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    Iconic BON POUR DEUX SOUS Token

    Lower Canada.  Pattern BON POUR DEUX SOUS Penny 1812 PR65 Brown NGC, Br-Unl, PF-11, Courteau-36. Evenly-toned, rich brown surfaces.  NGC has deemed this piece a Proof, but we remain suspicious that it is a first strike from regular dies.  Of course, this piece's extreme rarity makes the proof/business strike issue a moot point.

    This famous token has been linked to Canada (specifically, Lower Canada) by its obverse inscription, BON POUR DEUX SOUS (Good For Two Sous).  In French Canada two sous were equivalent to one penny, which denomination appears in the legend on the reverse of this piece.  The dies are obviously the work of Thomas Halliday, a prominent token die engraver and coiner in Birmingham.  It was in Halliday's shop that William Wyon was taught engraving.  The design of the BON POUR DEUX SOUS token shows a clear similarity to the Bust / Commerce halfpennies and pennies Halliday produced for circulation in England in 1812-14.  One assumes the present piece was a pattern for a proposed coinage for a Canadian client or was a salesman's sample.  In any case, only two examples have been traced: a well-circulated piece, now in the Canadian National Currency Collection, and the superb example offered here. We have recently been advised that the Bank of Canada has two examples in their collection, the low grade piece and another that appears to be from XF to AU. The Robins example has been traced back to the celebrated Murdoch collection, then through various subsequent owners, whose names include some of the greatest collectors of Canadian tokens of their day.  

    Ex. John G. Murdoch Collection (Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 1903), P.O. Tremblay Collection, Ludger Gravel Collection, W.W.C. Wilson Collection (Wayte Raymond, Nov. 1925, part of Lot 620), L.A. Renaud Collection, Alan Fargeon Collection. 
    From the Doug Robins Collection of Canadian Tokens

    View Certification Details from NGC

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    20th-23rd Friday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,167

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