1796 TOKEN MYDDELTON
Very Rare Myddelton Token, PR631796 TOKEN Myddelton Token, Silver PR63 PCGS. Breen-1073. Rare, Breen estimated 15-20 pieces are known. This is probably a better reflection of true rarity than the fact that two have appeared on the market in the past year. Attractive, light toning is seen on the obverse with a somewhat darker reverse (most likely the result of storage in an old-fashioned wood coin cabinet, where one side touches felt and the other side is exposed to air).
Myddelton owned a large piece of land on the Ohio River and commissioned tokens for use by the workers he was encouraging to move there from England. In addition to being one of the most beautiful issues for America, the design (created by prominent engraver Conrad Küchler) is also amazing for the bold statements it makes. The obverse shows England (Breen refers to this figure as Hope) sending her children to America (Breen calls her Liberty), holding a pole topped with a liberty cap. America stands before a seedling, presumably representing Myddelton's Kentucky development, while behind is a cornucopia representing the great productivity of America. It is on the reverse, however, where Küchler may have gotten into trouble. This seated Britannia is anything but conventional. Her spear is upside down after having lost the American colonies. The scales of justice lay unused at her feet while a liberty cap emerges from the ground. While the token wasn't stated as the reason, it couldn't have helped his argument when he was imprisoned in August of 1796, less than six months after he took delivery of the first tokens. The stated reason for his arrest was that he was "enticing artificers to emigrate".
From the Joseph M. Seventko Collection. (PCGS# 649)
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