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1898 Denver Carnival Peace Jubilee Token and Silver Serpent - Peter Michael Fuhrman Specimen

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 4, 2023 8:48AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I just ran across this very interesting October 4-6, 1898 Denver Carnival Peace Jubilee token with what looks like an exceptional condition specimen formerly owned by Peter Michael Fuhrman.

Does anyone know about this token or Peter? From the eBay auction description, I wonder if this was sold by his step-daughter.

eBay description:
All coins and tokens are from the collection of Peter M. Fuhrman. The loving step-father and husband of Natalie and Sheila. Peter took great pride in his collection and spent most of his life collecting. His collection includes bi-metals, civil war tokens, good for tokens, military tokens, Canadian tokens and Coins, Bakery tokens, Encased pennies, tax tokens, parking tokens, medals, pocket mirrors, notgeld, specimen notes, old stock certificates, checks, invoices and other paper currency, some foriegn and US Coins.

Ref: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1898-denver-carnival-peace-jubilee-86694888

Unfortunately, this listing only has a photo of one side.

Here's another token with photos of both sides. I love the dragon motif on this.

Ref: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/denver-co-carnival-peace-jubilee-1898-1821868910


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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,439 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The Spanish-American War just ended on August 12, 1898, so a "Peace" token would be appropriate and timely. B)

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What does the lower flag represent.... The upper one is the U.S. flag. Neat dragon design. Cheers, RickO

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    tokenprotokenpro Posts: 846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Peter Fuhrman was a long time collector in California who passed away at least 10 years ago. IIRC his wife Sheila sold items from their collection for several years after Peter's passing and then another California collector/vest pocket dealer handled some of it after Sheila's death. Peter dabbled in a wide range of tokens but California trade tokens and saloon tokens were his prime interest.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 3, 2023 12:42AM

    Great info on the token and collector @tokenpro!

    It's great to add some info to these collectors.

    And it would be amazing if that top token was photographed on your gray pad!

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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The "dragon" in the design is actually a reference to the "slaves of the silver serpent", which was a fraternal organization whose sole purpose appears to have been organizing a parade and elite ball during Denver's "Festival of Mountain & Plain".

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @tokenpro... Thanks for the flag ID.... I thought it was, but the representation looked a bit different. Cheers, RickO

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The flag on the token reminds me of the flag of Cuba as shown on Wikipedia:


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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 8:52AM

    @dcarr said:
    The "dragon" in the design is actually a reference to the "slaves of the silver serpent", which was a fraternal organization whose sole purpose appears to have been organizing a parade and elite ball during Denver's "Festival of Mountain & Plain".

    Very interesting Daniel! It looks like it was kind of a Mardi Gras of the West!

    And of course, the Silver Serpent was the colloquialism for the silver mining industry.

    Here's some more information.

    Morgan Breitenstein said:
    The Festival of Mountain and Plain and the Parade of the Slaves of Silver Serpent was put on for a few years with an attempt at revival in 1912. According to 1895 newspapers the festival was designed as a celebration of harvest time in the west. Held in October, the festival drew exhibitors from all corners of the state and in later festivals included people from other states in the west. Multiple newspaper articles proposed that the Silver Serpent ball would "rival any Mardi Gras celebration in costume and revelry."

    The Slaves of the Silver Serpent were a fraternal organization which, as far as I can tell, were formed with the sole purpose of putting together a parade and ball for the Denver elite during the commencement of the Festival of Mountain and Plain. Members included men who were prominent in the western U.S. including William N. Byers, R. W. Speer, and Adolph Zang. The chosen queens were often the daughters of prominent families in the west.

    Ref: All Hail the Queen of the Slaves of the Silver Serpent

    Slaves of the Silver Serpent said in 1897:
    The Festival of Mountain and Plain was inspired by the magnificent harvest of 1895. It was felt that some expression of thankfulness should be made.

    Colorado Artifactual said:
    First Festival day was October 16, 1895 and it was introduced with a “Pageant of Progress.” First Festival closed with a “Night of Glory,” when the Slaves of the Silver Serpent claimed the gaze of a vast multitude with the refined richness and luxury of their illuminated parade. “Out of the Festival grew the secret organization, The Slaves of the Silver Serpent … They are entirely independent of the Festival Association. What they intend to do is a profound secret, even to the Board of Direction ….”

    Colorado Artifactual said:
    Board of Directors included: David H. Moffat, Wolfe Londoner, Robert W. Speer, Frank A. Joslin, C. Mac A. Willcox, J. M. Kuykendall, Rodney Curtis, S. K. Hooper, B. L. Winchell, Earl B. Coe, William N. Byers and others. Certainly, a conservative bunch, some of which who were the early business motivators of Denver. Byers, who came to Denver on April 17, 1859, founded the Rocky Mountain News and served as president of the Board in 1897.

    Ref: Colorado's Slaves of the Silver Serpent, 1895 – 1901, Denver, Colorado's Mountain and Plain Festival

    "Crown of the Queen of the Slaves of the Silver Serpent, 1895"

    "Profile of the Silver Serpent. Charming fellow. Denver, Colorado, 1899. Dimensions: 4-3/4 inches in height; 5-1/2 inches in diameter."

    "Slaves of the Silver Serpent tray, 1897. Ornate, gothic, art-nouveau-like, 1897. Tray dimensions: 9 inches by 6 inches."

    And there seems to have been a 350 foot silver serpent!

    This is mentioned in The Fort Morgan Times, Volume XIII, Number 9, October 16, 1896:


    And a photo from the Queen article:

    The ribbon to the right here is interesting in that it lists the Festival of the Mountain and Plain on top of a silver serpent. This is from the CA article.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 4, 2023 8:56AM

    Here's some more info from Wikipedia:


    Wikipedia said:
    Festival of Mountain and Plain

    The Festival of Mountain and Plain was an annual celebration of pioneer days in the Old West held in early October in Denver from 1895 to 1899, and in 1901 with a final attempt at revival in 1912.[1] Organized by The Mountain and Plain Festival Association, the event featured a parade and rodeo. It continued until at least 1902. It was a regional celebration and drew pioneers from throughout the West, many of whom had participated in the events celebrated.[2][3]

    William Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News, Colorado's first newspaper, was one of its promoters and directors. He originated many of its features: the bal champedre (outdoor ball), a great public masquerade ball held on Broadway; and the four great parades: first, a pageant of western history; second, a masked parade; and, on the third day "a military and social parade, ending with a sham battle at City Park, and in the evening the parade of the slaves of the silver serpent."[4]

    I wonder if William Byers is any relation to Mike @Byers?

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