četvrtak, 03.11.2011.



Rare Silver Certificates

rare silver certificates

    silver certificates
  • (Silver certificate) A document certifying that a like amount of its face denomination in dollars of coined silver is on deposit with and held in trust for its immediate redemption at the U.S. Treasury or at a designated agent of the U.S. Treasury.

  • (silver certificate) formerly a bank note issued by the United States Treasury and redeemable in silver

  • Silver Certificates are a type of representative money printed from 1878 to 1964 in the United States as part of its circulation of paper currency.

  • (of meat, esp. beef) Lightly cooked, so that the inside is still red

  • not widely known; especially valued for its uncommonness; "a rare word"; "rare books"

  • recurring only at long intervals; "a rare appearance"; "total eclipses are rare events"

  • not widely distributed; "rare herbs"; "rare patches of green in the desert"

Chok Tok children’s club badge (1930’s)

Chok Tok children’s club badge (1930’s)

A fine enamel badge issued by the Sunday Express newspaper to members of their Chok Tok children’s club. Members were known as ‘Choktoks’ and the club was headed up by an honorary uncle called ‘Uncle Mack’

Children up to the age of 16 could join by completing the entry coupon from the newspaper but it’s unclear to me if membership was free or required a standard entry fee of 1/- (one shilling). ‘Choktoks’ would receive a personalised certificate, membership card, welcoming letter with secret code and of course, the coveted badge. They would also be included in the Chok Tok's Birthday Club Membership (BCM) for which they received a birthday card and a special mention in the Sunday Express' Children’s Corner. By 1936 club membership was around 134,000 mainly from Britain but new members from any part of the world were welcome to join as well.

Chok Tok membership was structured into five different ‘tribes’ depending on which part of the world the member lived. These ‘tribes’ were as follows:

* ‘Striped Tigers’ and ‘Tigresses’ if living in England,
* ‘Spotted Leopards’ if living in Wales,
* ‘Crested Eagles’ if living in Scotland,
* ‘Black Pumas’ if living in Ireland and
* ‘Speckled Whales’ from all other places.

As was usual with children clubs of the period, there were the rules that encouraged good and courteous behaviour amongst their members as well as kindness to animals. The Chok Tok club slogan was ‘Be Helpful’ and their rules stated:

1) Be obedient to their parents.
2) Be kind to pets.
3) Be tidy always.
4) Be jolly.
5) Be a chum and a sport to other Choktoks.
6) Be diligent at school and at home, and try to make the Birthday Club the best and largest League of Happy Children.

The 1930’s were a golden age for children’s clubs of which most were run by newspapers competing for more members. Most clubs offered incentives to those who introduced new members to the club. ‘Choktoks’ were awarded special Chok Tok medals in bronze, silver or gold depending on how many new members they recruited. Special mention would also be announced in the Children’s Corner section for those who recruited so many new members. A ‘Choktok’ could claim their medal as follows:

Bronze – up to 12 new members recruited,
Silver – up to 40 and
Gold – 100 new members recruited.

These medals showed the CT badge motif at the centre with the ‘tribe’ name. They are rare, with the silver and gold ones respectively rarer still. What I would be interested to know from anyone who has had these is whether the silver and gold medals were actually made from precious metals or just plated?

Enamels: 3 (green, white & red).
Finish: Gilt.
Material: brass.
Fixer: Pin
Size: 7/8” down x ?” across (about 22mm x 19mm).
Process: Die-stamped.
Maker: J.R. Gaunt, London.

Thank you for reading.

c.1450 Paris, France. verso. "Ferrini Presentation Set"

c.1450 Paris, France.  verso.

c.1450 Paris France, verso, 222x153, text justification 102x60. 16 lines of Gothic script ruled and written in brown ink. Rubrics in red. Burnished gold initials on alternating grounds of blue and maroon with internal tracery accents appearing silvery. Bar enders of the same color scheme with burnished gold inclusions.

It is possible that the tracery was executed in silver ink, however, the likelyhood is that the lead used in white ink (more commonly used in tracery) has oxidized.

Typical of scriptorium atelier production in Paris during the middle of the 15th century. This leaf is quite large (8.75 x 6.0 inches) thus having ample margins for decorations not present here. Showing slight puckering but without signs of wear, it is likely that this manuscript was awaiting a patrons choice of border decoration and personalization to be complete.

The real story of this leaf is in it's modern provenance. It is from a commercial 'presentation piece' titled "An Illuminated Manuscript: A Tribute To Craftsmanship" that came in a white slip cover with a draw ribbon that brought forth a linen covered folder containing the matted leaf along with a signed Certificate of Authenticity and brief history of illuminated manuscripts. This commercial exemplar was appropriately presented to executives of the Xerox Corporation.

This 'presentation piece' was the brainchild of Bruce Ferrini (1950-2010) an internationally know expert and dealer in antique, rare and medieval manuscripts. His personal assemblage of leaves was considered the best in the world. His first acquisition was at the age of 14 and came from Otto Ege who is often credited with creating interest in and a market for the collecting of medieval manuscripts in America.

In the 1980's and 90's Mr. Ferrini, a dynamic businessman, became a force who revived interest in medieval manuscripts by developing markets for all levels of collectors. He devised offering schemes that afforded the opportunity to own an example from a medieval illuminated manuscript priced anywhere from $50 to $5,000,000.

Text: From a Book of Hours, Hours of the Virgin at Matins. Begins with the last three verses of the hymn 'Quam terra'. Interestingly, the verses beginning with "Maria mater" are not the common text but rather an insertion of Dominican doxology. Next is the Antiphon 'Benedicta tu' that opens the first Nocturn which is said on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. After the rubric "psalmus" the two line initial D opens Psalm 8 "Domine dominus noster" that continues to verse 5 on the verso.

rare silver certificates

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