Saturday, August 31, 2013

CT Auction is Live

The Simmons Gallery has posted the auction of Bob Merchant's CT collection.
     There are 415 CTs up for grabs plus three lots of CT production artifacts: an unfinished token with attached casting sprue, a die trial or impression on a lead plate, and a pair of molds (obverse & reverse). Most of the CTs are from Scotland, but 33 are from Ireland and 17 more from other countries: France, Germany, Italy, India, Argentina, Jamaica & Isle of Man. Here is the link to the auction:
Here is a page from the CT auction. There are 50+ pages
like this to look at. Plus, many other kinds of tokens
are offered, so there are 100s of pages -- enough to fill
a morning while drinking many cups of coffee.
     Most of them are from the nineteenth century except for a few that came later at the end of the CT era. Consequently, there are many rounds, ovals and cut rectangles. A few squares and straight rectangles complete the offering. This makes for a very attractive mix with most of them (three-quarters) in nearly VF condition or above. The reserve price is under $10 in most cases, so there will be ample opportunity to enter successful bids. Of course, the Irish ones are about twice the price and the others are a bit more.
     There are a few duplicates, as there are several CTs with consecutive table numbers marked on them. One set from Broughton in Lanark (B774) has table numbers from I to IX. This is a great opportunity to add a few CTs to your collection. Hopefully, we will all get a few! 
     The two-part mold from Duirness in Sutherland, dated 1803 (B2095), is very cool and deserves special attention, so I will save it for a separate post. It is not cheap with a reserve of about $800 -- but where else are you going to find one! It is apparently from Autence Bason's collection.
     Just think: you could make your own tokens!
     Please remember that all photos on this post are copyright of Simmons Gallery Limited as described on their website.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

B is for Burzinski: Communion Tokens of the World

CT collectors owe Lester Burzinski a debt of gratitude. His massive tome has become the standard reference guide for the series. And like many exonumia books, it was a labor of love.
     It is easy to find fault; hard to appreciate labor. No matter what your predilection, there is no doubt that cataloging 7730 CTs and photographing half of them represents no small task. There are errors. And diligent researchers
will eventually fix them.
     First impressions of the book are always the same: "Wow, look at all the photos!" Some sage (perhaps George Eastman) once quipped, a photo is worth a thousand words -- and so, there you have it. Burzinski eclipsed Creswell's competent listing with images, plus nearly 1200 more entries. He also provided info about each token (when available): for example, ministers are names and cross-references to other guidebooks are provided.
     As mentioned before, Brook's monograph and those by Kerr & Lockie provide similar coverage of the older CTs, so we will want to keep them on our shelves.
     Lester ("Les") Burzinski is fondly remembered by those who knew him. He was an expert on error coins and served as the treasurer of CONECA (the Combined Organizations of Error Collectors of America). He served with board members Alan Herbert and John Wexler. He often set up a table at mid-western coin shows with Len Roosmalen. His token interests ranged widely, as he helped others with their research on merchant tokens. Rich Hartzog remembered his humor, as he was known to spin tales to see just how far he could lead you.
Photos are at the back of the book.
Only one side is shown for some
of the tokens, but that is enough
to identify them in most cases.
     Alan Judd commented that Les told him that he started buying CTs when he was cataloging them for Kurt Krueger's auctions; apparently, no one bought them, so Les did! But the biggest boon to his collection occurred when Rich Hartzog sold him a "massive" collection of CTs from an old customer of his. At some point, Les accepted the challenge of putting together his catalog. Bob Merchant and others helped him along the way at first, but Les pushed the project forward on his own, as he was nearly 80 and running out of time.
     Just about all the folks I talked to commented that the book was somewhat "rushed" as it neared completion, but I think we can all appreciate how massive his undertaking was. Les arrived at the 1999 Token Congress in Carlisle (UK) with the first copy of his book under his arm. He was 80 years old and had just self-published a first edition. Bravo!
     And so we use his numbers to describe our tokens. The book is a testament to his perseverance. It is a thick, 580-page, hardback, trimmed in burgundy grain, with full 8.5x11 spread. Over 3700 photos are neatly arranged on 132 pages. Unfortunately, only 250 copies were printed (he funded the whole enterprise); and they did not sell all at once. But try and find one now!
     I had to borrow a copy from the ANA library -- over and over again, until I finally got a copy (literally, a copy) from one that had been passed from dealer to dealer in Scotland.
     We will explore Burzinski's guide in a coming post.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekly Market Watch

This market watch examines ebay CT sales for the week of August 18 thru 24. It was a busy week with 74 CTs sold, most of them last Sunday.
     There were no HD or D tokens sold this week, but a few really nice ones did find new owners. Most CTs (65 of them) sold for under $20, whereas eight more sold in the middle range. Only one CT broke the $50 benchmark -- it was a nice one that deserves some mention.
     The marketplace was active from the start with cobwrightfortishe offering 15 CTs on August 15th. As usual, there was strong bidding activity. Most of these tokens sold in middle range, plus the one exceptional piece that is profiled below.
     Another large group of CTs, nearly all of them primitive, hit the block later that day. This latter group was odd for the preponderance of incuse and single/double letter in relief designs without other common and contemporaneous pieces with more complex designs (i.e., borders, handcrafted digits) in the mix. One lot contained two M/FD incused CTs (one with a sideways D) that we recognize from this blog as BK562A from Kemnay in Aberdeen (or if on smaller lead, from the same minister [or father] when he was at Banchory Ternan BK96B) -- this is not a common piece in either case, and no variety with a sideways D is reported. Consequently, few bidders were attracted and most of these primitive bits went to 3 bidders -- in fact, one bidder got 9 of them uncontested.  Be aware and use the guidebooks and auction photos of known old collection pieces in order to make confident bids.
Here is another example of the Kinnell 1745 CT cataloged
as BK640 and B3831. It is an interesting cast piece with
primitive figures, irregular border and cut corners. It appears
that the die cutter made several attempts to cut the numbers.
     As before, several Canadian stock tokens sold (mostly round Croil pieces -- which I will profile at some point): seven of them were dispersed at very low prices (all under $10 with postage included). I bought one, too!
     As mentioned above, one CT was bid past the $50 mark: a cut rectangle from Kinnell, dated 1745 (BK640). Six bidders all gave it their best shot, as only six bids were cast. This piece was well worth the price of $53 in my opinion. Although it is not "rare," the token was as described: "superb!" Also, it is quaint piece with thinly carved lettering that gives it a unique, and a somewhat ancient (stone age) look -- a sharp, pointed tool must have been used to cut the die. Careful examination can discern several mistakes and start-overs. Very cool token.
     It is also one the first cut rectangles (dated, of course) that you will find. The corners were probably cut to soften the edges, making the piece more hand-friendly. Here is the link:  COMMUNION-TOKEN-KINNELL-WEST-LOTHIAN-1745-SCOTLAND-BROOK-640-superb.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Big CT auction: Coming Soon!

The Simmons Gallery, an auction house in the UK, will be offering the second part of the Bob Merchant Collection of Scottish CTs this Fall. This event will be posted online at the end of August!
     The first half of this large collection was sold on February 20th of this year!
     I missed it!
     But I will not miss the second half. And neither will you!
     Bob Merchant is an American collector who began searching for CTs in the early 1990s. Although he specialized in the USA and Canadian series, he collected thousands of CTs from the world over. He purchased Autence Bason's CT collection after Colonial Williamsburg passed on the opportunity. As it turns out, the Bason collection included the complete collection of Captain Bucky Orr (the author of several guidebooks reviewed earlier in this blog). As you can imagine, a number of Lester Burzinski's CTs also landed in Merchant's collection too. Consequently, there will be no shortage of CTs claiming an illustrious provenance.
     The Simmons Gallery auction will be made up of Scottish pieces. The CTs from the USA and Canada are being kept off the market for now. Nonetheless, judging by what was sold in February, I anticipate that the second offering will be quite impressive.
     In February, 522 lots were sold. The lots were organized, in order, by Brook numbers (BK1 to BK1081) with a few others cataloged by Kerr & Lockie mixed in the sequence. Put another way, they were listed by parish name in alphabetical order, ending in the middle of the letter T. Tea Time?
     Overall, there are 1434 CTs listed in Brook, plus another 461 added by Kerr & Lockie (and a few more after that). Consequently, the first sale included over a quarter (27%) of the early Scottish series!
     The CTs were in nice condition too, as over half of them were graded Very Fine with only 13 pieces described in Very Good. A quick glance reveals some popular pieces: for example, a heart from Clackmannan, plus another from Dunfermline, a mid-seventeenth century piece from Dunbog, and Libberton's  Glasgow-square with church pictorial -- yes, we know and love these pieces!
     The link to the Simmons Gallery is here:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Primitive CT from Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia means "New Scotland." It is not surprising that the NS Presbyterian churches were established with CTs in-hand, or if not in-hand, then with plans to make a few.
     The largest influx of settlement was in the mid-1700s. The first production of CTs on the island was at Truro in 1770 -- a Glasgow-styled square no less! Other ministers had the forethought to bring a bag of tokens with them, such as the Johnshaven pieces used at Antigonish in about 1818.
     Like the American CTs, a large proportion of Canadian tokens were primitively made. Yet, the Canadian tokens came nearly a half-century later. As such, the shapes were more modern: fewer squares, more ovals and cut rectangles. Keep in mind that by the late eighteenth century, most Scottish churches were producing attractive CTs, often two-sided in modern shapes with ovals relatively well-established and cut rectangles beginning their ascent. Consequently, these same shapes were copied in Canada; however, they were in a more primitive form due to lack of resources.
Big, bold & rugged with shark's teeth
for a border, this CT copied the popular
form found in Scotland: cut rectangle.
     This brings us to our primitive CT of the week: a cut rectangle (yes, a modern shape) from Saint Paul's Church at East River. This is one of my favorite CTs: big, bold and rugged. The edges are hand-snipped to produce a somewhat irregular shape. And those shark's teeth are hard to miss. They appear to be boldly stamped with a rectangular punch with rounded corners that was sharply chiseled along the edges to produce the points. It must have been a big punch -- something a blacksmith would use.
     This CT is thick at nearly 2mm, so it rests heavily in the palm. It is broad too. I imagine it was easy to grasp and not easily lost. The whole presentation reminds me of a serving platter. Of course, its austerity demanded a blank reverse.
     This CT is listed as NS-216 in the Charlton Standard Catalog. This catalog indicates that the Reverent John MacRae established the Kirk at East River in 1827. He remained there until 1844. This CT was probably used during this time, but there is no documentation to support this. No other East River CTs are known from this congregation.
     East River was once known as Indian Point. Apparently, some 120 acres of land was reserved for the Mi'kmaq people in the 1790s. Genealogy records describe the early settlers as highland Scots who were "a sturdy stock, a sober, stalwart worshipping set of men and women, with iron in their blood, and a burning love in their hearts for the Church and the School." Settlement began in 1784. Saint Paul's Church was built in 1815 according to some historians. Was there an assigned minister there before Reverent MacRae arrived in 1827? Nonetheless, this church served the congregation for 40 years before a new one was built nearby. Logging, lime quarrying and grain farming were early industries of the region -- hard, lumbar-wrenching work. This token is part of this pioneering life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekly Market Watch

This market watch examines CT auctions & sales from August 11 through August 17. This week four American tokens brought strong bids in the StacksBowers ANA auction. Ebay action was moderate with 34 CTs sold from Scotland and Canada.
     I will start with the ebay sales. Of the 34 CTs sold, only one sold for over $50, whereas six more sold for over $20. The remaining 27 were bargain-priced under this amount. Hence, there were many opportunities to get started in this collecting field.
     The top CT sold for a BIN price of $56. The piece was a round one, dated 1713, from Monzie in Perth (BK828/B4921). It was an ashen piece from an old collection. Monzie produced two other tokens, both ovals in 1838 and 1843, so this was a nice opportunity to get an early one listed in Brook. Dated pieces from the eighteenth century are always popular and typically bring good prices. The CT was sold by HistoryinCoins. This seller has maintained a strong presence on ebay and is recommended.
     The StacksBowers auction was a week-long event held in conjunction with the ANA World's Fair of Money in Chicago. Top bidders were attracted from everywhere, so it comes as no surprise that the four CTs offered as part of the John J. Ford, Jr., collection of tokens and metals sold for strong prices. Nonetheless, I think the buyers got a deal. American tokens are all scarce to rare.
     The CT from Brooklyn, New York, attracted a winning bid of $425 (that is without the 18% commission). The Internet pre-bidding stalled just shy of $300, so the live session was active with at least five more bids pushing this one well into the HD range ($100+ CT). It is a beautiful oval with a muted-silver patina and few distracting blemishes.
     The other three CTs were also from New York. They were of the same design but produced in three  different metallic compositions: copper, lead and white metal. They would make a nice set. The copper piece was graded MS-62 (red & brown); it was won for $260 during the live bidding session. The lead one was graded AU-55 and sold for $190. Finally, the white metal example garnered $220; it was graded MS-60. I wonder if the same bidder got them all? A complete set for $670 (plus bidder's fee) looks like a good buy. When will a second chance come along?
     In my opinion, these sales accurately reflect the retail market for USA CTs. These particular specimens are rare and in excellent condition. Plus, they come out of a well-known collection.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

More on the Script Token from Hanover, Virginia

Cardboard and paper CTs are not well cataloged, yet they are an important part of the story.
     The colonial era script token pictured on the Presbyterian History Society website has an interesting story all its own. One of the benefits of collecting church artifacts is that old churches are revered and are often the focus of local historians and preservation efforts. Although the old Presbyterian church that issued this script was destroyed by canon fire during the Civil War, its history is well-documented and easily found on the Internet.
     The land that later became Hanover County in Virginia was first settled in 1676; it became recognized as a county in 1720. The Presbyterian church located there was known as Polegreen Church -- named for George Polegreen who had been granted the land by the King of England in the previous century. The congregation formed in the wake of the religious fervor that had developed in Virginia during the 1730s. During this time, many Virginians were enthralled with the sermons of George Whitefield, a Methodist evangelist who was stirring up religious passions across the colony. In 1739, he gave a sermon in Williamsburg, then the capital of Virginia.
     Fifty or so miles inland, the settlers in Hanover began attending Bible study in the home of Samuel Morris. These folks were among the first dissenters in Virginia. Consequently, several churches were established in middle Virginia, referred to as "Morris Reading Houses." The Polegreen Church was built on land donated by Morris himself. In 1747, a young minister named Samuel Davies came to Polegreen where he preached for 12 years.
This script token is from Polegreen Church in Hanover, VA.
It dates between 1747 and 1759, as this was the period that
Reverend Samuel Davies was minister of the Church.
     The 23 year-old minister became a sensation. He was known for his moving sermons. Even Patrick Henry, the revolutionary colonist known for his oratory, once indicated that he learned to speak from Reverend Davies. In addition to his sermons, Davies was one of the first hymn writers in America. He was a champion of educating Virginia slaves and inviting them into the church.
     Unfortunately, the Polegreen Church was destroyed in the Civil War. During General Grant's press to invade Richmond, Union sharpshooters occupied the church. They had to be dislodged. A canon from the Richmond Howitzers fired into the church, and it burned to the ground. A historic marker was placed at the site years later to mark the spot of the first Presbyterian dissenters in central Virginia.
     The script token represents an integral part of this history. It is was there. This token was handed out by the church elders, or Rev. Davies himself, to parishioners during the heyday of Polegreen Church.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekly Market Watch

This market watch examines ebay auctions and other public sales from August 4 to August 10. CTs that sell for over $100 (labeled: highly desired or HD) are described, and CTs that sell for over $75 (labeled: desired or D) are mentioned. Of course, as collectors we desire most of them!
     Overall, 27 CTs were sold on ebay this week with eight of them trading for under $20. Eleven CTs sold in the low middle range (under $50) with seven more breaking the $50 barrier. A token from the latter group brought $77, so we have one piece crossing the D barrier. One American CT was sold at a BIN price of $225, so we have an HD token this week. One lot of 19 battered CTs sold cheaply at just under $20 (two CTs from Delting in the Shetland Islands were included in the lot: B1828 & B4779).
     The bidding action was brisk this week, as cobwrightfortishe offered up a hotly contested group of 16 CTs: some rare, some in utmost condition, and nearly all old. Even strong bidders took home no more than three CTs. It was a battle that underscores the strength of the CT market. The auction played out on August 8, and when the hammer fell on the last one, the group of 16 had been dispersed into 10 collections.
     A CT from Eaglesham in Renfrew (BK365) from the 1790s was the king of the Scottish auction (but not by much). Six bids from 5 bidders were recorded. This CT is a square one with a jaunty script E placed within a pair of concentric circles. Although not a Glasgow-style piece, it can be considered a distant cousin, as it is from the same region and time period and is of similar size with a prominent circle as an organizing motif. It appears to be struck on hammered stock and cut to its squarish size, but I have not studied it in-hand. Here is the link:
Here is the molded CT from the 2nd UPC
of Allegheny City. Comparing it with the
struck piece that sold on Ebay, you can see
"striking" differences.
     The American CT that sold for two C-notes was a relatively common one from the Second United Presbyterian Church from Allegheny City located just across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. This oval CT is one of two from this church: one is cast (Bason 186A) and this one is struck (Bason186) -- I think the struck one is prettier with sharper devices and the addition of a few more ornaments. This church was established in 1837 and was re-christened as the Second UPC in 1858. Since this CT has this latter name, the tokens were probably used after this date. In 1889, the congregation numbered nearly 800 parishioners. From this figure, we can estimate that many CTs were probably made. Still, they are offered infrequently.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

New York CTs up for Auction!

A rare opportunity to acquire several attractive American CTs is just around the corner.
     StacksBowers is offering four CTs from New York as part of the John J. Ford collection (part XIII) in their auction at the ANA Chicago World's Fair of Money. There are multiple auctions, but this segment is next Friday on August 16 (only six days from now). The segment includes 1040 lots overall; the CTs are near the end of the session.
A nice oval in "AU-50" condition
from Brooklyn, Long Island.
     In contrast to the Bloomfield, Ohio, CT examined a couple of day ago, these USA CTs are anything but primitive. They are big city, big congregation tokens. And John Ford was a meticulous collector, so the condition is superb: two of them are uncirculated and others are nearly so. All are ovals from the 1850s. There are two different types and three varieties of one type.
This is the lead CT.
     The CTs are from the Reformed Presbyterian Church; that is to say, they are from the Church of the Covenanters. This was a popular denomination in the USA, as many Scots and Scotch-Irish removed to the new world to escape persecution in the UK and Ulster. There were several of these churches in New York and Brooklyn, so I am not sure exactly which church these tokens came from -- the buyer will be tasked with uncovering this history.
     The first CT is from Brooklyn and is dated 1857. It is cataloged as Bason-83/Burzinski-1035. The next three are quite interesting as a set. They are of the same design but produced in different metallic compositions: white metal, copper and lead. The thickness varies as well, ranging from 3mm to 5mm. Were these CTs used at different times? Or, do the varieties reflect some experiments? Both Bason and Burzinski list the white metal (Bason-106/Burzinski-5346) and copper (described as bronze; Bason-106A/Burzinski-5347) tokens, but they did not list the lead one which should be easily distinguished by its 5mm thickness.
     And so, if you want to add a nice American token to your collection, go ahead and place a bid!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Primitive CT from Ohio

The United States series is primarily composed of primitive pieces. Most of them are rare, yet serious collectors will probably want to add one.
     Autence Bason listed 488 CTs from the USA. About three-quarters of them can be described as primitive -- mostly squares, rounds and straight rectangles. Over 100 of these are inscribed with the church denomination only: AP, AR, APC, ARPC, RC, RPC and so on. Eighty more have just one letter to designate the parish. Half of this amount more have no markings at all! This is not surprising when you consider that these simple pieces were handcrafted on the frontier. And of course, many of the churches started out as log meeting houses with leaky roofs.
     Like the early pieces from rural Scotland, primitive American CTs have a charm all their own. They were made to be used, not to be admired. But with a little research, you can discover some fascinating stories. The one I have to show you comes from the Ohio frontier and is part of the early westward movement.
This chunky piece is 10mm across
and 3mm thick. The B is deeply set.
You can imagine the parishioners on
 the Ohio frontier lining up to sit
at the Lord's Table just as their
forefathers did in the old country.
     This round piece with deeply impressed B is from Bloomfield, Ohio. It is cataloged as Bason-137 with the following notation: This token was made by Capt. Joseph K McClune, an elder, about 1825. So like the Scottish CT from Bolton (examined last week), we have a record that suggests a churchyard production. The Bloomfield piece is "roundish" and thick with rough, granular surfaces -- a native alloy of lead plus all sorts of impurities. A stylized B with pronounced serifs has been deeply sunk in the center.
     Bloomfield was first settled in 1815; the first settler was Lyman Ferry. The area was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve, a large tract of land that was sold and distributed by the State of Connecticut following the American Revolution. Among the first wave of settlers from New England were many Presbyterians of Scotch-Irish descent. Due to the scarcity of resources, the Presbyterians joined with the Congregationalists (e.g., Methodists) to share meeting houses and ministers.
     The Reverent Giles Cole organized the first Presbyterian church in 1821. Up to about 1830, there were about 28 members in the congregation. The Presbyterians were extremely devout and rule-governed. They demanded a spiritual life and banned all frivolous activities on the Sabbath. We can assume that these simple CTs were carefully accounted for and used with the upmost protocol.
     According to Bason, Captain McClune was an elder of the church in 1825. If we accept that his name was alternatively spelled McCune, we discover that he moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania and established a tannery and farm in Bloomfield. He also raised a company of primarily Scotch-Irish neighbors to fight in the war of 1812; his troop served from February to August in 1813. Hence, he was referred to as Captain from that point on.
     So how many pieces did the Captain make?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Market Watch

This market watch examines ebay auctions from July 28 to August 3. This week one CT sold for $78, but I do not have any HD (Highly Desired, that is over $100) tokens to report. I do have some other auction news to report: good things on the horizon, but it will cost you!
     Overall, 17 CTs sold on ebay this week. There were no large offerings. Most of the CTs sold for under $20, whereas three sold in the middle range ($21 to $49). Two CTs from the Orkney Islands (Evie & Rendall and Kirkwell) sold for $59 and $78 respectively.
     The D (for Desired) token from Kirkwell was not particularly pretty, as it was blotchy with dark corrosion and dinged here and there. It is a somewhat narrow oval, dated 1827, from the Associate Church. Many narrow ovals sell in the $20 to $40 range, so why did this one bring in the dollars? Well, for one, it appears that two bidders (out of four total) really wanted it. Ten bids were recorded, but it appears that two players went back and forth several times in the final days.
     There is more to the story. Apparently, the congregation and its minister, Reverent Ebenezer Richie (who is named on the token), were in a contentious position in Kirkwell. They were part of a small group of "protesters" that abruptly broke from the parish church of Kirkwell in 1820 due to disagreements with the minister there. They formed a new church nearby that lasted only 23 years when they merged with the "disruption" movement in 1843. Consequently, this token has an interesting history. It is probably a rare piece, as it is from a small congregation! The link to this token is here: .
     A story is always worth a few more dollars. The Kirkwell CT is a small, but significant chapter, in the history of the Presbyterian Church.
     Also relevant to the marketplace, CTs from the islands are fewer and are apt to bring out the few that are focused on them. The other piece from Evie & Rendall is a primitive round (BK401) with a single letter, designating the parish, placed on each side. The parishes were separate until the early 1800s, so this CT might reflect a joint communion service, or it could be an early nineteenth century piece. More research is needed here.
     On the horizon are some interesting CTs coming up for sale. A significant auction of tokens is being offered by StacksBowers in conjunction with the ANA World's Fair of Money in Chicago on August 16 (only two weeks away). Most of these tokens are from the John J Ford, Jr. collection of American medals and tokens. Although merchant and political tokens comprise the main group, there are four CTs from New York mixed in. These are rare items (Bason 83, 106, 106A, and 106?). We can explore them together sometime next week. So get your wallets out!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Presbyterian Historical Society features American CTs

Here is the Insert for Heritage Sunday.
You can click on it to enlarge it.
The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) featured American CTs this year during Presbyterian Heritage Sunday.
     Unfortunately, we missed it, as Heritage Sunday is celebrated on the Sabbath closest to May 21. It was on this date in 1789 that the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA first met.
     But these were certainly not the first Presbyterians in America. Several of the original Jamestown settlers were Presbyterian. The first Presbyterian church in America is considered to be that of the Southhampton congregation on Long Island, New York, established in the 1640s. Also, Norriton Church in Pennsylvania dates back to the same decade. All this info is provided on the PHS website. Check it out!
     The PHS provides a bulletin insert (a PDF file) each year for Heritage Sunday that can be downloaded, copied, and placed in the church program for parishioners to enjoy. The PHS maintains a collection of American CTs -- a few of them are pictured on the insert. Some of the other images on their website suggest that their collection is quite extensive. Burzinski listed 484 American tokens, whereas Bason listed four more. Most of them are rare.
     The small cut rectangle with border and ARPC (Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church) is from either Ohio or Indiana. It is difficult to tell which, as Bason lists several similar CTs from these two states. The round metal CT appears new and is not pictured in Bason. The Carlisle PA token (wood or cardboard) is self-explanatory.
     Perhaps the most interesting piece of all is the colonial era paper card used by Reverend Samuel Davies in Hanover, Virginia. Paper tokens or tickets were used before metallic tokens became popular. In rural areas, the paper tokens were more difficult to produce than the metal tokens, as printers were few and far between. But every crossroads had a blacksmith. Also, paper tokens could be forged or altered. They were certainly not as durable either.
     The paper token shown on the insert is the oldest American piece I have seen. The town of Hanover, located just outside of Richmond, was settled in 1676 and became a county in 1720. I doubt many of these paper tokens have survived from this early period. In contrast, paper tokens became more common in the early 1900s, as they were easier to mass produce. By that time, the industrial revolution was in full swing and commercial printing was commonplace. As such, metallic CTs gradually disappeared.
     As for the Hanover script, there is a story here, and I will find it and explore it in a future post.