Author Topic: James Watt Steam Machine token  (Read 245 times)

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Offline Pellinore

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James Watt Steam Machine token
« on: January 23, 2021, 09:47:44 PM »
I bought this token because it is almost a printed broadside made of metal: so full of text, and with a single illustration.
The headline is: Mr. Watt's Single Acting Steam Engine, and it was made in 1828 by Edward Thomason in Birmingham.
Is this bronzed zinc? 73 mm, 137 gr. Can one find it in a catalog? Is it part of a series?

-- Paul

Offline malj1

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2021, 11:22:20 PM »
I've heard of the variious series of medals he produced although I don't know this particular one. There are a series to be found in Sir Edward Thomason's 'Series of Scientific and Philosophical Medals' these are his white metal ones and I don't see it listed in this version.

 This site shows his other work.

Another one of a series of 60 is here:

Baldwin's of St. James's - Auction 48, Lot 394
Commemorative Medals, Old Testament, Elijah fed by ravens at the brook Cherith, copper medal, c.1830, from Sir Edward Thomason's series of sixty 'Medallic Illustrations of the Holy Scriptures', two ravens swoop on Elijah with food, after the painting by Paolo Veronese, rev. legend in 29 lines, 73.5mm. (BHM.1468, no. 43), extremely fine and very rare in copper Brown (BHM) lists the medals from the series in silver and, as are most commonly found, white metal. Examples in copper must be very r...


So the answer may be there suggesting its listed by Brown.
Malcolm
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Offline stef

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2021, 11:38:31 PM »
Some information can be found in this book (Sir Edward Thomason's memoirs during half a century, starting from page 303), but not about the metal.

Offline Pellinore

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2021, 12:19:46 AM »
Thanks very much for this information. The complete text in a slightly better readable form is there in Thomason's memoirs.
I don't think this is copper, but possibly zinc - colored brown in the field.
-- Paul

Offline Pellinore

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2021, 12:26:35 AM »
By the way, you don't see it on the medal if you just look at it, but in the photo I discovered two numbers scribbled on the coin, at the sides of the picture. Can you recognize these?
4170 and 141370. Must be some method in this.

-- Paul

Offline malj1

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2021, 05:06:15 AM »
It was an early practice of museums to mark their coins etc in Indian ink. Here is a typical example G1294 in the British Museums Montague Guest collection acquired in 1907.

See this collection for more on this fascinating medal.

I quote:
Medal embossed with information on James Watt's single-acting pumping engine, white metal, designed and made by Edward Thomason, Birmingham, England, 1828

This medal was originally one of a set of 16. On the obverse is a line drawing of James Watt's single-acting steam pumping engine, surrounded by information about the engine, which continues on the reverse. It is signed on the reverse THOMASON.D, an abbreviated form of 'Thomason direxit', which is Latin for [he] directs, indicating that Thomason was the designer who instructed the engraver. The final sentence on the reverse lauds Watt, whose 'fame was now spread to the very skirts of civilization', a boast that seems to waste space in such a condensed compendium of scientific facts and pseudo-facts.
Malcolm
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Offline brandm24

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2021, 06:02:04 PM »
It was an early practice of museums to mark their coins etc in Indian ink.

Some early collectors in this country also did the same thing, some even going so far as stamping their initials on the coin.

Bruce
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 10:04:03 PM by Figleaf »
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Offline malj1

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2021, 01:32:30 AM »
Such a high number though tends to point to a museum.
Malcolm
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Offline bagerap

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Re: James Watt Steam Machine token
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2021, 03:47:51 AM »
I can add nothing except to say that I've developed a severe case of token lust.