E-Auction 43

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Closing June 8, 2022
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    E43, Lot 178:

    Middlesex 471 (R). Richardson's. Copper halfpenny. 11.06 gm. 31 mm. A bluecoat boy standing in front of two lottery wheels; NOTHING VENTURE NOTHING HAVE around; 1795 below / RICHARDSON GOODLUCK & Co | No | 12807 | THE LAST PRIZE OF | £30000 | SHARED | IN | SIXTEENTHS (1 just over L on reverse). Good Extremely Fine; slight disturbance in reverse field; otherwise lightly toned with luster.

    The Mike Sussman Collection of British Trade Tokens.


    The reverse legend celebrates a prize of £30,000 (£2,420,000 in today's terms) divided into 16ths (£151,250 each at a time when £100 per year would be a generous living).

    Lotteries were a common aspect of life in late 18th century England. “It is evident that, at this time, lottery tickets were considered an essential part of a well-stocked family larder, and consequently to be had at most stores.” (Bulletin of the Newport Historical Society. Newport, R.I. 1912)

    Samuel (Bazaar, Exchange and Mart, Sept. 1882) notes that lotteries in England began in the reign of Elizabeth I. They became a source of income for the government who contracted with firms like this one. Richardsons found "in the provinces an elderly female by the name of Goodluck whom they nominally took into partnership for …the effect her name would have upon the public mind." Samuel goes on to explain that the ploy worked very well for the firm.

    This piece, Middlesex 471 shows a “Bluecoat Boy," a scholar from Christ’s Hospital, in front of a lottery wheel preparing to draw a winner; a cornucopia spilling money is below the exergue line along with the 1795 date. Middlesex 467 through 471 lists Richardson pieces but there are two major varieties--the female and the Bluecoat Boy.



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