Featured 50 Year Old Token with a tragic story, and a rare accompaniment . . .

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by ZoidMeister, Dec 1, 2022.

  1. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . .

    How cool is this . . . . . ?

    IMG_4310.JPG IMG_4311.JPG

    I recently picked up this really nicely designed New Orleans pictorial token.

    Unfortunately, the venue this token was promoting had a tragic ending, but it also came with a rare accompaniment piece.

    The token is an advertisement for The Lamplighter Club, high atop the Rault Center in New Orleans, LA. The Lamplighter Club was a small rooftop venue at the top of the Rault Center, a 17-story building populated with offices and nice apartments. One of the few high rises in 1970s New Orleans, it boasted a skyline view from the heart of the Central Business District. The lounge attracted many affluent professionals and cocktail lovers looking for a drink with some nice scenery to the corners of Gravier and South Rampart.

    It's unfortunate end came 50 years ago this week. On November 29, 1972, a terrible tragedy befell a group of unsuspecting New Orleanians enjoying a quiet afternoon during the holiday season. A fire started on the 16th floor, just below the Lamplighter Club. It was the middle of the day, but the bar was busy that afternoon. The Rault Center had no internal sprinkler system and the blaze quickly escalated, flames and smoke cutting off access to stairwells.

    The full story can be found here:


    But my story is about the token itself, and the accompanying extra. You see, I acquired this piece with the original obverse die!


    The obverse looks like it has the die engravers signature just beneath the lamp pole. I think it reads CHASE in the engravers hand script.

    The reverse of this token bears it's country of origin as pre-reunification West Germany. It also has a logo of a crown with the letters B & K inscribed.

    Does anyone recognize this die sinkers logo or signature?

    Anyway, I am happy to become the latest exonumia collector to own the original die related to one of my pieces.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
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  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Supporter! Supporter

    Nice find. Thanks for the post.
  4. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Tell your dog I said hi!

    I was living in New Orleans then. I remember the fire.

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  5. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    The token was a nice find but to have the die as well is the icing on the cake.
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  6. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated Supporter

    Very cool.
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  7. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Fascinating find. Ironic and tragic ending. Thanks for researching and sharing :)
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  8. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . .

    I've actually been able to acquire two different Lamplighter Club tokens. I'll have to dig up photos of the other one.

  9. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    Very cool addition Zoid.

    Edit I spent a good half hour hunting, couldn't find anything on Chase as a die sinker or engraver.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2022
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  10. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가

    Another option: That's the DESIGNER'S name. The person who sketched the design.
  11. eddiespin

    eddiespin Fast Eddie

    The irony is surreal.
  12. masterswimmer

    masterswimmer A Caretaker, can't take it with me

    Very cool pairing @ZoidMeister
    And thank you for the back story.
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  13. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . .

    I haven't had much time to do any additional research, but perhaps @mlov43 is correct on the signature. It might be the artist / designer signature.

    I think the die sinker is related to that little crown with the B&K on the reverse from W. Germany.



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  14. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Hamlet Squire of Tomfoolery . . . . .

    Here is a similar Lamplighter Club token I picked up a while ago.

    This one is hawking the Lamplighter Club's "Dude Ranch + Golf Club" at Lake Hillsdale / Poplarville, Mississippi.

    IMAGE_OBV_535615.jpg IMAGE_REV_535615.jpg

    Obviously different dies were used for this one. What's interesting about this token from 1969 is what appears to be the same designers signature (CHASE). This time the signature appears on both sides of the token.



    I am still trying to determine more information on the W. German reference on the reverse of the original piece I posted. That and the crown with the B&K within are still a mystery to me.


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  15. bradgator2

    bradgator2 Well-Known Member

    I found one for sale on ebay.

    Listed as:
    1968-1970 LAMPLIGHTER CLUB gold aluminum Mardi Gras Doubloons - Hillsdale, MS

    The top one appears to be the same design. Interestingly missing the “w germany”

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  16. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2022
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  17. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

  18. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Cool token, great story. I wonder how they found a stable foundation to place a 17 story building in New Orleans? How far down is the bedrock there?
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  19. VistaCruiser69

    VistaCruiser69 Well-Known Member

    That story sort of reminds me of the "Windows Of The World" restaurant on the top of one of the twin towers in New York.
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  20. Marsden

    Marsden Well-Known Member

    Just noticed this thread since it is featured on the site's home page.

    As an erstwhile Orleanian, I wonder if the BK insignia relates to Blaine Kern, who designed so many doubloons, as well as Carnival floats etc.

    About the foundation for the building, in alluvial soil typically buildings are supported upon pilings — even high rises. Yes, they're held up by friction and they're not resting on anything!
  21. Marsden

    Marsden Well-Known Member

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