17th century Somerset tokens realise $30,000 in London sale



2015-06-26 13:56:08

17th century Somerset tokens realise $30,000 in London sale

The 17th century Somerset trading tokens were issued after the English civil war

The David Young collection, a set of 366 trading tokens minted in Somerset, England in the 17th century, sold for a combined 18,600 ($30,078) at Dix Noonan Webb in London on October 1.

They were issued between 1648 and 1673 due to a lack of small denomination currency in the aftermath of the civil war, and were intended for use within the local area.

Dix Noonan tokens The tokens were issued by local traders and feature names, locations and occupations

Peter Preston-Morley of Dix Noonan Webb told Paul Fraser Collectibles: "Prior to 1642 the King had licensed a succession of favourites with the right to mint copper farthings (there were no regal silver coins smaller than a halfpenny).

"The licensing lapsed and Oliver Cromwell was not minded to do anything about the shortage of small change, so individual traders (and later corporations and boroughs) took it upon themselves to issue tokens which would have been current for a farthing, a halfpenny or even a penny."

Mr Preston-Morley explained that they would only have been used within around a10 mile radius of their issue.

They were made illegal in 1672, once Charles II began minting his own copper coins

He continued:"The Young collection is the best of its type for the county of Somerset to have ever been dispersed by auction.

"It was put together by Mr Young, an accountant who lives near Wellington, largely in the 1970s and 1980s, when there were far fewer enthusiast for this sort of material than there are now.

"Many of the tokens were bought in the auction by West Country collectors."

The auction realised total sales of 229,050 ($370,579) and included collections of tokens from across the UK.

We have an exciting selection of coins and banknotes available, including this 1645 Charles I siege of Carlisle shilling.

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