Here is a posting from one of our blog members, Bud.
As a novice communion token collector, not only am I always learning new and interesting things about my hobby, but I’m also continually defining and redefining my collecting goals. Initially my interest was borne out of mere curiosity about these relics of which I’d never heard. As I read more and more about CTs and the circumstances of their use, I came to feel connected to the communicants who presented them at the Supper and to the church leadership that felt compelled to issue them.
I am a church pastor and have occasionally used biblical coins as touchstones in sermons or children’s messages, so the study of communion tokens was an understandable progression. I am also a member of the American Numismatic Association and have attended several national conventions, at which I’ve been fascinated by the educational exhibits, so when I saw that this year’s ANA Summer Seminar included a course on building competitive exhibits, my wheels started turning. Here was an opportunity to do something I loved and share my faith in a new and wider format.
|"I saw a CT hoard for sale ... and I thought, |
that would make a wonderful part of my exhibit."
My wife, although perhaps not completely understanding my passion for CTs, supports it. As the keeper of the family budget, she sets aside a monthly amount from our discretionary spending for me to purchase tokens. On occasion, when special opportunities present themselves, I’m allowed to splurge a bit. In the months prior to the hoard appearing for sale, we had agreed on a special one-time amount for me to buy a sizable (for me) and important (to me) portion of another collector’s treasures. However, a fortunate error occurred: she somehow budgeted more than I had requested.
We had a friend at our home for breakfast on the morning the hoard auction was ending, and during our meal I was describing to my wife and our friend my surprise at how little activity it had created. I had estimated that the hoard would close at $1,000 (a reasonably educated guess, I thought), far beyond my means. It was then that my wife reminded me that she had already budgeted an additional--and unused--amount for the month, and she encouraged me to bid on the hoard. So as she and our friend settled into conversation, I got online, and after two or three bids I was the proud—and surprised—owner of 138 tokens of Mearns Parish of Renfrewshire (Burzinski #4706), Scotland.
The tokens are of tables 1 through 4, with #4 more heavily represented. My assumption was that Mearns had issued tokens for those tables only, and tables 1 through 3 most frequently, hence greater numbers of table 4 pieces had survived. This theory was dashed when I noticed that Burzinski pictures a token of table 7. Remember, I said I was a novice.
Beyond what’s inscribed on the token, I know nothing about Mearns Parish. The token is dated 1849 (in Roman numerals), with the name of Minister Donald Mackellar, both on its obverse. The reverse is the common 1 Corinthians 11:24; “This do in remembrance of me.” In his reference, O. D. Cresswell lists the token as #4155; and Kerr & Lockie, #963 in theirs.
If any reader can further enlighten me about Mearns Parish or Reverend Mackellar, I’d appreciate it. Beyond the basics, I’ve not been able to discover anything.
My Summer Seminar class is in late June. My wife will be enjoying several days with a high school friend at a spa in Arizona while I’m in a stuffy classroom in Colorado Springs. We’re arguing about who has the better vacation plans!Perhaps I’ll see you in the exhibit area at an ANA show in the future.