Home U.S. Coin Forum

C.F. Kleinsteuber tokens, a brief history.

DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

C.F. Kleinsteuber was a machinist and engraver who had a Machine Shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the Civil War and the years that followed. The original location was 24 Tamarack St.

There are two beautiful storecards produced for this establishment, both bearing the proprietor's likeness. The endearing, honest looking man with a long beard is C.F. Kleinsteuber himself. The die work is that of Johann Marr, perhaps the leading die sinker in Wisconsin at the time. He too had a righteous beard.

It has been suggested that Kleinsteuber's shop was used to produce this token along with many of Marr's creations.
1863 Chas. Kleinsteuber, Milwaukee, WI. Fuld-WI510V-1a. Copper. NGC MS66BN

In 1867, he reworked the obverse die by changing the date and made a new reverse die to reflect the move to a different address, 318 State St.
1867 Chas. Kleinsteuber, Milwaukee, WI, Rulau-WI-MI-25A. Silvered white metal. NGC MS62.


The shop at 318 State St is best known as the location that the typewriter was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes.

The 1863 piece is listed as R4, but still rather hard to find in uncirculated condition. The 1867 variety, I have found, is alot rarer.
The above two tokens are mine, but I'll show you a third variety that just blows my mind. This one is from Steve Hayden's archives and is a rare (probably unique) double struck brockage, with 90 degree rotation between strikes:

1863. Chas. Kleinsteuber, Milwaukee,
WI. Fuld WI510 V-2a


From the Steve Tanenbaum, Bob Kraft, Rich Hartzog, Doug Watson and George Fuld collections.
Anyone that owns this and wants to sell it to me reach out.
* @davebe need not apply *

Thanks for reading.

Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
"Coin collecting for outcasts..."

Comments

  • calgolddivercalgolddiver Posts: 1,393 ✭✭✭✭✭

    thx for the history lesson !!!

    Top 25 Type Set 1792 to present

    Top 10 Cal Fractional Type Set

    successful BST with Ankurj, BigAl, Bullsitter, CommemKing, DCW(7), Elmerfusterpuck, Joelewis, Mach1ne, Minuteman810430, Modcrewman, Nankraut, Nederveit2, Philographer(5), Realgator, Silverpop, SurfinxHI, TomB and Yorkshireman(3)

  • kazkaz Posts: 9,064 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent, informative thread!

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,431 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very cool 😎

    Mr_Spud

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Charles F. Kleinsteuber obituary. Wed, Jun 03, 1885:

    Kleinsteuber was dead at 63. John Marr lived until he was 90 years old.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, the Kleinsteuber Civil War token is hard to find in strict Mint State. I really like the products of John Marr. When I was trying to find a Kleinsteuber token, I never did any better than AU-58.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones
    Have you seen many of the 1867 pieces? My recent pickup from Heitage is the only one I've ever handled. And to that end, I've never seen one that was silvered white metal.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DCW... Those are superb pictures of the tokens... Just incredible detail visible. Cheers, RickO

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ricko
    Thanks, the credit for the photos belongs to NGC's improved photography department which is slowly catching up to PCGS True-View.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This example shows a shattered reverse die:

    And here is another example of the 1867 token, the only other one I can remember seeing:

    Both of these tokens were found over at CoinTalk.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,472 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 7, 2023 6:07AM

    @DCW said:
    @BillJones
    Have you seen many of the 1867 pieces? My recent pickup from Heitage is the only one I've ever handled. And to that end, I've never seen one that was silvered white metal.

    No, but I have never shopped for them. As a collector, my focus has been largely limited to Hard Times and Civil War tokens. Within those areas, I have concentrated on the political pieces. I have only collected the merchant Civil War tokens that I found attractive, were from the New England area (When I lived there.) or were engaged in unusual occupations.


    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • tokenprotokenpro Posts: 846 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've seen a few true mint state Kleinstubers over the years, only two that I recall having more than a hint of red. I made a NGC MS-63 brown with some subtle underlying red back about 15 years ago -- I think the dealer that bought it from me ran it on eBay and either lost money or spun his wheels. I recall that Stacks had a NGC MS65 brown back a couple years ago which was the highest grade that I remember seeing.

    The white metal pieces actually showed up fairly often in the upper Midwest 15-20 years and more ago when Milwaukee had three large shows a year and the surrounding shows were more active. I distinctly recall the late Milwaukee dealer David Derzon having a p-l 1867 example and Leonard Saunders having a sharp unc as well (which I missed by 15 seconds or so). I've handled at least seven or eight examples, none better than xf+-au. Many I've seen have been holed and most circs have minor damage.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 9, 2023 11:49AM

    Here's the Bowers specimen for Charles "Carl" Friedrich Kleinsteuber Fuld 510V-1a token. I believe the slab photos are from @SteveHayden so this can be known as the Bowers-Hayden specimen.

    Here's some good info on him indicating he was born in Gotha, Sachsen, Germany.

    https://www.geni.com/people/Charles-Kleinsteuber/6000000016660068155

    It would be nice for there to be an encyclopedia of merchants like John Nicholas Joseph Lupia, III maintains for people in numismatics, but notably there is no entry for Marr.

    https://www.numismaticmall.com/encyclopedic-dictionary-of-numismatic-biographies


  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 8, 2023 11:33PM

    @DCW said:
    The die work is that of Johann Marr, perhaps the leading die sinker in Wisconsin at the time. He too had a righteous beard.

    Here's a photo of Johann "John" Marr and his beard:

    https://www.novanumismatics.com/johann-john-marr-civil-war-token-engraver/

    @DCW said:
    It has been suggested that Kleinsteuber's shop was used to produce this token along with many of Marr's creations.

    This is very interesting. Is there any information on this?

    Here's a newspaper clipping from the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel on April 30th, 1860:

    https://www.novanumismatics.com/comprehensive-index-of-mossin-marr-patriotic-civil-war-tokens/

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins
    That's an awesome example from the QDB Collection. I must have missed that on his offerings, though I'm happy with my own example. Great toning. These pieces just do not come with any appreciable amount of red.

    Also, it appears that the photo you posted of Marr to be from the dame photo shoot as the one I posted. Guy lived to be 90 years old. He was probably pretty recognized by the time of his death as an important die sinker of the times.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 9, 2023 11:52AM

    @DCW said:
    @Zoins
    That's an awesome example from the QDB Collection. I must have missed that on his offerings, though I'm happy with my own example. Great toning. These pieces just do not come with any appreciable amount of red.

    It's not mine, but I'm happy to have been able to track it down. QDB had a great collection and it's nice to see his inserts.

    Of note, it's not in any registry sets so it may be difficult to track down the current owner for pedigree purposes. I wonder how may CWT collectors use the PCGS Set Registry.

    @DCW said:
    Also, it appears that the photo you posted of Marr to be from the dame photo shoot as the one I posted. Guy lived to be 90 years old. He was probably pretty recognized by the time of his death as an important die sinker of the times.

    That could very well be. Do we know how many different tokens are attributed to Johann Marr? Did he put his name on all his tokens?

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Don't know how many he made, but he had some really iconic designs like the Amazonian and the A. Eschermann Indian on a horse. (Can't find my image on that one, but a forum member has a stunning example that I want in the worst way!)

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,835 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    John Marr is my favorite Civil War Token die maker. Marr was a political refugee from the failed revolutions of 1848 that occurred in Europe. I am quite sure that the painting, "Liberty Leading the People," was in the inspiration for the "Naked Amazon."

    I was never able to find the perfect John Marr store card piece.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,835 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's a PCGS MS66BN Fuld 510AD-1a:

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,970 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins
    That is beautiful. Alot of high grade CWTs out there lurking. Some designs were put away by collectors of the day at the time of issue, thankfully.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file