<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions

Samuel Johnson halfpenny tokens.

Birmingham, England, 1792-1797.
Physical Description:
6 tokens : copper ; each approximately 3 cm in diameter
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Flat D 8a
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Herman W. Liebert
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
The present description (and token numbering) is based on the article by A.W. Waters (cited herewith). Waters describes seven tokens, of which numbers 2, 4, 5 (2 copies), 6, and 7 are included in the present set.
Token 2. Obverse: Bust to the right. "Dr. Samuel Johnson." Reverse: Three lions rampant. "Promissory halfpenny payable at." Edge: "Birmingham, W. Hampton or Litchfield." Issued in 1792 by Henry Biggs. See: Dalton & Hamer no. 71a, p. 269.
Token 4. Obverse: Bust to the left. "Dr. Saml. Johnson." Reverse: Two branches of laurel leaves, the stems crossed at bottom. Edge: Plain. "Litchfield Token MDCCXCVI." Not issued by any trader at Litchfield; made by Peter Kempson, from dies cut by Wyon (see Waters). See: Dalton & Hamer no. 18, p. 242.
Token 5. Obverse: As no. 4. Reverse: Britannia seated to left, holding an olive branch and spear. "Rule Britannia." Edge: "Payable in London." See: Dalton & Hamer no. 19, p. 242.
Token 6. Obverse: As no. 4. Reverse: A figure of a boy standing, left arm on a screw, in the right hand a spanner. "Birmingham Halfpenny." In the exergue "1793." Edge: "Payable in London." See: Dalton & Hamer no. 51, p. 267.
Token 7. Obverse: As no. 4. Reverse: A group of musical instruments, flag and weapons. "Blofield Cavalry. Fifth Troop." Edge: "Buxton Token." See: Dalton & Hamer no. 8, p. 210.
"[Tokens 5, 6 and 7] were made for sale by P. Kempson of Birmingham ... The edge inscriptions of nos. 5, 6 and 7 do not of course indicate that they had to do with London or Buxton, as the edges were put on the blanks before the sides were struck ... The reverse of no. 5 is a die used on several tokens. That of no. 6 is the observe of the Birmingham halfpenny. No. 7 is a reverse die of the military token of the Norfolk Blofield Cavalry Token."--Waters.
Waters, A. "Johnson Copper Tokens." In Notes and Queries (1930 Dec 6) pages 403-404
Dalton, R. Provincial token-coinage of the 18th century, Birmingham 8, 18, 19, 51, 71a
Subject Terms:
Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784.
Tokens -- Great Britain -- Specimens.
Conder tokens.
Biggs, Henry.
Kempson, Peter (Medallist)
Wyon, Thomas, 1767-1830.

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.