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CIRQUE

Seattle Reading at Wikstrom Gallery

Michael Kleven

Gil Menendez handed me a printed image of the three part coin, and adds this:

Fair Maiden Tell me, what is it that holds you back Don’t you want to give your heart to me Give me your faithful heart in exchange for a pledge So I can stay faithful to you On that I raise my hand

This piece contains a “note” or “poem” and was offered to a Schone Jungfrau (a Fair Maiden) as a token of love. Some of its flourishes are embellished with gold gilt. It is a silver 17th Century Bavarian Thaler of Maximilian, Elector of Bavaria. The obverse of the coin was minted in 1625 and the reverse (Madonna and Child) is the rare reverse of 1639. It is a heavy chunk of silver and weighs more than and is larger than a U.S. half dollar. This particular piece would not have circulated. It has no doubt been in coin collectors’ cabinets for centuries. The word dollar has its origins in the silver coinage of the German States. These coins were first minted with silver from the mines of Joachimstahl and they came to be known as “thalers” or dollars in the New World. The value? Between $500 and $1,200, determined by the high bid at auction.

Cirque, Vol. 7 No. 1  

A Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim

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