Orr recognized the need to improve Brook's catalog with updated parish names and indices that allowed quick identification of tokens by their inscriptions alone. As Orr, a retired USN officer, put it: "Having served in the Navy with the Seabees during World War II, our slogan was, 'You do the most difficult things now, the impossible take a bit longer.'" And so, in January of 1968, he published a 35-page index entitled, Brook's "Communion Tokens of the Established Church of Scotland" (Simplified).
This index listed all CTs found in Brook in alphabetical order according to the inscriptions on the tokens themselves. He also described the shape and size plus other descriptive details that were missing in Brook. Finally, he updated the parish names. For example, BK714 with the inscription CON/VETH on the obverse is listed as being from Laurencekirk (the updated name of the parish).
|No wonder that his book is hard|
to find -- only 100 copies printed!
For the collector who enjoys statistical data, Orr does not disappoint. In his brief introduction, he provides some helpful tidbits. For example, of the 1436 descriptions included in Brook, he notes that only 230 CTs show the exact name in the inscription as shown in the alphabetical listing. All the others show either an alternative spelling, an abbreviation, the minister's initials or something entirely different. He also noted that 376 minister names or initials are listed on the CTs cataloged by Brook.
As for CT shapes, Orr reminds us that the oval is the most modern of shapes. In this regard, he reports that only six CTs in Brook are oval with three of those more accurately described as irregular rounds -- hence, only three CTs in Brook appear to be oval by design. If you are like me: I love these factoids!
In September of 1968, Orr published his sequel: Communion Tokens Simplified. Dick, Kerr, Lockie, & Lamb. In this work, he creates several indices to aid the collector in finding the CT listing using the exact inscription found on the token. By the way, these names (e.g., Dick) are for popular references that were used in the era before Burzinski.
|Conveth is the old parish name.|
This CT was issued by David Archer,
Yes, Orr has come to our rescue. The old guides can be tedious. It is comforting to use Orr's work, as he too was smitten with CTs. And it shows.