Exotic Artifacts

Two antique objects that intrigue me:

http://zhurnaly.com/images/beard_token.jpgBeard Token: When Tsar Peter the Great (1682-1725) decided to modernize Russia he ordered men to remove their beards or pay an annual tax of 50 rubles. Those who chose not to shave but to pay were given "beard tokens" as receipts. I've seen one in the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection. Nice examples sell for a few thousand dollars. (image courtesy Smithsonian Institution)
Monocle: Since I'm nearsighted in only one eye, it seems a waste to wear glasses. Most monocles for sale are costume-jewelry, but it would be fun to wear a functional one with a lens that would properly correct my vision. Occasionally monocles show up at thrift stores, presumably when somebody dies and their estate is donated. (image courtesy Wikipedia)http://zhurnaly.com/images/monocle.jpg

^z - 2010-05-19