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Auction 47 Session Two Closed (#2783069)

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594 - MILLER IL 8N Raw VF+ 1846 Chicago Illinois Merchant token


  Lot # 594
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Lot # 594
System ID # 2805337
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594 - MILLER IL 8N Raw VF+ 1846 surrounded by stars and leaves with a watch face on the reverse struck in Copper with a Plain edge. Some interesting speculation, could the star and leaf punches on this token be meant to represent Biela's Comet which was scheduled to arrive in 1846. Seen approaching in late 1845 it was observed the comet had split, with two portions then visible. Though it has not been seen since 1852 it is thought to have caused subsequent meteor showers. In what seems too strange to be a coincidence, in 1883 Ignatius Donnelly speculated that just such a meteor shower remnant of Biela's Comet caused the Great Chicago fire of 1871. That fire occurred at half past nine on the evening of October 8th when "at apparently the same moment, at points hundreds of kilometers apart, in three different states, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois, fires of the most peculiar and devastating kind broke out." This token of course is thought to have been made and used in Chicago during 1846 but has long remained a mystery. Rare and quite intriguing. We sold a Raw VF in our December 2017 sale that realized $177.75. Rulau Ill 100. From Bowers & Merena's November 1990 sale. (200-300)
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