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Author Topic: love tokens  (Read 1340 times)
wayne
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« on: August 17, 2011, 07:33:42 AM »

fact or fiction ?
very fashionable around the time of billy the third,
sealing their love forever with the bending of a worn silver coin by both parties,possibly instead of buying a ring or two?
if the love affair died ,then the coins were thrown away ,sometimes with great fury and gnashing of teeth,not forgetting stamping of feet or the pulling out of hair(even though the jewelers at this time seem to have lost out,the dentists,the cobblers,and the wig makers"bless them" businesses were booming)if you were a bloke struggling to find the love of your life at this time,unless you were into gummy,bald,dirty smelly footed,shoeless ladies there would be good chance you would spend the rest of your life and money,in the nearest inn.?
or could it be ,they bent the coin and threw it over their shoulder for luck,as with the horse shoe ,find a horse shoe spit on it throw it over your shoulder,for luck.not so lucky for the person behind you.(i know farmersteve hes the most lucky person i know)
?
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Chef Geoff
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 08:15:25 AM »

Interesting question Wayne and one that has "bothered" me for some time, I think the one aspect of the love token idea  that lets it down is the shear number that we find, I have personally found 3 this year and most years I would expect to find at least one and if you now extrapolate that across 12000 detectorists in the UK you come to an unbelievable number of broken hearts and lost loves. As a loss there would be a high proportion compared to normal coin losses as this would be something that you would carry all the time whereas coins in general you wouldn't due to the lack of opportunity to spend money (in the countryside).
In the 14th-15th century there are some tantalising references to the "English tradition" of bending a penny for your prayer to be answered and I wonder if this could be the real reason for the bending, to fulfil a wish.
As you say the tradition seams to reach a peak around the reign of William III, but obviously this is the first widely available milled silver coinage and if the tradition had existed previously then how many bent hammered coins are recovered? Thousands Wink
But I guess unfortunately we will never truly know the answer, but I would say I have a number of copper halfpennies which have the tell tale double bend and I'm sure that if they tried their luck (in love) with a copper coin then I'm not surprised they were dumped Cheesy
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 08:34:30 AM by Chef Geoff » Logged
Al.Thepastfinder, ( Alan )
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 08:20:41 AM »

ha ha Geoff, lol,
 this is a bit i wrote about them  a few years ago Wayne,

http://www.detectingwales.com/index.php?topic=4848.0
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Chef Geoff
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 08:30:01 AM »

Nice write up Al, as you say the love token art reached a height in the Victorian/Edwardian era with the hand inscribed coins and I think that two unrelated traditions have somehow been linked. The "tradition" that in Medieval times copper coins were bent as a sign of love obviously falls at the first hurdle as there was no copper coinage. So the jurry is still out Wink
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 10:01:41 AM by Chef Geoff » Logged
Al.Thepastfinder, ( Alan )
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 03:57:35 PM »

HI Geoff,   Thanks for your valuable input,

yes , no copper coins earlier on to use,  they started coming in from James the 1st.

 its the poorest people who used to use them who couldn't afford the silver coins,
 maybe like the rich now, buying diamond engagement rings in 24 carrot gold from top Jewelers,,  while the poor can only afford fake stones in 9 carrot gold bands from Argos,,

 iv'e got a couple of the George the Third copper ones. times were bad back then with Gold and Silver in short supply, lol

Cheers
 Al.
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Al.Thepastfinder, ( Alan )
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 04:16:55 PM »

 Geoff,   i was tidying up one of my other copies  when i noticed  the deliberate typing error,  i'd typed in Copper instead of silver coins, silly me ha ha,  iv'e sorted it now and know what you meant ha ha,
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win
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2011, 07:37:05 PM »

Its in the old nursery rhyme . 'He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile'
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benny
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 05:53:07 PM »

My first love token was a James 1st sixpence,and strangely enough,I found it on Valentines day a few years back! Strange how these things work isn't it.
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Meatslicer
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 10:25:26 PM »

I found a Lizzy 1 love token at the DW rally near glastonbury, and a william 111 at the DW rally in shirenewton.

I have been told it was more to do with "doing the deed" in a field or near a style. If the number that turn up are anything to go by, these country types were at it like rabbits.

Eric
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22 Roman  Coins
13 Hammered
4 Georgian Silver
4 Silver love tokens
8 Victorian  Silver
40 Victorian Copper
6 Edwardian Silver
7 George IV
4 George V
0 Gold Coins
1 iron age gold
9 Roman Brooches
4 Copper Knobs
30 Buckles
1 med dagger hilt
1 Roman Spoon
2x Silver Gilt Treasure items
nobby
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2011, 05:35:48 AM »

well there was no tv back then Tongue
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win
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2011, 10:34:49 AM »

Its what's called 'Country Pursuits'.
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