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Home > Member Collections > *Alex > BRITAIN (UK) - Britannia themed coins and tokens.
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1813 "LION" AE Halfpenny Token. Issued in Walthamstow, Essex.
Obverse: HALFPENNY. A lion walking left; 1813 below in exergue.
Reverse: Britannia seated facing left holding olive branch and trident, a shield at her side, small BCC below shield, all within an oak-wreath.
Edge: Plain.
Diameter: 28mm
Withers: 610

The principal die engraver was Thomas Wyon the elder (17671830). About 1796, Thomas went into business in Birmingham with his brother Peter as a general die-engraver. From 1800, he carried on his business from London, where he engraved many dies for tokens, and in 1816 he was appointed chief engraver of the seals. He died on 18th October, 1830.

This token was issued by the British Copper Company, a Welsh based company who, in 1808, bought the Walthamstow site beside the River Lea. Walthamstow is now a suburb of north east London. The copper was smelted in "Landore" near Swansea in South Wales and brought by barge around the south coast up the Thames and the Lea to the mill. The copper ingots were then rolled into thin sheets which were sent all over the country to be stamped into coins. The main purpose of the BCC would have been to sell its copper, whether in the form of tokens, or sheets of metal. These penny and half penny tokens were not issued exclusively for use in Walthamstow, the halfpennies in particular do not bear the name of a place where they could have been redeemed except the very tiny BCC found on the ground by Britannia's shield. The copper rolling mill buildings at Walthamstow were converted into a pumping station in the 1860s and were later incorporated, by Thames Water, into a large water treatment works.

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Album name:*Alex / BRITAIN (UK) - Britannia themed coins and tokens.
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Lloyd  [Sep 13, 2013 at 08:20 PM]
Great obverse and a very interesting piece of history. Copper smelting in Swansea and milling on the Lea! Processors striking token coinage! How the world has changed since the glory days of the industrial revolution and empire. As much as anything this token is a melancholic commentary on how the world and global economy has changed from "gentler" days!
 

   

 
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