Mike 's Blog

28 Aug 2020

1796 D&H 42 Penny London P. Kempson.

Tokens | Mike

Hi every one. I hope your all well. The token you see at the bottom is one of Peter Kempsons London series.. He made 36 pennys. Now there were much heavier and bigger. This token has edge writing. It says " I Promise To Pay On Demand The Bearer One Penny X" . Now there were two different dies to some of these. Die A on the reverse and die B this one is die A. There was not that much difference between the two. A word that was it.

The Guildhall in London if your there can be seen from King street. The building was built in 1411,but only the very fine crypt remains from the original structure. The fire of London in 1666 destroyed the roof and caused such damage that considerable repair was needed. A new roof was installed in 1669.

The old hall was used as a bazaar by booksellers and vendors of various articles. Now I said the roof was put back on in 1669. However that was temporary and the roof on the token was added by George Dance in 1789..In 1870 a new council Chamber,Library,and Museum were added and the older parts were restored.. As if it had had luck it was badly damaged in air strike in the second world war,the original council Chamber and the roof again the great hall were destroyed.

One thing I learned about the British is there resolve. They never let them famous buildings lay in rubble. Now remember it was built in 1411. It was rebuilt in1952 by Sir Giles Scott. Now many are amazed how good the shape of these tokens are. . Well I said in the first one they were sold to collectors and the public. Those sold to collectors were stored in a table like the one below. It has a marble top and many drawers to store the tokens. This one below was sold at Heritage ,don't think I didn't consider buying it. But my wife would throw me out. . It stopped the environment from damage to the tokens. They had a bed of felt that they laid on and stored like a safe. You look closely you will see the poles coming up. So when it was closed it looked like any other table. That's why I can buy a token with the rich color of red brown. They were taken very good care of.

I have been lucky to be able to buy this art. I can't imagine how long it took to make a die of these buildings. Now here is something I found out. Kempson limited these to 200 A piece. Talk about low mintage. But it's a series I do not see anyone compleating. Not with the age and mintage. But think what it would look like. I have seen some in bad shape that gets me upset when I see so many in great shape. This token was bought before my set. And it still has that bright red color. I only wish the pictures could give them justice. Thanks for reading this I hope you enjoyed it. Stay safe . Mike

PS. If you look at the modern picture you can see the remains of the old one before being rebuilt. There a brown brick!!


Doug S.

Level 4

Fascinating story Mike. Beautiful token! Regards Doug


Level 5

As usual, I was given knowledge with the history and story behind it. Sweet! England is simply a wonderful place. When I lived there the pub we went to was build in the early 18th century. Not many other places where you can find a 400 year old building sitting side by side with a modern structure. A Medal or coin is more enjoyable with a story or background, thanks for both.


Level 5

Another great token and history. Medals and tokens tell a story every time. Always interesting to read about a token, its story and history behind it.


Level 6

Interesting. Nice blog!!

It is surprising to see how many buildings destroyed in England were quickly rebuilt. Each token, coin, or medal I have seen from there show a building that is somehow still standing.

Austin's Coins

Level 2

Cool token and history!


Level 6

Another great blog Mike. That is a fantastic token. Thanks to you, my wife has started collecting these. I can attest to how heavy these one penny tokens are. her newest purchase is at NGC now. I hope there real token graders are working again. Anyhow, thanks for your hard wok. I know it can get pretty tough just to type for us old, worn out guys. Well Done.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I really enjoy reading about your tokens and the history behind me. You like so many here provide a springboard into new worlds of collecting knowledge and history. I probably haven't learned as much since the end of May, a short period of time, since I was in grad school. Its a gratifying experience.


Level 5

Great token Mike. Thanks for sharing.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Fascinating story and token, Mike. I am always amazed at the detail the engraver AND the minter were able to preserve on these 200 plus year old tokens. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and your token with us.

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