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Country Of The Day: Barbados, 1788 Proof British Commonwealth Penny NGC 65BN

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 Posted 01/20/2021  7:06 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Barbados, British Commonwealth Penny 1788, KM-TnA9, Pr-19, Proof 65 BN NGC, small pineapple, lovely reflective fields with noticeable mint luster.

Check out coins from Barbados on ebay.

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 Posted 01/20/2021  7:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Impressive. What's not to like about that?
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 Posted 01/20/2021  11:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's certainly a nice example of the token. I have one, but it's in barely-identifiable-worn-flat condition. THese tokens are quite popular here in Australia, due to the "1788" date and the pineapple theme on the reverse.

I have always been uncertain as to the original meaning and intent of the symbolism on the obverse.

The crown-and-three-feathers is the badge of the Prince of Wales. "I Serve" is also the English translation of the Old German motto of the Prince of Wales, "Ich Dien". So there is a clear intent to symbolize the Prince of Wales with this token.

In 1788, the Prince of Wales was Prince George Augustus Frederick, the future king George IV. He was rather unpopular as a prince, being noted for racking up huge gambling debts (which the government was obliged to bail him out of), riotous partying, and suspicion of having an improper relationship with Maria Fitzherbert, a divorced Catholic.

Furthermore, in 1788 we had the Regency Crisis. The prince's father, King George III, was insane and his descent into madness was no longer able to be ignored; he was no longer able to exercise his duties as king. Prince George was made Regent in his place, but the process of making the Prince of Wales the Regent was unprecedented, unconstitutional and highly controversial.

So it seems likely that the message originally intended was a negative one. But what was the message? On the token, the princely coronet is placed on the head of a negro slave. Barbados, of course, was at the time a British slave plantation-island, growing sugar cane. And pineapples, I suppose.

In comparing the prince to a negro slave, were the token-makers saying they'd rather have a negro as Regent and heir to the throne than the incumbent? Were they saying that, as Regent, the prince should consider the lifestyle of a negro slave if he really wanted to live up to his motto of servitude? Were they suggesting the prince be sold into slavery to help pay off his gambling debts? Or were they simply saying the prince was a dishonourable so-and-so for agreeing to de-throne his father like that and he should be locked up and dis-inherited?
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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