Mutt and Jeff try the Swap Shop Again

It has been so hot here in South Florida during the month of June that Jeff has skipped the last few weeks, while Mutt keeps up the exercise. But this week, thinking it might not be so very hot, Jeff decided to join in the morning adventures at the flea market. As usual they ran into Harvey and Bobo.

Not too many venders and the free parking had given way to inflation, but for a buck they give you a copy of the local newspaper to sweeten the deal.

The big numismatic find of the day was a pewter medal from a National Park Memorial, here in the State of Florida.

OBV: HERNANDO DE SOTO / above around / 1500 / Coat of Arms, right,

Bust of deSoto, left / 1532 below/

CONQUISTADOR, around below


Memorial Marker between two trees / P.D. designer / BRADENTON FLORIDA, around below

Undated medal - 50 mm - pewter

History: On a sweltering day in May of 1539, Hernando de Soto and an army of over 600 soldiers splashed ashore in Tampa Bay Florida. They arrived in nine ships laden with supplies: two hundred and twenty horses, a herd of pigs, a pack of vicious war dogs, cannon, matchlock muskets, armor, tools and rations. It was everything they would need to execute the order of King Charles V: sail to Florida and "conquer, populate and pacify" the land.

DeSoto and his men went ashore at what is now Desoto National Memorial, (developed by the National Park Service - March 11, 1948). They built a village, but stayed only a short time. They marched northward to Georgia, then turned westward and followed the Alabama River to Mobile Bay. When their supplies and spirits ran low, DeSoto rallied his men with the prospect of riches ahead.

Along the way they met many Indian Tribes. DeSoto forced the Indians to furnish supplies and tortured their chiefs in a useless effort to make them tell where gold was hidden. This brutality led to many battles. In Mobile Bay, about 70 Spaniards were killed, and many more hurt. Desoto himself was severely wounded.

Everywhere DeSoto searched, the Indians reported gold "just ahead" in order to escape his torture, but after three years he still had found no gold. In the spring of 1542, DeSoto led his worn and tattered men southward. Near the junction of the Red and Mississippi rivers, DeSoto fell ill and died.

Back to the Mutt and Jeff story - Near the end of the morning walk - they came upon a visitor from out of town who was selling off a few items. Included were two collector pages of African currency with postage stamps put together in Germany. After negotiating the price, they each bought one - Mutt has scanned his and displays it below:

Click on notes for larger view

This Five Shilling Bank of Uganda note - P15 was issued in 1982. Its value in the catalog is $2.00, which happens to be what they paid for it. No bargains today. As the local coin club was having a meeting and auction this evening, Mutt decided to cut his losses and put the note in the auction. It sold for $2.00. So Mutt was only down the cost of the deSoto medal.

But the auction wasn't over yet. Some member had put in a bronze encased in Lucite medal with a $1. minimum. The auctioneer was having a hard time getting even the first bid, so Mutt raised his hand and bid a buck. Quickly the auction was over and he had bought another medal!

The obverse has FLORIDA at the top and a parchment map of Florida, an Indian and a Spanish explorer. The reverse: OFFICIAL 1974 GOVERNOR'S MEDALLION, around above, UNITED STATES BICENTENNAL 1776 1976, around below, with in circle: THE TERRITORY OF FLORIDA, in the center, American Eagle with thirteen stars above. After hours of research on the Internet, and with out any luck in finding additional identification, Mutt will have to keep looking.

After the early morning session at the Swap Shop, Mutt and Jeff ended at their favorite stop for another cup of coffee and took a second look at today's additions.