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World_Coin_Nut's Blog

05 Jul 2019

Soho Mint Token

Tokens | World_Coin_Nut

Matthew Bolton was a general manufacturer in Birmingham. In 1762 he bought and rebuilt some works at Soho on the outskirts of the town, with a Mr. Fothergill as a partner. In 1767 he became acquainted with James Watt who settled at Soho in 1769, and a little later became a partner in the firm of Boulton and Watt. In 1773 Boulton added an Assay office to his ordinary business. The works were enlarged, and a coining mill was erected in 1788. This became the Soho Mint, producing many remarkable coins until 1850 when it was dismantled and the machinery sold to Ralph Heaton and Sons of Birmingham who was engaged in striking money.

The Soho Mint was torn down in 1857, and nothing remains of this famous building.

Many Provincial (Conder) tokens, most likely including this one, were struck at the Soho Mint. This token has a history with me. I have spent the last 2 years searching for an example with no luck. I even enlisted the help of our local Conder expert and between us we didn’t find a single listing anywhere.

This token is important to me because of the history of the subject matter and the skill of engraver.

Dalton and Hamer list this token as “common” and maybe it was at one time. I had pretty much given up hope of finding one.

Well, this one showed up at Heritage Auctions and fortunately I was one of the only people interested in it. It sold for the price of a common token even though I was prepared to pay the price of a scarce one. That’s the funny thing about Conder tokens. Many “common” tokens are almost impossible to find.

Warwickshire-Kempson's

D&H 212

Obverse: SOHO MANUFACTORY Building, in exerge ERECTED 1764

Reverse: Shield of arms, MAKER OF BUTTONS MEDALS &c. BIRMINGHAM around, P. KEMPSON above.

Sources:

The Building Medalets of Kempson and Skidmore by R. C. Bell

and my head.

Comments

Longstrider

Level 6

Great blog and token. Lots of facts. What was its grade? The detail on these is amazing to me.. Thanks

World_Coin_Nut

Level 5

MS63BN

PastorK7354

Level 4

Really enjoyed this blog. Thank you.

Mokie

Level 6

A beautiful token from a time when real craftsmen cut the dies. Thank You for sharing this fascinating history.

Mike

Level 7

That token means allot to me also. I think it's great. The history you write speaks for itself. I looked for that for as long as you did. I'm very happy you got it. I will continue to look for it. Matthew Boultin was a great man. He and others designed tokens. Peter Kempson had many made there with the other masters. Thanks. If I don't find it I can come back and look at this. Thanks. I enjoyed this very much.

"SUN"

Level 5

Enjoyed the blog and token.

There is great attention to detail on this token and it tells a great story.

Love the minute detail to the windows of the building on the obverse. A well struck pieces. Will have to check out Heritage auctions.

great that you persevered and finally found what you were looking for. A very well designed and struck token too

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