1858 Lightning Pants Token
Miller NY-495G, High Rarity-7
Miller NY-495G variety, struck in white metal by George H. Lovett. Estimated by us to be High Rarity-7, this is just the second example we have definitively traced.
A most interesting half-dollar sized piece celebrating the first Trans-Atlantic cable with a depiction of John Bull (i.e. England) and Brother Jonathan (America) communicating electronically (as indicated by the pants-directed lightning bolts) with the charming dialogue shown along the rims:
John Bull: "How are you Jonathan?"
Brother Jonathan: "Perty well old feller, heows yerself?"
While most of the tokens with this obverse bear the text-dominated "Atlantic Telegraph Successfully Laid 5th of August 1858" reverse (which would make perfect sense), this is the extremely rare variant with the non sequitur and far more interesting "Boy and Dog" reverse by W. H. Bridgens, New York.
And this is a very pleasing, lustrous unc. example of an issue which was unpublished and unknown until a different specimen appeared in Bowers March 2000 Lindesmith sale as lot #1262. That piece was offered raw, graded "EF-40", described as "Medium gray with plenty of silver brightness in the recessed areas." and called "Very rare. A previously unlisted rarity that should elicit strong bidding activity." And that it did, selling for many multiples of the other tokens in that session.
Making this much nicer piece an extreeeeemely desirable example and one which presumably would be very difficult or impossible to improve upon (if you could find another one, and we'd be very surprised if you could).
This coin is from the CRO archives and is not currently available for sale.
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