Anyone who's been working on this treasure hunt for any length of time should know how awesome this discovery is. Thanks for your hard work kibitz.
I don't think the newsboy is a match for the statue, either, but I also don't think the Hermes is a match. It's kind of close, but then so is the statue. The statue is closer in clothing and the fact that they're both boys. The Hermes is closer in pose but one is a muscular nude god with a helmet and the other one is a skinny boy in 19th century clothing.
Either way, they both just say, "New Orleans", which we already knew from other clues. Or maybe it's St. Louis. How is a doubloon going to direct us to a location? Especially in one of the pictures that has very little detail in it. One of the few major details references a doubloon? And seriously, how could anybody pre-internet narrow it down to a figure that's dressed completely differently on a doubloon? Nobody outside of New Orleans would ever have a chance at guessing that. Most of the people in New Orleans are unlikely to know. It took you a long time and the internet to come up with it. The clues in the solved puzzles referenced actual physical objects in the area. It's interesting, but I classify it with people using Google maps to find tiny details that might match up to things in the images. It just wasn't practical before the internet.
I think the disguised flying figure as Hermes is a connection anyone might make in a pre-Google era. The similarity of pose alone doesnt justify anything, but the fine detail of the socks pattern match the sandal straps that run up Hermes legs is a stronger tip-off. However, using Google I havent found many examples of the flying Hermes with sandal wraps. Most depictions show a naked foot with tiny wings naturally attached to the ankles. Actually, many of the earlier years doubloons for Krewe of Hermes depict Hermes without sandals. Only the 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 doubloons provide us with this best case example.
I'm a big fan of the Litany of the Jewels(LotJ) poem verse that introduces the 12 puzzles in the book,
Turquoise the Fays of France keep: stone
Rare as a blue midsummer's day.
Now compare that line of the LotJ to the theme of the 1982 Mardi Gras for Krewe of Hermes, 9 months prior to the books publication in Nov 1982, and I feel inclined to really wonder about the chain of significance. The backside of the coin has the theme: "Dream on a Mid-Summer's Night".
The significance may only be to say "just New Orleans," or maybe there is something more specific to be grasped, which I'm still not sure what that would be.
Interesting cultural point to consider: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herm%C3%A8s
Hermes, a 180 year old company, is a well regarded fashion brand in Paris, France and a maker of time pieces under the Swiss crafter Universal Geneve.
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