18th Century Tokens from the Collection formed by the late David Barry Bailey

18th Century Tokens from the Collection formed by the late David Barry Bailey

David Barry Bailey (1946 - 2018)

My deceased husband, David Barry Bailey, loved collecting coins, tokens and medals since he was a little boy. In his youth, it was possible to find collectable coins in change. His family liked to take long automobile trips and, in a car without air conditioning, his father would keep his two sons occupied by stopping at various banks and getting rolls of coins for them to search through, looking for rarer dates. Any coins that he could sell provided the boys with their pocket money for the vacation. This ‘game’ ignited a passion that burned for his entire life. He went on to become a husband, father and teacher but he never lost his love for numismatics.

When he realized that he could not afford US coins, he turned to his second love – history, and began collecting foreign coins and medals. During one of our first dates, walking through an unfamiliar town, we stopped at a coin shop (I was perceptive enough to understand that his first love was his collection, and if I wanted to be part of his life, I would have to embrace that fact.) There he purchased his first Conder token for 50 cents. He was so excited. He had read about them, but actually finding one that he could afford was a dream. This started his adventure with the beauty and history of Conders. Over his lifetime, he collected many things – Byzantine, medieval, British by type, etc, but his Conder collection was his pride and joy. In them he invested most of his money, his interest, and his dedicated research.

An educator by profession, he used ‘Coins in the Classroom’ before it became a ‘programme’, and he was always anxious to share his knowledge with others. He conducted school coin clubs, was president at several local coin clubs, and finally served for many years as the President of the Garden State Numismatic Association. He wrote articles for local publications that were designed to be interesting to both collectors and non-collectors alike, under the title ‘The Lion's Tale’. Dave, who was born on 15 January 1946 and died on 23 April 2018, loved life and people. Enjoying retirement, he created many PowerPoint presentations and travelled around to various organizations and clubs, introducing others to his hobby.

Personally, I am not a collector, but I truly appreciate the beauty and social significance of Conder tokens. I often wonder how such intricate and gorgeous engravings could be made by candlelight and with manual tools. As you browse through this catalogue, please take some time to enjoy their beauty, as Dave and I often did. They may be called tokens, but many are also great works of art.
Frances Bailey


The important collection of 18th century tokens formed by David Bailey, former President of the New Jerseybased Garden State Numismatic Association (shown above presenting the GSNA 2013 Young Numismatist award to Michael Johnson), is one of the most significant to have been offered by auction in recent years. Consisting of 850 pieces, the majority sourced by David from outside the UK, these are, with relatively few exceptions, tokens that have not been on the British market for some time. It includes many classics, such as Denton’s ‘Swan’ penny (Lot 549), James Conder’s first penny (Lot 436), an Isaac Swainson halfpenny (Lot 343), two halfpence by the precocious young John Gregory Hancock (Lots 467-8) and the superb penny of Thomas Welch which graces the front cover (Lot 472). David’s lesser-quality Conder tokens have been disposed of privately, leaving this group as his pride and joy, for others to now treasure just as he did. P.J.P-M.