Collection Highlight No. 2 - 1795 Middlesex-Forster's Token

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Lastufka Collection

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This is the second in a series of posts which highlight various standout pieces from my personal collection.

Today we're taking a look at my 1795 Middlesex-Forster's token, one of the first pieces purchased for my Symphony Set. You can view hi-res pictures here (or just enjoy them in the video!).

Obverse: Crown and date surrounded by musical notation for "God Save The King", which is also the melody used for "America (My Country, Tis of Thee)".

Reverse: "WM Forster. Violin, Tenor & Violoncello Maker" along with the address in a double circle, surrounding The Prince of Wales’s crest.

Edge: Plain (some examples exist with lettered edges)

Tokens like these were produced by private individuals and businesses in the late 18th century as population growth and the Industrial Revolution spiked demand and the government failed to supply enough coinage for every day use.

This token was made by William Forster, a highly-regarded instrument maker. Forster had an instrument shop in London, which is advertised on the reverse of this token.

Forster was also a music publisher and he entered into a deal with the composer Joseph Haydn to publish Haydn's works, including numerous symphonies, quartets, and solos.

Thankfully tokens were popular coins to collect, even back at the end of the 18th century, so this high grade piece survives today. While it may not be rare or scarce or particularly valuable, it is one of the highlights of my Symphony Set and I treasure it for that reason.

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I'd be careful about blanket generalizations like "the date always goes on the obverse" - especially when you're getting into non-government issues, which may not feel the need to follow anyone else's "rules."

With the Netherlands 10G coins I collect, the date, mint mark and privy mark are all on the Reverse - because I don't think the side of the coin with the king's face is going to be the Reverse in this case.

3102966_Full_Obv.thumb.jpg.c65393c5a1f7af66a9f214afc14e6e70.jpg3102966_Full_Rev.thumb.jpg.3b524b390f80e0bfe7099c7772526d45.jpg

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@Revenant Totally! Which is why I mentioned it is sometimes referred to as the reverse, I've seen listings describe it as both, there doesn't seem to be a consensus and maybe that's something Forster never even thought about, I don't know. I just didn't want to state "this is the obverse" so absolutely without mentioning that others call it the reverse, and then throwing in my two cents on why I consider it the obverse. Also, that's a nice 10G!

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4 minutes ago, Lastufka Collection said:

 Also, that's a nice 10G!

Thanks! One of only two of that date I've ever seen come up for sale and one I was very lucky to get to nab.

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I have the same token. As a matter of fact I collect Condor Tokens. I put a P.Kempson set together the one from Warwickshire Coventry 19 tokens all grade from 63 to 66. I had a 65 saw a better token and upgraded. It's on this site as custom set. It took five years. They said I never will complete it a set from 1797. The last one two years. I searched every auction house in Britain I got most from Baldwin's Basement. Some are red brown and some are proof like I have a complaint Handels Reverse. More that have to be sent in. I have been asking everyone from Bill Mckivor on down. NGC does not know if a complete set. One auction house said They event seen one in ten years. I should of known that it was here in the U.S. I would like to know more of your collection. My God save the King is waiting to be sent out. I have them slabed for protection. The environment is changing every day and copper and bronze does not do well. Take care enjoy. Mike P.S. My set of Coventry is on this site under custom sets. There are forty more with tokens from all over Britain. I'm not in competition with any set. I'm to old.for that. I'm proud of what I did. Mike

Edited by MIKE BYRNE

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On 1/25/2020 at 5:14 AM, MIKE BYRNE said:

I have the same token. As a matter of fact I collect Condor Tokens. I put a P.Kempson set together the one from Warwickshire Coventry 19 tokens all grade from 63 to 66. I had a 65 saw a better token and upgraded. It's on this site as custom set. It took five years. They said I never will complete it a set from 1797. The last one two years. I searched every auction house in Britain I got most from Baldwin's Basement. Some are red brown and some are proof like I have a complaint Handels Reverse. More that have to be sent in. I have been asking everyone from Bill Mckivor on down. NGC does not know if a complete set. One auction house said They event seen one in ten years. I should of known that it was here in the U.S. I would like to know more of your collection. My God save the King is waiting to be sent out. I have them slabed for protection. The environment is changing every day and copper and bronze does not do well. Take care enjoy. Mike P.S. My set of Coventry is on this site under custom sets. There are forty more with tokens from all over Britain. I'm not in competition with any set. I'm to old.for that. I'm proud of what I did. Mike

Mike, thanks for watching! Sounds like you've put together quite the set, congrats! This coin is in my Symphony Set, which is also under the custom sets here on NGC, the direct link is here: https://coins.www.collectors-society.com/wcm/CoinCustomSetGallery.aspx?s=9450

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I think there wonderful. Very well done. I would of never seen them . I have been sick so I apologize for the long time making a comment. Great I will be more active and it made me feel great to see some of your collections. Mike

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Just saw your site with some wonderful tokens and coins. A man after my own heart. The ANA has seen my sets but everyone thinks its great but them. I have many not slabed but some have to be protected. Like the red and brown the Handel reverses. I could go on. There so underrated yet they play a big part of our hobby. They saved countries. Britain was saved from bankruptcy. Our soldiers used them to send home for the family. You get a MS 66 for  225 year old token and no one cares. To me that's sad. Our own mint makes MS 67 and they get a good price. Doesn't make sence. Enjoy my friend. And thanks. Mike

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Him again Mike here. I have 14 to send in. I know what your going to say condos token collectors do not slab there tokens. After studying them for years and The way They were taking care of. I decided to slab for protection. For    ,,future generations. Not for grade. I have a collection of those not slabed. But the tokens I like allot that were slabed five years ago are still a lovely red brown or proof like. The coventry  of course.. Do you know the policy on copper coins at NGC. You must send them back before ten years. If not they will be taken out of the slab and regraded. I check the date when they were slabed on the verification app. I it took five years to finish the set I have nine years to go. Taken care my friend.

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