What The Experts Say...
HT 122, Low 264
Benj. Fauver comments on this token as follows: "The store card-counter of John Merle of New Orkeans depicts rays emanating from a crowned American easgle pearched on a large key. The key was a traditional symbol of St. Peter. The rays also emanate from the initials I.H.S. (an ancient symbol for Christ), which lie between the eagle's head and outstratched wing. Within the rays is the inscription, 'POST TENEBRAS LUX' (After Darkness Light). Merle issued this store card-counter in about 1840 and its symbolism poinantly suggests that the key to healing (light) the spirit and state of economic depression which dominated the Hard Times (darkness) likes in drawing on one's personal faith in the strength of America. It also is strongly implied by the symbolism that this faith and strenth are based on religious conviction.
(Auction 74, Exonumia Auction by Presidential Coin & Antique Company, Inc.
Public Auction Sale: December 10, 2005)