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constanius

Evasion Dated 1696 by Bagnall.

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This is a very unusual evasion halfpenny in that it is signed. Most are anonymous or just have initials eg 'I C' but this is signed Bagnall(see previous post http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php/topic/35257-plagiarizing-counterfeiting-crime-punishment-1802-1815/ )

 

Vendors pictures first then mine below, plus a close-up.

EDIT; Obv. GOD SAVE THE KING

Rev. NOBE BGTA crowned harp 1696. Atkins #308.

 

_573-horz-vert.jpg

 

0717.jpg

Edited by constanius

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Nice pic. That closeup is wonderful.

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Very intriguing!

 

@thedeadpoint

Evasion pieces are contemporary counterfeits made with modified legends so that they were close enoungh to pass in circulation, but the maker could get away with them by saying that they're not exact copies of government (regal) issued coinage.

 

In this case, both the reverse legend (Hibernia) and the obverse legend (for the date, it should had been that of William III) are different. The use of "God Save the King" could allow the maker to say that it's a patriotic medallion.

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very nice, always seems the bad guys and their lawyers find a loophole! :mf_napoleon:

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Very intriguing!

 

@thedeadpoint

Evasion pieces are contemporary counterfeits made with modified legends so that they were close enoungh to pass in circulation, but the maker could get away with them by saying that they're not exact copies of government (regal) issued coinage.

 

In this case, both the reverse legend (Hibernia) and the obverse legend (for the date, it should had been that of William III) are different. The use of "God Save the King" could allow the maker to say that it's a patriotic medallion.

All correct, except the reverse legend on this one instead of 'HIBERNIA' is 'NOBE BGTA' presumed to be just nonsense.

 

960262.jpg

Evasion halfpenny Bust H & L (I believe the H & L is for Hugh Latimer, it seems self-evident to me, strangely no reference to that)

Rev NON PROCUL DIES 1696. Atkins #398.

This, though classed as an evasion, does not imitate a halfpenny but rather a commemorative the size of a halfpenny.

 

"Copper coins with us are properly not money, but a kind of token passing by way of exchange instead of parts of the smallest pieces of silver coin" wrote Joseph Harris, Assay Master at the Royal Mint in 1757. He argued that copper was not a suitable metal for coins since it was difficult to ascertain its precise value and purity, this illustrates the disdain of The Royal Mint for base coinage. Not surprising therefore the Mints copper coin production was not only insufficient but very spasmodic.

 

 

There was also no ’official’ system for transporting copper coins around the country(no one wanted to pay for the transportation of copper coins to far flung places, when it was so much easier and cheaper to use locally produced under-weight tokens) this combined with the speed with which newly minted currency disappeared either for sale as bullion or to provide the raw material for forgeries, created extraordinary problems for provincial manufacturers and merchants.

 

Legally copper coins could be refused for any transaction over the value of sixpence. As a result, large quantities were not accepted by the Royal Mint, the Excise & Revenue, the Bank of England or provincial banks either for payment or for conversion into silver, gold or paper currency. This meant that copper coins pooled in certain areas or businesses, which accepted them, ie ale-houses & London businesses. The elite tended to only deal in silver, gold or exchange notes, agricultural areas often used barter & exchange in lieu of small coins & the workers often produced their own food. But the new manufacturing centres needed copper coinage to pay their workers, who in turn needed it to survive as they had to pay cash, mostly in small sums of copper coins, for everything.

 

All this created the ideal conditions for the production of trade tokens, counterfeits & evasions.

 

 

Thomas Snelling claimed in 1753 that between half to two thirds of the current copper money were counterfeits. In terms of crime and punishment the offence of counterfeiting copper, unlike silver and gold, which were treasonable offences punishable by death, was from 1742 a simple misdemeanour, which carried a sentence of two years imprisonment. It was not until 1771 when the law changed that counterfeiting copper became a capital offence. Even then the authorities neither had the resources or real desire to prosecute the copper evasion & token makers, because they filled a void of the governments own making.

 

Ironically, the Mint eventually acknowledged Trade tokens as legal tender & continued to do so until 1817.

 

2 regal halfpennies produced enough material for 3 evasions, hence an instant profit.
Examination of the dates on evasions, which although unreliable may have some truth in them, shows that most are dated post 1771 that being the year the law changed and made counterfeiting copper currency a capital felony, far safer to make obvious non-regal coins than counterfeits. Some examples have obviously spurious dates, providing yet more evidence of the humorous characteristics of these coins.
Another feature of evasions which helps date them is that several use the legends found on trade tokens, for example ‘Peace and Plenty’, ‘Rule Britannia’ which appeared on tokens produced in the last two decades of the eighteenth century.
In the 1790's Birmingham was home to fifteen token making manufacturers many of whom were described in local trade directories as button makers. Among these were William Lutwyche and Peter Kempson, who apparently were also responsible for producing ‘evasions’, especially between 1796 and 1798, when orders for trade tokens diminished.
We know that Bagnall also produced at least one evasion & issued commemorative medals.

 

 

 

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very nice, always seems the bad guys and their lawyers find a loophole! :mf_napoleon:

Strange you should say that. At the trial of William Bagnall & his sons( http://www.coinpeople.com/index.php/topic/35257-plagiarizing-counterfeiting-crime-punishment-1802-1815/?hl=bagnall ) his lawyer had argued;

 

"Mr. Alley now took an objection, founded on the expression of the act, which, in the part enacting the penalty, only referred to the “said" dollars. Now, the "said"dollar's, it appeared, by a preceding clause, were dollars issued at five shillings currency, but the dollars which the prisoners were charged with having counterfeited were issued and circulated for five-and-sixpence. However nice the distinction might appear, such distinctions were always received, when they could be at all established in favour of the accused ; so that in the case of a man who had stolen a horse, it was determined that he was not within the reach of the statute which inflicted the penalty of death on. the offence of stealing horses; and a new act was made in consequence.
Mr. Barry, on the same side, argued, that this was not the offence distinctly pointed out by the preamble of the act, which authorised the Bank to issue dollars at five shillings, on obtaining an Order in Council for that purpose. It. did not appear by the evidence, however, that the Bank had ever obtained an Order in Council to enable them to issue dollars at the nominal value of five and sixpence.
Sir Simon Le' Blane over-ruled both objections, on the ‘ground that the dollars now in circulation, only purported to be, and were originally issued as five-shilling pieces. That they at present circulated at the rate of five shillings and sixpence, was for the sake of public convenience, and upon an undertaking on the part of the ‘ Bank, to take them back at a future‘period at that value"
So though his lawyer tried his best in 1815 William Bagnall was transported to Australia for 14 years for coining.

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This is another piece of Bagnall's work signed under the horse's rear legs.

 

4626-horz.jpg

 

 

IN BANNISTER RIDE/ING MASTER RETURNS/THANKSTO THE PUB/LIC IN GENERAL.

 

Bannister's first name was James, the engraver has mistakenly used the abbreviation for John, possibly because there was a famous actor called John Bannister living at the same time.

 

Though it is not in great condition, it was a must buy as it is most unlikely that I will see another because of its extreme rarity and it has the Bagnall connection and it completes the know Bannister set for my collection.

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