Scarce St. George & Dragon Public House Portsea Halfpenny 1796


Scarce Portsea (Hampshire) copper Conder halfpenny token dated 1796, produced by the proprietors of a group of public houses in the area. Obverse: Ornate rendering of St. George on horse slaying dragon: “PROMISSORY HALFPENNY 1796”. No spines on dragon’s neck. Reverse: Man-of-war sailing ship with a large salmon below: Edge inscription: “PAYABLE AT S, SALMONS I COURTNEY & E FROST PORTSEA”. Listed in Dalton & Hamer as “SCARCE”. The background is that S. Salmon kept the “Brown Bear”, John Courtney, the “George” and Edward Frost the “Ship” pubs. Therefore, the salmon refers to the owner of first pub, the “Brown Bear”, St. George and the Dragon refers to the second pub, the “George”, and the man-of-war refers to the “Ship”. This token therefore probably saw frequent use in exchange for ale etc. in these public houses. Reasonable collectable condition, see photograph.

D&H Hampshire No: 80. Diameter 29.6mm.  F+. £20.00

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