World Tokens (14 February 2012)

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Date of Auction: 14th February 2012

Sold for £3,400

Estimate: £2,000 - £3,000

BRIDGETOWN, John Arnot & Co, Pattern Penny, 1791, by T. Wyon for M. Boulton, in copper, negro head left, rev. value around pineapple, edge plain, not struck in collar, 32mm, 12.08g/6h (Lyall 73; Prid. 22; Margolis, SNC 1990, p.200, fig. 4; Spink F5). Minor spotting both sides, otherwise extremely fine and of the highest rarity; believed only one other specimen known [R.J. Ford, lot 379] £2,000-3,000

Footnote

Provenance: Glendining Auction, 15 March 1972, lot 338.

Although the provenance of the present coin cannot be taken further back than 1972 with any certainty, its striking characteristics are a close match for the Montagu/Caldecott coin illustrated by Pridmore and Margolis. Pridmore thought these tokens were made for collectors but it is actually much more likely that they were a legitimate order for John Arnot, baker of Bridgetown; however, Arnot’s order was seemingly cancelled when the island became flooded with Birmingham-made copies of the original 1788 Gibbes issue in 1791