BrianRxm Tokens and Medals (Exonumia) 8/93
Billiken Good Luck Coins
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The "Billiken" was created in 1908 by American illustrator Florence Pretz of St. Louis, Missouri
as a copyrighted "Good Luck" design resembling an elf.
Many items have been made with this design over the years, including dolls, coins, and tokens.
 
The Billiken appeared in the 1940 MGM film "Waterloo Bridge" with Robert Taylor and Vivien Leigh.
Billiken All-Seeing Eye
1. Modern Billiken Good Luck Coin with All-Seeing Eye
 
Copper (999 Fine), 38mm, 26.20gm
 
Obverse:
Billiken sitting
GOOD LUCK
POCKET PIECE
 
Reverse:
All-Seeing Eye at top with rays coming out
Good luck symbols:
Magic Lamp, Curlique, Horseshoe, Billiken, Four-Leaf Clover, Shooting Star, Wishbone
 
This item is of modern manufacture.
 
Billiken Rexall
2. Rexall Drug Stores Billiken Good Luck Coin
 
Brass, 32mm, 11.06gm
 
Obverse:
OPTIMISTIC AND PROGRESSIVE ORDER OF REXALLITES
MEMBER'S COIN
Billiken and horseshoe
GUD LUKK
GOD OF GOOD LUCK, GOOD HEALTH AND GOOD CHEER
 
Reverse:
I AM A REXALLITE BECAUSE MY DRUG STORE NEEDS BE THEY FEW OR MORE
I CAN ALWAYS BUY BEST AT THE REXALL STORE
THE REXALL STORE IN MY TOWN IS ONE OF THE WORLDS 7000 BEST DRUG STORES
 
Rexall was a chain of North American drugstores which operated from 1920 to 1977.
This item dates from the 1920's.
 
The 1940 MGM film "Waterloo Bridge" employs a small Billiken charm as part of the story.
The film is set in London, begins in 1939, then moves back to World War I for most of the story.
 
Robert Taylor is a British Army captain who meets and falls in love with Vivien Leigh, a ballet dancer.
The pair pass the Billiken between them during the story.
 
Waterloo Bridge
1. Roy holds Billiken
 
Roy Cronin, a British Army officer, visits Waterloo Bridge in London in 1939.
He holds something in his hand which turns out to be a Billiken.
 
Waterloo Bridge
2. Roy's Billiken closeup
 
Roy becomes younger and it is now World War I. During an air raid he meets Myra.
 
Waterloo Bridge
3. Myra
 
Myra is a dancer for a small ballet troupe.
She gives Roy a small Billiken.
 
Waterloo Bridge
4. Myra gives Billiken to Roy
 
 
Waterloo Bridge
5. Myra's Billiken closeup
 
They plan to marry but Roy is sent to the front, Myra is fired from the Ballet troupe,
and later, turns to prostitution to survive.
 
Roy returns and meets Myra, and not knowing what has happened, asks her again to marry him.
He gives the billiken back to her.
 
Waterloo Bridge
6. Roy gives Billiken to Myra
 
Waterloo Bridge
7. Roy's Billiken closeup
 
Roy's commanding officer tells Myra that Roy should marry a woman "who can be presented at court".
Myra leaves Roy, heads for the Waterloo Bridge, and throws herself under a truck.
 
Roy has followed her and finds something on the ground.
 
Waterloo Bridge
8. Billiken on the ground
 
Notes:
Vivien Leigh as Myra
Robert Taylor as Roy Cronin
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Writers: S.N. Behrman, Hans Rameau, George Froeschel, Robert E. Sherwood (play)
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