Mr. Metzger's Coins from Literature Thread

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Mark Metzger, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    I've decided to share my summer project with the forum and its members in hopes that they will be able to provide insight, encouragement and maybe a few leads in my quest. I am a high school English teacher and have decided to endeavor to obtain a coin to correspond with each of the novels I teach my various classes. This will allow me to circulate among the students an authentic relic/artifact from the era of each novel. My parameters are fairly loose, but I would like to meet the following criteria:
    No slabbed pieces...I want the kids to be able to handle the coins.
    No MS pieces...see above
    The bigger the better...I think there will be more impact and resonance from larger pieces with discernable features.
    Cost is a concern... apparently teachers are not paid particularly well.

    If you have suggestions or leads on pieces which would be appropriate, I would appreciate it.

    Below are the three courses I will teach next year and the coins I currently have or the eras/locales necessary to accompany the texts. I will update this listing as I obtain more pieces. This thread was partly inspired by the ongoing thread pertaining to @lordmarcovan 's Eclectic Box...a thread my son and I particularly love.

    Freshman English
    The Odyssey
    NEED---8th century BC Greek---
    Romeo and Juliet
    HAVE---QE1 Groat courtesy of @PaddyB
    1560 Gr 1.JPG 1560 Gr 2.JPG
    The Count of Monte Cristo
    HAVE---1837 France 5 Franc---
    but would prefer
    ---Napoleon piece or Louis XVIII piece---

    Junior British Literature
    Anglo-Saxon Brooch (6th century)
    Brooch 3.JPG
    The Canterbury Tales
    NEED---14th Century British (preferably Edward III as Chaucer served at his court)---
    HAVE---James I thistle penny---courtesy @PaddyB
    James I Penny 2.JPG James I Penny 1.JPG
    1817 6 Pence
    Lord of the Flies
    HAVE ---1949 British---
    Dystopian future
    HAVE ---1940s British
    The White Tiger
    HAVE ---contemporary India

    AP Literature and Composition (Seniors)
    The Underground Railroad
    HAVE ---CIVIL WAR era US
    Heart of Darkness
    Various Belgian Congo Pieces
    Things Fall Apart
    NEED---British West Africa 1 or 2 Shilling 1913-1920---
    The Poisonwood Bible
    1961 Katanga or 10 Mokuta
    1965 Congo Leopoldville 10 Francs
    Slaughterhouse Five
    --various Nazi pieces---
    The Handmaid's Tale
    ---Dystopian Future but based on early Puritan societal values---
    ---QE1 Groat---see above
    ---14-15th Century Denmark???---
    Dante's Inferno
    NEED---14th century Italy---
    NEED---5th century BC Greek---
    In the Lake of the Woods
    NEED---1968 Vietnam---
    One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
    HAVE---1962 US---

    I'll keep updating as I fill out the list. I know some of the older pieces will be a bit expensive, but hopefully I can find some deals. I'm maxed out on the number of photos allowed so I'll go to multiple posts as the collection grows.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
    TIF, Theodosius, sonlarson and 4 others like this.
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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    You go, Mister Metzger. You already know I like your Elizabethan newp. (I lost the auction on my intended one.)

    One thing: "8th Century BC Greek" will perhaps be a tall order, since coinage was barely invented then. Unless I am mistaken, the coins of Lydia in the 7th Century BC are generally believed to be the world's first, though I'm sure there were ingots and other forms of proto-money before that.

    And those Archaic Lydian electrum coins don't come cheap!
    Theodosius likes this.
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    There might be a (South) Vietnamese 10-dong in my bulk stuff. I'll take a look later.
  5. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    I knew the 8th century Greek would be a challenge. Maybe I'll take up a collection from my more affluent students.
  6. NLL

    NLL Well-Known Member

    Nice looking groat and James I thistle penny.
  7. Numismat

    Numismat World coin enthusiast

    Be very careful to not cross any legal/ethical lines with that
  8. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    I was joking...should have been more clear, I guess.
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I love the literary theme idea. It's like my Eclectic Box thing ... but with some actual structure!
  10. Milesofwho

    Milesofwho Omnivorous collector

    Just a thought, would you want to narrow down your 14th century Italian to 13-14th century Florentine?
  11. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    Yes, that was my original thought, but I didn't want to be too limiting.
  12. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    Just added this 1965 Congo 10 Franc to correspond with Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible. Marvelous novel about a southern Baptist family who travels to the Congo in the 60s to do missionary work. The father is a preacher and zealot while the novel alternates narration between the mother and her four daughters. Beautifully written and quite powerful. Leopoldville features prominently in the novel, so this coin is a perfect fit.
    Screenshot_20180712-153324.png Screenshot_20180712-152934.png
    Theodosius and green18 like this.
  13. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    While it's not exactly a coin, it is metal and it is round...
    Just purchased from @PaddyB this 5-6th century Anglo Saxon Brooch to correspond with Beowulf (and John Gardner's I credible postmodern retelling in Grendel). A perfect fit as a key element to Anglo Saxon culture and literature is how the Thanks would serve loyally to the Bretwaldas (or ring-givers) and in return would be given lots of shiny stuff.
    It is roughly 30mm in diameter and has a bit of remaining gilt in the crevices.
    Photos are from the seller as it makes it's way across the pond.
    Brooch 3.JPG Brooch back 2.JPG
    Theodosius, Jwt708 and FitzNigel like this.
  14. QuintupleSovereign

    QuintupleSovereign Active Member

    For 1968, I'd go with the Kennedy 40% silver half. I used one similar, along with a 1964 and a 1971, to explain basic inflation to middle schoolers a few years back. If you tie that in to the spending caused by the war, maybe?
  15. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    A '68 Kennedy half is one I currently have. I'll have to do some research on the inflation.
  16. alurid

    alurid Well-Known Member

    I have a Katanga, 1961, 1 Franc. And a Vietnam, 1968, 10 Dong.
  17. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    Would you be interested in parting with them? You can PM me with details.
  18. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member

    The original post has been updated with more images as the "Coins in the Classroom" (that's what I've decided to call this little endeavor) collection grows.
    Thanks to all for their interest.
  19. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I quite like the Anglo-Saxon brooch. Smart idea. Much more affordable than a coin of the period, probably, and likely more evocative to a student who's holding it.
  20. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    This is an absolutely fantastic project, and will really help make the history come alive!

    However..... coins hadn't been invented yet in the 8th century BC. The Lydian coins of ~600 BC are the earliest coins.

    Perhaps, as an alternative, you could try to find some pottery shards? I know I've seen them for sale at antiquities auctions, and a few small pieces shouldn't be too expensive.
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  21. Mark Metzger

    Mark Metzger Well-Known Member


    I made some major progress with the housing and presentation of the pieces I currently have for the project. School starts in two weeks, so I needed to get what I had ready to go. I'm very happy with how they look... hopefully the kids will be a fraction as interested as I am.
    Thanks to all those who have helped out thus far @PaddyB @H8_modern @alurid @lordmarcovan
    IMG_20180801_193553.jpg IMG_20180801_193422.jpg IMG_20180801_193433.jpg IMG_20180801_193447.jpg IMG_20180801_193607.jpg IMG_20180801_193518.jpg
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