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Proof Token - Halfpenny, Professor Holloway's, Pills & Ointment, London, England, Great Britain, 1857 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 4590

Summary:
Copper Halfpenny Proof Token, minted by J. Moore, London, in 1857. Issued to promote Professor Holloway's pills and ointments. Proof tokens, such as this one, were manufactured for collectors and museums as reference pieces, not for circulation. It is possible this piece may have been struck later in the nineteenth century, as restriking was common in London in the 1880s.

Holloway tokens are presumed to have been circulated worldwide throughout retailers of Holloway products. Holloway's tokens were produced in large numbers and have proven the most common token finds on Melbourne archaeological sites.

Previous Collections: Hon. William M.K. Vale
Description:
A round bronzed copper proof striking of a Professor Holloway token (28 mm diameter). The token features a profile head of Professor Holloway and a rendition of the classical goddess Hygeia (the ancient Greek goddess of health) seated looking at snake drinking from a cup she holds in her left hand, the snake is curled around a burning altar, an orb rests on altar on her right side. The legend promites Holloway's pills and ointments and gives the date 1857. However, there are indications of rusting of the die prior to the production of this piece (for example in the field behind the Professor's neck). Proof tokens were manufactured for collectors and museums as reference pieces, not for circulation. This piece may have been struck later in the nineteenth century - restriking was common in London in the 1880s.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 28 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 8.304 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: healthcare medicine
Themes this item is part of: Joseph Moore, Medal Designer (1817-?), Medicine in Society Collection, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, William Mountford Kinsey Vale, Politican (1833-1895)
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: Great Britain - England
Tertiary Classification: proof strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1857 AD
Denomination: Halfpenny
Obverse Description: Head of Professor Holloway facing left with MOORE (the maker's name) in relief on neck truncation; around, PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY; below, LONDON.
Reverse Description: Hygeia (the ancient Greek goddess of health) seated looking at snake drinking from a cup she holds in her left hand, the snake is curled around a burning altar, an orb rests on altar on her right side, around; HOLLOWAY'S PILLS AND OINTMENTS. in exergue, 1857
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY LONDON J. MOORE
Reverse: HOLLOWAY'S PILLS AND OINTMENTS 1857
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: Professor Holloway, London, England, Great Britain, 1857
Mint: Joseph Moore (Mint), London, England, Great Britain, circa 1880s
Previous Collection: Honourable William Vale
References: Holloway's tokens were struck in such large numbers that the minting technique of hubbing was clearly employed. In this a master tool, having the full appearance of the final token for the obverse and reverse is manufactured in steel. This is then used to prepare working dies. This technique makes the identification of individual dies from variations in rim bead counts or alignment of lettering impossible. Researchers have noted minor variations in the lowest relief areas of the tokens that may be the result of variations of quality of the die production off the hub (Heyde p. 49) or minor tooling. These are noted in the descriptions but museum storage is based on denomination and date.
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No.667
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No.120/2

Comments

Cheryl Evans Posted on 26 Apr 2010 1:59 PM
I have a 1858 Holloways Pills & Ointments halfpenny. Is it of any value ? I don't want a valuation, I just would like to know if it is worth keeping.
Discovery Centre Posted on 28 Apr 2010 10:18 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Cheryl, unfortunately we can't advise on whether an object is worth keeping or their value - this is considered a valuation. Please see our Question of the Week on Coin valuations for further advice on finding out about your token.

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