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From One Of Exonumia's Dustier Corners.

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 11 / Views: 433Next Topic  
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 Posted 01/28/2022  1:29 pm Show Profile   Check daltonista's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add daltonista to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Just a pretty picture of some enameled British coins I put together from the eBay seller's listings. Nice little works of art, aren't they?



I never pay too much for my tokens...but every now and then I may buy one a little too soon.

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United States
23188 Posts
 Posted 01/28/2022  9:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@dalt, what are the knobbly bits on several of these pieces? Are they hinged and open up?
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 Posted 01/28/2022  11:57 pm  Show Profile   Check daltonista's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add daltonista to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Spence, that's just ornamentation on a bezel, as these are brooches, or pinbacks. If you click on the image it'll pop out and enlarge a little. Then you'll have a clearer view of the hinge on the left and the sharp pin protruding opposite that on the right.

I had a very pretty enameled Victorian Jubilee Head sixpence a long time ago that was in a bezel for use as a pendant, and I've seen a few enameled crowns and halfcrowns that were put into service as the tops of pillboxes, but the vast majority were made as brooches just like the ones in my original post.

Since I've never collected these I have zero research background on them, but I've always wondered if they were the product of individual "civilian" hobbyists (meticulous ones, obviously), or were they cranked out in quantity by professionals and sold in jewelry stores?

We may never know...

I never pay too much for my tokens...but every now and then I may buy one a little too soon.

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 Posted 01/29/2022  01:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add PNWType to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure what it is that sets these apart from modern colorized coins, but I truly love the look of these. Seeing the crests in full color is always wonderful and these always seem so well rendered.
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 Posted 01/29/2022  07:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
the vast majority were made as brooches


Ok yes sorry that eluded me at first, but I understand now. Whether done by amateurs or professionals, these are pretty cool.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 01/29/2022  09:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The process of producing vitreous enamel is a lost art these days. Modern epoxy resins were cheaper and easier to apply, rendering the slow and expensive enamelling process obsolete. By the 1960s, practically nobody was making vitreous enamel products.

"Lost art" is quite literal, for the highest quality pieces; enamelling was an art and craft, with trade secrets passed down from master to apprentice, and this knowledge was lost once the process became obsolete.

For example: to prevent the colours from mixing together, we know that each colour had to be fired separately onto the coin; but we don't quite know exactly how they prevented the "earlier" colours from melting and mixing with the "later" colours. Two colours should be just possible; but some of these pieces have four, five or six separate colours on them.

Likewise, there are enamelled coins where both sides of the coin have been enamelled. This should be technically impossible; the enamelling process involved painting the surface of the coin with enamel powder (kind of like powdered glass), which was then placed in a kiln hot enough to melt the glass, but not the coin; but how do you place the second side of the coin in the kiln, without placing the first side "upside down" on the hot surface of the kiln and ruining that first surface?
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 Posted 01/29/2022  11:29 am  Show Profile   Check daltonista's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add daltonista to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Glass!

I've been wondering how these ended up with that clearcoat hard-shell look and feel. Thanks for that tutorial, Sap.

As for the both-sides question, could they have been supported on edge through the painting process and then fired or baked in the kiln that way? I'm envisioning a sort of gimbaled vertical clamp (tiny, of course) on a stand of some kind that would permit both sides to be exposed to the extreme heat simultaneously.

To illustrate that scarcer two-sided outcome, here's a US half dollar that appears to be a contemporaneous mid-1800's enameling, complete with that glass-like surface. It sold on eBay a few days ago BIN at US $295, which is about 1/5 of NGC's estimate for an unmolested AU-58 and should lead to further questions, I suppose...about restoration, for example. And as a jewelry item, I'm thinking this would make a pretty stunning pendant, wouldn't you all agree?



Personally, I find these much more attractive than any modern attempts I've seen to convert coins into jewelry, whether by paint or die-cuts or smooshing into rings. But that's just me...as my dad used to say: "'To each his own,' said the farmer as he kissed the cow."



I never pay too much for my tokens...but every now and then I may buy one a little too soon.

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 Posted 01/29/2022  12:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have a number of these-and I really like them. They may be lost arts, but there clearly was a way, since we have the evidence. Lost arts can be found again if someone tries hard enough, but with no real demand there is little incentive to devote that kind of effort.
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 Posted 01/29/2022  1:17 pm  Show Profile   Check daltonista's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add daltonista to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

oriole
, how about sharing a few of your favorites in their own forum?

I never pay too much for my tokens...but every now and then I may buy one a little too soon.

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 Posted 01/29/2022  5:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hokiefan_82 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, daltonista, for the post and to all for the interesting conversation. While I don't care at all for modern "colorized" coins, I very much appreciate the skill and artistry that went into creating these nice enameled pieces.
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446 Posts
 Posted 02/13/2022  01:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add retiredkper to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fantastic work. I believe them to be fairly old since back in the early 1970's I remember Jess Peters Inc sold and old collection of these and many other designs.
Edited by retiredkper
02/13/2022 01:03 am
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