Copper Trade Token
Copper Trade Token
Copper Trade Token

Copper Trade Token

1793 England

Offered by Baggott Church Street Ltd

£145 gbp
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Listing Information
Impression of the industrialist John Wilkinson to the face with the legend JOHN WILKINSON IRON MASTER and to the reverse an impression of a man working a forge and the date 1793. Around the outer rim are the words Payable in Lancaster, London or Bristol. A similar token is held in the Science Museum. At the end of the 18th century, with the shortage small change being produced by the Royal Mint, industrial or trade tokens were issued by employers as a means of paying their work force. This token produced by Matthew Boulton in his Soho Mint in Birmingham, which had been set up to meet the huge demand for such tokens.
English, 1793
Diameter 2.8cm
Stock No. 1546
Following the suspension of the striking of copper coins by the Royal Mint in 1775, small change became scarce and there was the need to introduce an alternative method of paying the industrial workforces. Copper halfpennies produced by the Aldephi Copper Company, Deanston, Perthshire seem to be the first to appear in circulation in 1786. In 1787, Thomas Williams, known as the ‘Copper King’ by his business rival Matthew Boulton, issued Anglesey halfpenny and penny tokens. John Wilkinson, a business partner of Williams in many copper ventures in North Wales and Cornwall soon followed suit and between 1787 and 1798 his money was
circulated in several Midland, Western and Welsh counties. Wilkinson (1728-1808) was known as ‘Iron-Mad’, an English industrialist who pioneered the manufacture of cast iron and the use of cast iron goods during the Industrial Revolution. Whereas all other coinage in circulation throughout the 18th century bore the head of the monarch upon it, John Wilkinson chose to put his own image and the slogan John Wilkinson, Iron Master upon his coins. The places etched into the rim of the tokens identified where they were considered legitimate tender. From 1790 to 1795, Matthew Boulton was responsible for minting all of John Wilkinson’s coins. The use of such tokens/currency died out by 1797. The designer of the ‘forge’ token was a gentleman by the name of Hancock and the engraver, Dumarest.
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Baggott Church Street Ltd

Baggott Church Street Ltd
Church Street
GL54 1BB

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