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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2647. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $470. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Commonwealth. 1654. Pewter Farthing Token (6.08 gm). Private pattern by TK. 1/4 OVNCE•OF•FINE•PEWTR, arms bearing cross moline, wreath of roses above, with the initials TK / FOR•NECESSARY•CHANGE, arms with Irish harp surmounting a sunburst. Peck 373 (same dies). Good VF, partially lustrous, heavily corroded as usual. Very rare. ($300)

Ex Nigel Clark Collection; C. R. Tyler Collection; Major A. W. Foster Collection (Glendining's, 19 October 1953), lot 8.

A private pattern for a national Farthing, this piece is the product of an entity whose name is only preserved today by the initials 'TK.' This manufacture was seeking a contract with the government to produce Farthing coins, but the government did not want to grant a monopoly to a private interest. The firm which produced the coins placed them into circulation shortly afterwards, in hopes of increasing notoreity and demand. A legislator is quoted in Severall Proceedings of State Affaires, No. 239, adding some insight to the saliency of the issue as a circulating medium: "This night are come out new Farthings, weighing a quarter of an ounce fine Pewter, which is but the price of new Pewter; so that the people may never here-after fear to loos much by them; with the Harp of one side, and a crosse on the other, with T. K. above it." Within two weeks of this announcement, the government had already issued a notice supressing the issue and prohibiting the circulation of all but state issued farthings. This also demonstrates that Cromwell was by then contemplating a state issue.