Birmingham halfpenny token for a tavern


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Science Museum Group
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Token, copper, 28mm diameter. Birmingham halfpenny, n.d. [1789-1800]. (DH Warwks 71a). Honouring Dr Samuel Johnson. Issuer Henry Biggs, probably late 1780s, ½d. Obverse Bust of Dr Samuel Johnson. Reverse Three lions rampant: ‘Promissory halfpenny payable at’. Notes Biggs’ tavern may have been named after Dr Johnson. This was his second token and it is said that there was a sudden return of the first in large numbers for redemption, while this one was in production. He consequently changed the edge inscription from ‘Henry Biggs Moore Street’ (in Birmingham), to an evasive one. This was allegedly the first instance of this practice.


Coins, Medals & Tokens
Object Number:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • exchange medium
Mr. J. Newmark.

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