Municipal Tokens of the Town of Kazimierz near Krakow Cover Image

Cechy szrotgeltowe miasta Kazimierza pod Krakowem
Municipal Tokens of the Town of Kazimierz near Krakow

Author(s): Beata Miazga, Borys Paszkiewicz
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, Modern Age, 15th Century, 16th Century, 17th Century
Published by: KSIĘGARNIA AKADEMICKA Sp. z o.o.
Keywords: Kazimierz near Krakow;szrotgelt (Schrottgeld);municipal tokens;X-ray fluorescence (XRF);gunmetal;brass

Summary/Abstract: In 2011, a square brass jeton was offered on the auction service(Pl. 1, Fig. 5). It was said to have been found somewhere on an old road from Olkuszto Krakow which most probably meant the Prądnik River Valley near Ojców orKorzkiew. A comparable jeton was discussed on the Internet nearly at the sametime (Pl. 1, Fig. 6). Both of the tokens were struck with a round coin-like die. Verysimilar items, but round, were described at the beginning of the twentieth century(Pl. 1, Figs. 1–3, possibly Fig. 4) as tokens of municipal payments for beer andwine transport, the so-called szrotgelt (from Schrottgeld in German), used fromthe fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. The crowned letter K displayed on them isthe arms of the medieval town of Kazimierz, which is a district of Greater Krakowtoday. Analogous uniface objects with the arms of Krakow are also known. Surprisingly,such objects have never been registered during regular archaeologicalexcavations in Krakow and elsewhere and the discussed specimens appeared forthe first time after a break spanning more than a century. Jeton no. 5 was analysed by X-ray fluorescence (XRF). The elemental compositionshows that the main component is copper (almost 91%), mixed with zinc(2.93%), lead (1.38%), iron (1.15%), and tin (0.60%). The alloy suggests that thejeton was made of low-zinc brass, called “latten”. Latten is a popular material,which has been used since the Middle Ages to produce jetons and medalets inWestern Europe, especially in France (Tournai). The analysed artefact has a similarchemical composition to four jetons described by Mitchiner. This is a group described as „Venus penny” stock jetons of Low Countries, 1490s–1550s, Mitchinercatalogue numbers 829–833, which are composed of copper (93.4–94.4%), zinc(3.6–4.4%) and tin (0–1.33%).

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 10
  • Page Range: 179-192
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish