000 in Steve Hayden Auction 50 (3 December 2023, lot 422). No sales records are known for this type in silver, with this example tied with just one other in the PCGS census as the only representatives of the type there, and a third example listed in the NGC census, being imaged only with no grade listed. A tremendous opportunity for the aficionado of the Peacock series, and the one that is undoubtedly the linchpin of completing the series in all formats.


    Drawing inspiration from the reverse of an 1837 Hard Times token, that of Smith's Clock Establishment in New York's Bowery neighborhood, Chicago-based jeweler Charles Daniel (C. D.) Peacock commissioned a series of tokens to commemorate the firm's 50th anniversary in 1897. Issued a few years later between 1900 and 1906, these tokens feature a very similar clock-style reverse as Smith's token, along with the iconic phrase "time is money," but with an obverse that served as a pun upon the jeweller's name. While the date of "1837" was retained for these tokens, it served as a commemoration for the year when Peacock's father Elijah opened the company upon immigrating to the United States.


    Rulau M19 and M20 display a right-facing peacock with the date within the inner circle, while M21 and M22 feature the same peacock, but with the date below the inner circle, and M23 and M24 display a slightly different peacock that is instead facing left. While Rulau lists mintages for the copper types (M19, M21, and M23) as 10,000, 7,500, and 10,000, respectively, he mentions scant mintages of the silver specimens (M20, M22, and M24) as 4, 4, and 1, respectively. The silver types are indeed excessively rare, though this example–barring a duplication or mistake in classification in the PCGS census–is listed as one of two (each MS-62), while NGC merely lists an image for M24 in their census (no mention of grade). It is clear from the NGC image that this specimen and the one in the NGC image are different examples. Nevertheless, the silver strikings clearly indicate exalted status as examples that were produced for the senior members of the Peacock family then in charge of the firm, or others of similar importance, and are the ultimate limiting factor in any Peacock set.


    Upload: 2 January 2024.


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