Gloucester Shilling

Image courtesy of Bowers and Merena Auctions

Ron Guth: The 1714 Gloucester Token is a small brass piece that may have been a pattern intended for a silver Shilling. Prior to 1981, only two examples were known (the one illustrated above). Because the legends were incomplete, experts speculated that the building on the front of the coin was a warehouse or official government building (possibly a courthouse). The date is barely legible on the back, but enough detail remains to date it positively as 1714. The name on the back was believed to have been Richard Dawson.

In 1981, a third(?) example turned up with sufficient detail to solve the question of the legends. Combining information from both coins, the obverse legend reads in full: "GLOVCESTER • COVRTHOVSE • VIRGINIA". The legend on the back of the coin reads: "RIGHAVLT DAWSON • ANNO • DOM • 1714".

Known examples (3): 1. Brass, 61.1 grains, Illustrated in Crosby, plate IX, no. 4. Dr. Charles Clay - Woodward & Strobridge 12/1871 - George Seavey Collector - William H. Strobridge 1873 - Lorin G. Parmelee Collection - James Ten Eyck Collection - B. Max Mehl 5/1922 - Waldo C. Newcomer Collection - Garrett Collection - Johns Hopkins University - Bowers & Ruddy 10/1980:1318, $36,000 - John L. Roper Collection - Stack's 12/1983:147, "Brass. 61.1 grains, Crosby plate IX, no. 4...a crude Fine."

2. Discovered in 1981 - Anthony Terranova

3. Mentioned by Crosby. This piece is believed to be the Cram example, which turned out to be a copy of the Clay - Parmelee piece.