102354 | GREAT BRITAIN. Thomas Spence's "End of Pain" Copper Farthing Token.
102354 | GREAT BRITAIN. Middlesex. Thomas Spence's "End of Pain/Pitt" Copper Farthing Token. Issued circa 1795 (21mm, 3.96 g, 7h).
END OF PAIN, man (Thomas Paine) hanging right from gibbet; church façade in background to right // END OF P (eye) T [= P - I - T], man (William Pitt "the Younger") hanging left from gibbet; ladder to left, arms below, building façade to right with English standard. Edge: Engrailed.
D&H 1109 (RR); Optica et Visio in Nummis XIII.84 (this piece illustrated). PCGS Unc Details--Spot Removed. Attractive brown surfaces, with some minor scratches in an attempt to remove a spot of corrosion. An ever-popular and very rare "double hangman" type, both extremely haunting and highly historical. Compare to a similar Pitt farthing, though with a hangman on just one side [D&H 1111 (R)], from the Deane Collection, which realized a hammer of £1,600 (over $2,300 after buyer's fee) in Baldwin's 112 (11 October 2023), lot 1361.
Ex Dr. Jay M. Galst Collection (plated and cited in his Ophthalmological reference).
Thomas Paine, a devout anti-monarchist, was famous (or infamous) on both sides of the Atlantic, with his 1791 publication The Rights of Man being hailed in America (England's former colony) and assailed back in his native country. Here, his contributions to political discourse are satirized, with a figure intended to be that of Paine himself hanging from a gibbet and with the punning phrase, the "end of pain," surrounding (Paine would adopt America as his homeland so, in this sense, England was free from him [Paine], and thus, a "pain.") Similarly, Pitt "the Younger," then the very young British prime minister, was seen by Spence and others as too strong of an advocate for rights and liberties of man. Rather skillfully, this type then alludes to both men seen as problematic to the monarchy, yet does so without directly mentioning them, and instead, relies upon puns.
Upload: 20 October 2023.