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    Description

    1766 William Pitt Halfpenny, VG
    Betts-519, Copper

    Betts-519. 1766 William Pitt Halfpenny. Copper. VG. 27.4 mm, 5.6 gm. Unsigned. Commemorating the repeal of the Stamp Act passed in March 1765, enacted in November 1765, and repealed in March 1766, the act required colonists to purchase a British stamp for each official document (as well as items such as newspapers and playing cards) and embodied one of the key elements leading to the American Revolution- taxation without representation. The act also inspired the formation of several opposition groups in America, including the Sons of Liberty and the Friends of Liberty and Trade. That second group issued this halfpenny token and the farthing that follows. Philadelphia die-sinker James Smithers is believed to have engraved the dies for these pieces. A clothed bust of William Pitt, wearing a wig and long cue, faces left on the obverse of this piece. The legend is, THE RESTORr OF COMMERCE 1766. NO STAMPS appears below Pitt. The reverse includes a sailing ship design near center, with the word AMERICA running diagonally beneath it. The surrounding text reads, THANKS TO THE FRIENDS OF LIBERTY AND TRADE. The surviving population of these tokens is believed to number between 300 to 500. A well-circulated example, this piece exhibits wear at the outer edges, affecting the text, particularly on the reverse.
    Purchased from Leonard Finn (12/1983).
    From The John W. Adams Collection.


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
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