1860 M.L. Marshall’s Variety Store Merchant Token, Oswego, NY, Miller-NY-1008, MS65RB NGC. Ex: Rev. Dr. James G.K. McClure (pedigree on holder). Copper, plain edge, 27 mm. A popular token with a scene of a man fishing in the center obverse, date 1860 beneath. Obverse around rim M.L. MARSHALL’S VARIETY STORE OSWEGO N.Y. Reverse in seven lines DEALER / IN / BERLIN WOOLS, EMBROIDERY GOODS, FISHING TACKLE / & FANCY GOODS / GENERALLY. This token is amazingly well-preserved, close to full Red and distraction-free save for a single small spot on the obverse. There is a small planchet striation, as made, right of the tree. This piece, in addition to its Gem preservation, features as full a strike on the reverse as ever seen—many pieces are quite weak on that side.
Merchant tokens predating the Civil War, such as the present piece, are far rarer and more elusive than the later patriotic and merchant tokens, mostly issued in 1862 or later when the horrors of the Civil War forced small change from circulation due to hoarding.
M.L. Marshall merchant tokens with a similar design are also known for 1862, and by 1863 Marshall’s issued a different token with a simple fish motif, by which time they had also added TOYS and RARE COIN to their range of offerings! Berlin wool works were a type of embroidery popular in the U.S. and Europe from 1804 until 1875, per Wikipedia.
Ex: Long Beach Tokens & Medals Signature Auction 1235 (Heritage, 6/2016), lot 99077, brought $823.