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Danish West Indies, small uniface brass 5 cents token, D.O.C., ca. 1890, very rare, ex-Byrne, Higgie

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / World Coins - World (A-G) Start Price:50.00 USD Estimated At:100.00 - 200.00 USD
Danish West Indies, small uniface brass 5 cents token, D.O.C., ca. 1890, very rare, ex-Byrne, Higgie
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Danish West Indies, small uniface brass 5 cents token, D.O.C., ca. 1890, very rare, ex-Byrne, Higgie Plate. Higgie-408A; Rulau-Vrg151. 4.41 grams. This very simple token, with incuse D.O.C. above 5c stamped onto one side of an otherwise blank planchet with toothed rims on both sides, appears to be unique (or nearly so), as it seems the same piece that Higgie published in 1962 kept coming up for sale over the next two decades, and has resided in the consignor's collection ever since. Most likely the issue was generally melted down during WWII. Aged brass color with toning in details, minor spots of verdigris and a few old marks, VF overall, with offset ghosts of the C and 5 from previous stamping(s). Attribution of the D.O.C. marking remains uncertain: Higgie asserted the initials stood for the Danish East India Co. (Danske Ostindisk Kompagni), supposedly operating a coaling station on St. Thomas ca. 1890; however, the Danish East India Co. morphed into the Danish Asiatic Co. in 1730 and ceased to exist at all by 1850. Without more information, and given its apparent ca.-1890 style of manufacture, the possibility remains that this token has nothing to do with the Danish West Indies at all. Plate piece #408A in Higgie's The Colonial Coinage of the U.S. Virgin Islands (1962), pedigreed to the Christensen auction of May 1973 (lot #105) and to the Ray Byrne collection (Jess Peters, June 1975, lot #400, where it hammered for $425), also pedigreed to the Hornung (Copenhagen) auction of October 1983 (lot #456).