An artifact of a convict’s love nearly tripled its estimate when sold
in Noble Numismatics’ July 29 auction.
The 1797 British Cartwheel penny carved into a love token by a
convict in Australia sold in the firm’s auction No. 106 in Sydney, for
$596.25 Australian (about $560.42 in U.S. funds) including the 19.25
percent buyer’s fee, nearly triple its $200 estimate.
Cartwheel pennies are noted for their size and weight (1 ounce,
36-millimeter diameter), which was possible because they were struck
using steam power at Matthew Boulton’s Soho Mint. The Royal Mint
lacked the technology to strike a coin of that size.
The piece in the Noble auction is cut in half, hollowed out and made
into a container, which is inscribed inside on the base
ELIZABETH/DA11IN/EDWARD/ROWLAND, according to the catalog, below which
appear overlaid hearts with an arrow through them.
The auction house graded the piece Very Fine.
Rowland was sentenced at Central Criminal Court in London to seven
years, and was shipped to Australia along with 189 other convicts on
the Egyptian. The ship departed April 5, 1839, and arrived in
Australia about Dec. 5, 1839.
The auction was held July 29 to 31, and realized a hammer price
estimated at $3,820,000 Australian (about $3,590,490 U.S.), the firm announced.
For more details about the auction, visit the firm's website.
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