18th Century British Trade Tokens (5 October 2011)

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Date of Auction: 5th October 2011

Sold for £2,100

Estimate: £2,000 - £2,500

Birmingham, James Bisset, Halfpenny, view of interior of a temple, no pictures around, rev. ornaments on shelf, edge plain, 14.20g/6h (DH 119, the plate coin). Obverse die damaged at top, reverse with rim flaw at 7 o’clock, extremely fine and of the highest rarity, one of the classic tokens in the entire 18th century series; believed only one other specimen in private hands £2,000-2,500


Provenance: F.S. Cokayne Collection, Spink Auction 192, 24 January 2008, lot 142.

Unfortunately no original tickets were with this piece when it was sold in 2008, so the provenance quoted on that occasion cannot be proven with any certainty (
CTCJ 47, p.24); it might equally apply to the other specimen in private hands. For the record, though, it would appear to be:

T. Thompson Collection; M. Young Collection, Sotheby Auctions, 1839-41, sale and lot number not now discernable; Sir G. Chetwynd Collection, Christie’s Auction, 30 July-2 August 1872, lot 30 (part); J.S. Dodsworth Collection; S.H. Hamer Collection, Glendining Auction, 26-8 November 1930, lot 405 (part).

What is clear from the state of the common reverse die is that DH 120 was struck before DH 119, an observation noted by Conder but apparently not picked up on by Atkins, whose order Dalton and Hamer copied