Thursday, February 21, 2008
Well, this isn't directly related to Port Tobacco, but a friend directed a question from New York to me, and what we all learned was, I think, interesting. It is also the sort of thing we are likely to run into time and again at Port Tobacco.
This woman from New York had acquired the piece that you see above while living in Maryland...one of several things that someone had collected but left no detailed record of. She thought that it was a medallion and, based on our telephone conversation, that sounded correct. By no means an authority on religious medals (or anything else if you ask the other folks on the team), I said I would post it and let colleagues from around the world know that it could be viewed on this blog. When I received the images of the front and back, I was certain that it was a coin from one of the German states (long before a unified Germany emerged in the late 19th century) and that had been modified to be worn as a charm or medallion.
Not being an authority on coins either, I passed the images onto Will Mumford, a numismatist and avocational archaeologist in Annapolis. Not being able to improve on his findings, and somewhat in awe at his meteoric response, I quote Will:
"This is a coin from the German State of Brunswick-Luneburg-Calenberg issued by Johann Friedrich (1625-1679). The denomination is 2 Mariengroschen, which is equal to 16 pfennigs or 1 1/2 groschens. (24 groschen = 1 thaler). The coin is described as "wildman, tree in right hand" (KM # 105). If you google on Johann Friedrich Duke of Brunswick, you can find out about him."
So there it is.