World of Coins

Other tokens and medals => Advertising, propaganda and numismatic artefacts => Private countermarks => Topic started by: chrisild on March 06, 2018, 09:21:08 AM

Title: Defacing an old penny
Post by: chrisild on March 06, 2018, 09:21:08 AM
Digging up an old topic ...

As a (non-German) example of political graffiti on coins, this example ( may interest you, a UK penny defaced with the words VOTES FOR WOMEN across the king's head, which featured in the BBC Radio 4 series 'The history of the world in 100 objects'.

... I recently saw this episode from the British Museum's interesting "Curator's Corner" series. In the video, curator Tom Hockenhull not only explains some of the background but also makes one of these defaced coins himself. Hmm, how many did he produce, I wonder. ;)  Anyway here is "Defacing coins like a suffragette".

Title: Re: Defacing an old penny
Post by: malj1 on March 06, 2018, 09:37:45 PM
I have a problem with his description "engraving" ??? as this is in fact a counter-stamp or counter-rmark. BM staff should know better.  ::)

BTW Australia had introduced voting rights for women at a much earlier date. Wikipedia ( however it was not until 1962, the Menzies Government (1949–1966) amended the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to enable all Indigenous Australians to enrol to vote in Australian federal elections.
Title: Re: Defacing an old penny
Post by: brandm24 on March 30, 2019, 11:28:05 AM
I've seen that video before, Christian, and it's very interesting to me as a counterstamp collector. Unfortunately, it unknowingly gives a nod to the counterfeiters who have faked so many of these "Votes For Women" pieces.Adding to Mal's comment about BM's incorrect description  of the process as "engraving", it also strikes me as irresponsible. Showing people how to fake a historic collectible is just wrong.

Several years ago a lot of fake Irish political stamps (IRA, UVF, etc.) began appearing on the market. Having a long background in counterstamp collecting and researching, I quickly became comfortable with identifying these mostly amateur looking pieces. Fortunately, most of them have at least temporarily disappeared from the market. Maybe people finally got wise to them, or they stopped "production" because the profit margin wasn't high enough.

Unfortunately, in the past year or so the same two or three counterfeiters of the Irish politicals replaced them with "Votes For Women" coins. I check eBay and other sites regularly for additions to my collection and new examples for my census, and on any given day see at least a dozen "Votes For Women" counterstamped coins offered and they're ALL fakes. I've wanted to add one of these interesting coins to my collection for some time, but don't even trust myself to pick out a legitimate example. Very sad situation.

Title: Re: Defacing an old penny
Post by: <k> on March 30, 2019, 12:33:02 PM
@brandm24, this is a strange interest you have, but it's good to be different rather than "run of the mill" and boring. How did it start? Why your interest in defacing things - or defaced items? And why did you specifically become interested in Irish matters, and particularly "the troubles" ?

Were you a hooligan when young? Do you even have a criminal record?  >:D  And is Banksy one of your heroes?
Title: Re: Defacing an old penny
Post by: brandm24 on March 31, 2019, 11:55:39 AM
My interest in counterstamped messages on coins is directly related to my interest in history. All slogans, acronyms, pictorial symbolism, or anything else struck on them tells a story. Sometimes it's obvious, but more often not. I have a great interest in deciphering what they're trying to say.

I was first introduced to counterstamps in 1976 when I acquired my father's collection of American coins. In the collection was an old worn 1875 Half Dollar stamped "D.S.& Co. / Auburn / ME." I immediately became curious as to who D.S.& Co. was. It sparked an interest in me that remains strong to this day. The research and journey into history has been both educational and rewarding.

As to my interest in the Troubles. About 15 or so years ago I was offered a coin from a man in the UK with the acronym "RIRA" struck on it. Not understanding the meaning, I researched it and subsequently bought the coin. I gradually became more and more interested in these Irish political issues.  I suppose it stems from from my earlier interest in US political issues.

In answer to your first question...not a hooligan, just a run-of-the-mill nerd. Second question...probably not. Third question...A better question would be, ARE you Banksy? My answer to that is ................. :-X

BTW, D.S.& Co stands for Dingley, Strout & Company, a mid to late 19th century boot and shoe maker in Auburn. Only took me about 20 years to figure that one out, so you see I really was a nerd.

Title: Re: Defacing an old penny
Post by: eurocoin on December 25, 2019, 11:31:57 AM
The Votes for Women fakes indeed seem to be widespread. I just happened to come across this website ( of the company Coincrafts (John Plumb) that produces and sells them.
Title: Re: Defacing an old penny
Post by: brandm24 on December 25, 2019, 12:24:35 PM
Yes, John Plumb does nice work. He sells a lot on eBay and clearly states that his coins are problem with that.
There's another maker who also makes it clear that his "Votes For Women" issues aren't original. I don't recall his name off hand.

Unfortunately, there are several others who make fakes and don't identify them as such. They're relatively easy to spot if you have any knowledge of counterstamping. Both makers are in England. I stay away from all of them because nearly all pieces offered are fakes.