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W. Blackburn

Started by Henk, August 20, 2021, 11:38:41 AM

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I have this engraved copper disk or perhaps worn down (old) half penny with the text:
W | BLACKBUR / N | T.S | I.C | M

Weight is 7.6 grams and diameter 27 mm (half penny is 28 mm and 9.45 grams). If it was made from a half penny is not clear, there remains nothing of the text. The planchet is completely blank, the edge also is blank.

It is obvious that M. Blackburn is a name and TS, IC and M could be the initials of his or her children. Please let me know your comments and ideas.


Don't know about this one, Henk. I think if it were children's initials they would end with "B" (Blackburn) unless they represent a first and middle name. I also wonder if the lone "M" on the bottom is a third initial of "IC" (ICM) as the engraver had to squeeze the "N" of Blackburn in above.

Not much to go on here as Blackburn is a very common surname. Whatever it represents, the style suggests that it's very old. Mid to late 18th century?

Always Faithful


I may very well be over-interpreting here, but I think the (clumsy) engraver intended to make a latin cross (long vertical bar, horizontal bar above mid of vertical bar), as used as a symbol of christianity, with his name, so that BLACKBURN was the horizontal bar and WM (William) the vertical bar. I would speculate that T•S is a geographical name and I•C stands for Iesus Christus or a declension.

The whole reminds me of an improvised church identification token or a communion token, particularly plentiful in Scotland, but seen all over the "white commonwealth". A pdf on those is available here.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.