French Magician "Mengin" Token ca. 1850's
MT NUMBER: Not in Kuethe
LOCATION: Paris, France
DAT: ca. 1850's
OBV: Knight facing right with HOMMAGE A L'INVENTEUR / PARIS
REV: 20 CS / LE / CRAYON with CRAYON MENGIN / FG ST MARTIN 25 surrounding
SIZE: 24mm - smooth multi-sided
Type 4B variant with "Paris" and the # "25" address
A very nice example of this vintage token.
Mengin lived in Paris. Mengin sold gold-colored pencils and included a medal like this with each purchase. A street entertainer in the mid 1800's, Mengin dressed as a Roman soldier while selling his pencils while performing magic tricks. He is mentioned in several books of the period. Numerous variants exist with this having the #25 address and "Paris" without "A" variation.
The address, 25 Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, now houses the restaurant "Chez Arthur". Mengin was rumoured to be rich, but on his death in 1864, his home was reported to be "clean, but of extreme simplicity."
Mengin sold gold-coloured pencils and included a medal of this kind (vaguely looking like a Louis d'or) with each pencil sold. There are several types of this advertising medal, with a more or less crude design.
Mengin (or Mangin): pencil merchant famous for his talents as barkers and he was doing magic tricks with his crayons. There are traces of this character in many texts of the second half of the nineteenth century (Grand Larousse Universel, Fournel, Deguignet, Offenbach ...), you can find some below.
Intermediary researchers and curious, 1864 - 1940:
Mangin: Some kind intermediary could teach me what date Mangin died, the famous merchant of gold pens in vogue in Paris around 1850 and beyond?
Mangin (TG 554, XLIX, 449): Mengin (not Mangin, as already written incorrectly in the Intermediate Volume XX, colon, 454 and 532) died in January 1864, according to the instructions that he dedicated the Grand Larousse Universel of Pierre Larousse. Can be found very curious details of the famous merchant of the word charlatan pencils in the same encyclopedia, in an article by VS Fournel, the nomadic artists, published in the Revue de Paris, 15 October 1854, and in Paris grolesque, celebrities Street, Charles Yriarte, 2nd edition 1868. A. Boghaert-Vache.
And Mangin? (XX, 454.) Yriarte Charles, in his book The Famous Street (ed. 1868, Dentu), wrote this epilogue to the manual Mangin: "Mangin died shortly after Pradier, it has not leave a fortune, we have sent to his widow on the day of his death, was found inside a decent, clean, but the greatest simplicity. The rumor was also a Mangin Croesus, but we forget that he had a down payment required, his horses, his stable, his surrender. Whatever his success, he should not, with such charges, to reach the property, Mangin was not replaced."
(source http:/ / gallica.bnf.fr /)
Great universal dictionary of the nineteenth century (Volume third, quack):
(...) Mengin, it has really been the last legitimate successor of Tabarin. Moreover, his name still lives in our memories. Who has not seen his helmet or not heard? He sold pencils enjoyed a vogue European, so some manufacturers skillful, even today, are a fruitful demands of these three words stuck behind glass: Pencil Mengin. Those who have not seen Mengin in the public knew him by the stories that made ??it and that makes it even. His portrait has been poured in a thousand ways, his life was told in one hundred other publications, his death was almost a public event. Mengin is that prevailed in the grave the secret of the profession he had revived popular brightly, for Mengin, with his natural wit and audacity of language, his temper and his bragging, his arrests and cartoons made ??in the open air, not to mention his helmet and his green velvet coat all glittering with gold, Mengin, we say, was indeed the kind of charlatan, especially when a split board with the tip of his pencil . He advised his audience still among many good and innocent face again landed, he spoke to him and asked him some question preposterous, to which it replied only blushing from ear to ear. So Mengin recital with serious attention: "Oh, I understand, I understand, gentlemen, have a little indulgence for him is an Auvergne." And the audience to laugh ... except the Auvergne. Curious contrast, Mengin, they say, was in the company of a gentle and almost timid, this volubility, this insurance fell charlatan when he got out of his car. This ensures that the experience made ??him regret the loss of one of his children were the leading cause of premature death ...
Great universal dictionary of the nineteenth century (Supplement, Mengin):
One of the celebrities of the street, who died in January 1864 . For fifteen years, he wears a golden helmet wearing a colorful coat to sell pencils: this is what made ??him famous! He had a luxurious crew, superb horses, and behind him a whole orchestra. His pencils, excellent indeed, were golden, and he did not sell when accompanied by a token bearing his effigy, a beautiful brand new chip that looked like a louis:
In this vivid portrait that everyone looks, Mengin Recognize and beard to waves of gold. But in vain here each boasts its mine, That of his pencils is much better.
This quatrain, the work of banquiste himself accompanied the effigy placarded by him in those selling tobacco, custodians of his goods, keep it for posterity. Many others can do the same, but they will never Mengin. Mengin was fun and had the genius of the parade was the kind of boastful charlatan. He drew well enough charge in a few pencil strokes: there is nothing miraculous, but he sharpened his pencil with a sword, which is very strong, and to prove the strength of the pencil, he banged on it blows of a mallet, like a plank in the press, needless to say, by a sleight of hand going on, he substituted in pencil a piece of gilded wood. What he had ingenious were his sales pitches, the aplomb with which he recited his praise and made ??fun of good people who lost their time listening and had the verve, the unexpected, will never be repeated, was new inventions to stop bystanders, keep them around his car and like it or not make them buy his goods. "This, Mengin Devil! Has the spirit! said to be going away. What a pity we do not shorthand his speeches! "A contemporary writer, MV Fournel, followed Mengin had fun and raised some of its parades (Nomadic Artists, Paris Review of October 1854). Well, this is not wonderful. You had to hear it, see his facial expression, his address to enter the appropriateness. This had its vogue, and which died with him.
What you see on the streets of Paris by Victor Fournel (Editor E. Dentu, 1867):
(...) But Mengin place, place to the man by all his colleagues who are just pranks, at most worthy of playing the clarinet in front of him! Who has not seen, who has not heard Mengin, is not seen or heard anything. Contemplate it, walking on the crowd from the top of the podium, a look full of shade, calm and proud in his strength, calm and almost disdainful in the consciousness of his superiority, the commander of its capacity, better than its costume, the respectful attention of all. Behind him, perched at a prodigious height and wearing a feather extravagant, a human being, a stunning appearance, plays with a vengeance of the organ, as if it were an ordinary debiting of specific toothache. But now the audience gathers around the luxurious carriage and horse prancing and parade, proudly dragging Mengin and fortune. All eyes are removed, all mouths open. Mengin then deploys a large solemnly register or spread the cartoons of the most entertaining, and he slowly turns the pages before the crowd radiant, and then he rings a bell: the organ is silent, and silence fell, and so complete so deep, it looks like the eyes and mouths while ago have turned into ears. Getting ready with reverence befitting to hear these variations on a familiar tune, delivered with this body and gestures that everyone knows by heart, but the point! He takes a pose without emphasis mingled pride and pain-free allowance, it gives his face an expression that must have those of Jonas when he preached repentance to the sinful people of Nineveh. Her eyes half shut, he shakes his head with resignation, and begins with a voice imbued with a speech worthy of being transmitted to posterity the most distant. (...)
"Gentlemen, Mengin says, you probably have not been without hearing from me until now. The newspapers have told you my name (it's true!), and you have already probably met in public places. Never mind, gentlemen, listen to me again. We can not listen too the man who brings with him good words and useful present. And then I have this argument, I - Gentlemen ... I'm Mengin, who sells pencils! (must be seen as that phrase is thrown triumphantly in the shape of incontrovertible proof! as it is punctuated with address, marked a significant tone, and what a great break after the great name of Mengin!)
"Gentlemen, - each in his hobby that he caress one - dream the cross of honor, the other - chasing fortune and a third - has the ambition to wear gold braid on the seams (deep and bitter irony). Me, which take care, which takes my whole life, my hobby, if you are my pencils, my dream and my ambition is to share my pencils to everyone, my glory, c is to sell you better than all those pencils you have been sold to date. If you doubt this, I ask no better - than to come to the test, I ask no better - than to descend immediately into the lists. You definitely on you - one of your regular pencils. Well Gentlemen, let's see, - that the work we know the craftsman. I am not afraid, is not it? and I must be very sure of victory to speak so confidently. Ah! Gentlemen, - is that I do not venture to chance is that I speak knowingly. Ten years ago - I sell pencils, and for ten years - I met many competitors, but not a rival. My pencil, gentlemen, put the ink stick! Spring has its roses, the sun's rays, and Mengin was his pencils. It is my discovery to me! - And it seems to me that the man who devotes his genius (the term is. Why not? Mengin hate not the proper word!) To make discoveries useful to mankind, that one deserves the esteem and recognition around the world. But do you want me to tell you what I have against me? I envy against me, which fortunately was never able to stop a great success and I against me (I wish you could hear "me" as he fills his mouth whenever he returns , and it is often!) mediocrity and impotence, always united to combat the credit. That's what I tells me! But for me I have the public, who knows me and knows what to expect on my account. Now, gentlemen, we can not talk about Mengin not to mention good pencils, and we can not speak good not to mention pencils Mengin. Every day I get letters from colleges of our directors, our heads of large institutions, of the most highly placed in society, in the fine arts and literature, who write to thank me and to do full justice to my pencils. (Alas, there is still a small corner of the charlatan vulgar ear is the end of the donkey from under the skin of the lion!) I sometimes meet in the street men in the chest marked with the sign of the honor, coming to shake my hand and said: "You are the Mengin? Sir, you are an honest man, a good citizen: I bought your pencils and they marked ten times better and they m 'lasted ten times longer than the others. " Certainly, gentlemen, it's good to hear, and such words can console the crailleries fools and envious ."(...)
At this point in his speech, Mengin stops. He listened and pretended to hearing on the right or left a preposterous thought that gives the opportunity to make a triumphant reply. As Demosthenes and all the great orators, Mengin likes to take his audience in part, to the stage to dramatize his words.
" Just now, he said, I heard one of my listeners - old - on this side - in a low whisper to his neighbor, But the man that is not French! - With indignation. - No French? Oh "- he seems to think with great contention of mind. - Ah yes, I understand ... this suit, is not it? ... This pot on the front of the harlequin coat back! " - He shrugs and shakes his head gently with an air of painful pity. - "Tell me, it is really true, gentlemen, that I look like a clown, one of those men who disguised as Turks to run the carnival of street urchins? Well ! do you know why the charade? I'll tell you - me, gentlemen. One day, oh I will long remember! (Here nothing beats the tone of melancholy resignation of the speaker. There a volume of elegy in this "Oh I'll remember for a long time!") was, as now, a public square, selling pencils as now, dressed like you, gentlemen, with a dress like this, a life - like that one. (Excellent opportunity to raise his doublet and show the crowd a very beautiful dress, my faith, which is emerging as a fashionable jacket, decorated with rich charms, and this always good effect!) A few steps had come to place a grimacing, yes, gentlemen, a grimacing, a wretched buffoon with two humps, one of these buffoons intersections, whose job is to make fools laugh and strollers . The crowd gathered before him, and the few people at the sweat of my brow I was able to collect me soon left to join. buffoon My triumphed. I stood there alone, discouraged, and when a brave man, who saw me looking away, asked his neighbor who I was: It! - he replied, oh it's nothing, a man like any other! (What word depth scary! You doubt yourself, O Mengin?).
From that day, gentlemen, I think that since they had to dress in clown to attract the crowd, I would dress in clown. And you see, gentlemen, that I was right, because you're all around me, you would have passed without stopping if I'd been like everyone else. You hasten as soon as I look, when I speak, you listening carefully (and listen) and you will not go by before I finished. (And no one goes. This is what is known about the human heart!)
"I also heard another saying: Bah! is a charlatan. Charlatan, gentlemen, oh! my god, I'm not on the terms. Tell me first what you mean by charlatan, and I'll tell if I am a charlatan. These are not words that do things, and we are too great to pay us this money there. Both gentlemen, long time ago that I'm blasé about it, go! In the early days, I admit, when I hear myself named charlatan, it made ??me something, that word wrung my heart. Poor fool! ... I was so young, so new! ... Now! ... Now, gentlemen, hold, if it please you, call me charlatan in every possible way, I agree willingly. Do not be afraid to hurt me, no, gentlemen. Look, do I blush? do I look down? is it I'm afraid to introduce myself to you head high? I am a charlatan, it's true, but I am an honest man. I am a charlatan, but I have the heart and conscience. I am a charlatan, but I say the truth, and I believe that my words right. I am a charlatan, but I sell good pencils! (Where the devil of a man he makes his rhetoric?)
"So, charlatan, or is arranged! is agreed! Here I am well and duly convicted of being a charlatan. charlatan Call me: nobody will deny, not even me But do not tell my pencils are bad, because then I contradict you, and your neighbor with me, and the newspaper with your neighbor, and all Paris with the newspaper!"
And then, gentlemen , do you think that all the charlatans are in the public square? You would be naive if you think. Frankly, not just quack here, even those who deny it the most? The devotee, who feels virtuous because she spoke ill of the vices of his neighbor, quack! The grisette who speaks of his love, quack! The fellow who praised his selflessness, quack! The lawyer who advocates its discretion, quack! The merchant who swears on his conscience, quack! The doctor who wants to believe in his cures, quack, quack! Everything is mountebank! The world is a meeting of charlatans who try to make more noise than each other! (O Mengin, Mengin, pitiless observer of pity, let us at least some of our idols!)
"Indeed, gentlemen, look good and you will see that each state has its good and bad side. L child - it is given sugar, but it gives him the whip. The soldier - a man of honor without money, and usurer - money without honor. Well, me, gentlemen, I was happier, and I raised both honor and money. You have to be philosophical and accept with resignation the disadvantage of a state which I collect the profits. " (...)
Mengin feels perfectly its value, it is right, so he hung his portrait with a beautiful quatrain at the corner of every street and it has even been cast in bronze. Ask him three pencils, and you will have a premium coin with one side's address, the other his effigy, with this inscription: A tribute to the inventor! Which prevents it from being a statue? (...)
(source http://gallica.bnf.fr/ , all text is available on the website of the BNF, the transition relation Mengin from pages 76-88.)
Follows two texts Theodore de Banville (1823-1891)
(Peter J. Edwards (ed.), complete poetic works of Theodore de Banville, electronic texts, interactive, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB, 1996.)
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