Description

    Undated MI-225BT-1a Detroit Token
    Seth Smith & Son, AU50
    Finer of Two Known for the Merchant

    (1861-65) Seth Smith & Son, Detroit, MI, F-225BT-1a, R.9, AU50 NGC. Cliff Temple wrote about Seth Smith in the Winter 1970 issue of the Journal of the Civil War Token Society. Smith was born near Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1819, and first came to Michigan in 1841. He returned home a few years later, and traveled back to Michigan in 1855. The following year he established a grocery business in Detroit. For several years he operated the business as a sole-proprietorship, adding his son, Daniel, according to the 1863 city directory. The store was located at 390 Grand River Avenue. The following year, the local directory listed the elder Smith alone. He apparently left the grocery business in 1865, and entered the real estate business, engaged in the profession until he retired in 1905. He died in 1910 at the age of 91.
    Temple writes: "Inasmuch as this store card bears no date, questions have been raised as to whether it belongs with the Civil War store card series. The records previously cited leave no doubt that the store card of Seth Smith & Son could only have been issued in 1863, and rightfully belongs among the Civil War store cards."
    This specimen is the finer of two known for the merchant, despite some scratches that are noted in the peripheral areas of the obverse. The surfaces are otherwise smooth medium brown with traces of luster and exceptional eye appeal. A minor incomplete planchet (clip) is evident at 10 o'clock relative to the obverse. The is an incredible opportunity for the Detroit specialist to obtain the rarest merchant in the series.
    Purchased from H. Leonard (5/20/1939) for 30 cents.
    From The Clifton A. Temple Collection.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    View all of [The Clifton A. Temple Collection ]

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    April, 2012
    18th-22nd Wednesday-Sunday
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