Trade token (reverse), Halfpenny, of Edinburgh

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Postcard of Trade token (reverse), Halfpenny, of Edinburgh.
© National Museums Scotland

Trade token (reverse), Halfpenny, of Edinburgh

This is the reverse of a copper halfpenny trade token of Edinburgh. Dated 1796, the token was designed by James Wright Junior and manufactured by Kempson. Only 100 of these tokens are said to have been struck.

The reverse depicts Britannia seated, with a sailing ship to the left. Britannia is the female warrior figure who personifies Great Britain or the British Empire. She wears a helmet and holds a trident.

Between 1787 and 1817 over 10,000 different types of trade token were issued to ease the shortage of small change. The contemporary fascination with tokens resulted in them becoming collectors' items. Some tokens were issued purely for collecting.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-000-337-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  H.1995.416
Date: 1796
Material: Copper; striking flaw on obverse; some lustre; no evidence of wear. Inscription: Obv: EDINBURGH HALFPENNY, around top; 1796 below; view of a public building; WRIGHT DES, in small letters, on foreground
Dimensions: 28.5 mm D / Die Axis: 6.0
What: Trade token, halfpenny
Subject: Trade tokens
Who: J. Wright (Designer)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Copper halfpenny trade token of Edinburgh, designed by J. Wright, 1796
  • Calder, J. 'The Wealth of a Nation'. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989 pp. 179-80 
  • Dalton and Hamer, LothiaN 52 
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