101543 | GREAT BRITAIN & SOUTH AFRICA. Second Boer War satirical copper Penny.
101543 | GREAT BRITAIN & SOUTH AFRICA. Second Boer War satirical engraved copper Penny (30mm, 9.11 g, 12h).
1880 London mint Victory penny, with engraving upon obverse and reverse: Bonnet and military jacket, with "SA" upon collar / Cross-hatching across Britannia. Edge: Plain.
Cf. SCBC 3954 (for host coin); cf. KM 755 (same). Engraving: Extremely Fine; Host coin: Very Fine.
Though we've had one of these in the past and presented it as a women's suffrage theme, new evidence has been discovered pointing toward their actual meaning: a small handful of Victorian pennies such as these were altered during the Second Boer War in South Africa. Boer soldiers wanted to satirize the British empress and presented her in a convict uniform as indication of her status as a prisoner of war. On some examples, an S (for "South Africa") is present, while, on others (as here), an SA is present. Further, this example features additional engraving on the reverse—a cross-hatching pattern indicating that Britannia herself is encaged and in prison. A very interesting and rare piece, with only about 15 examples known.