1796 TOKEN MYDDELTON
1796 Myddelton Token, One of Only 15-20 Examples Known1796 TOKEN Myddelton Token PR 62 PCGS. Silver. Breen-1073. The Myddelton token is widely regarded as the most beautiful "American" coin of the Colonial and early Federal periods. Philip Parry Price Myddelton obtained a large tract of land in Kentucky, and he persuaded hundreds of English farmers to emigrate to his lands in the mid-1790s. In order to provide coinage for his new lands, Myddelton went to the Boulton & Watt Soho Mint in Birmingham, England and placed an order for sample halfpence using dies prepared by Conrad H. Kuechler. The obverse depicts Hope presenting two children to Liberty. A wreathed seedling, the symbol of Myddelton's project, is in the middle. A dejected Britannia is seated on the reverse. Her inverted spear, as well as the toppled fasces and scales of justice, are in obvious reference to the British defeat at Yorktown. The first coins were presented to Myddelton on March 8, 1796. In August of that year, however, Myddelton was charged with treason and imprisoned by British authorities, thus ending his project for the settlement of Kentucky.
PCGS has mounted this coin backward, and, from this point forward in the description, we will use their interpretation of obverse and reverse. This coin displays a small planchet void (as struck) in the upper reverse field, and there is a small dark spot just to the left of the seedling. These two features establish this example as the plate coin in Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia. Both side are gorgeously toned in lilac-gray patina with beautiful multicolored undertones. Hairlines are evident at a few angles, but these are neither excessive in number nor unduly distracting. As befits a specimen striking, the devices are all crisply impressed. Listed on page 56 of the current Guide Book. (PCGS# 649)
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