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c1794 Beautiful Bronzed Proof Conder - Ibberson/Mail Delivery (!)

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***SOLD pending it being graded at NGC.****


I am raising some cash to prepare for the August ANA show and am dipping into my beloved Conder collection. I've decided to sell this distinctive Conder token that is in wonderful condition for something made in c1794. $425 postage paid.


As you look at Todd Pollock's picture below, the token appears gray on my monitor, but in fact it is a rich chocolate brown. It has strong mirrored surfaces and gleam when seen in hand. Note a small reverse planchet flaw under the N in England (greatly overstated by the large pic).




Here is a little bit of history about this token:


Christopher Ibberson ran a postal service to all of England out of his tavern and boarding house, the George and Blue Boar inn located in Holborn, London (West End).


Old courthouse records show that the George & Blue Boar was well known locally. In September 1796, Charles Scoldwell stood trial for the theft of two tame ducks, valued at 3 shillings. During cross-examination, the driver of the stage coach from Bedford, who had brought Scoldwell to London, was asked: Is there a more public inn in Holborn, or more coaches go from any inn, except the George and Blue-Boar? to which he replied 'I don’t believe so.'


This is a bronzed proof copper token made by Matthew Boulton who aspired to obtain business from the Royal Mint. Boulton was a perfectionist and invested heavily in steam powered manufacturing of tokens. Ibberson had ordered half a ton of tokens in December of 1794, or about 32,000 pieces. However, the order was halted in February of 1795 so the actual number made is in question, especially a bronzed proof version like mine.


Many token manufacturers made this sort of proof, to more or less coat the flans pre-striking with a brilliant bronzed shell, which fused with the internal copper when struck. Bronzing (resulting in the dark chocolate color - very popular then) is far more resistant to spotting, accounting for the coiner's intension to preserve original beauty in the fairly wet UK climate.


The obverse shows St. George fighting a dragon on the ground with a fat boar crest above. The "J" in Ibberson's is old -script for upper-case "I," with which it is interchangeable. I am not sure where or when that originated, but it is a frequent style in many old books and writings, and from many countries.


The token’s edge is inscribed “Payable at the George & Blue Boar London”.


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Here is my amateurish picture to better capture the color and mirror surfaces:



A very small scrape exists to the right of the boar revealing the underlying copper before bronzing.

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