The anti-slavery movement in Britain adopted campaign techniques that
sound familiar today, distributing pamphlets and creating objects with
imagery intended to evoke the struggle.
The famous “supplicant slave” image of a chained, kneeling slave,
created by Josiah Wedgewood for cameos, soon spread to other media,
A late 18th century bronze halfpenny token bearing the famous image
and the now familiar question — AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER? — is
offered in Davisson’s Ltd.’s E-auction No. 11, ending July 22.
The token, from Middlesex, features the legend MAY SLAVERY &
OPPRESSION CEASE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD on the reverse, surrounding two
clasped hands, one with manacled wrist, the other with cuffed wrist.
The token is marked on the edge PAYABLE AT DUBLIN CORK OR BELFAST.
The image was adopted by the abolition cause, which in 1807 was
ultimately successful in Great Britain. The same image and one showing
a woman with revised legend also circulated in the United States as
symbols of the abolition movement.
The example in the Davisson’s auction is graded About Uncirculated
55 by Professional Coin Grading Service and exhibits an “even brown
tone over smooth surfaces,” according to the firm.
It is estimated to realize $250.
For more information about the auction, or to bid, visit the firm's
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