Copper Halfpenny Proof Token, minted by J. Moore, London, in 1857. Issued to promote Professor Holloway's pills and ointments. Proof tokens, such as this one, were manufactured for collectors and museums as reference pieces, not for circulation. It is possible this piece may have been struck later in the nineteenth century, as restriking was common in London in the 1880s.
Holloway tokens are presumed to have been circulated worldwide throughout retailers of Holloway products. Holloway's tokens were produced in large numbers and have proven the most common token finds on Melbourne archaeological sites.
Previous Collections: Hon. William M.K. Vale
A round bronzed copper proof striking of a Professor Holloway token (28 mm diameter). The token features a profile head of Professor Holloway and a rendition of the classical goddess Hygeia (the ancient Greek goddess of health) seated looking at snake drinking from a cup she holds in her left hand, the snake is curled around a burning altar, an orb rests on altar on her right side. The legend promites Holloway's pills and ointments and gives the date 1857. However, there are indications of rusting of the die prior to the production of this piece (for example in the field behind the Professor's neck). Proof tokens were manufactured for collectors and museums as reference pieces, not for circulation. This piece may have been struck later in the nineteenth century - restriking was common in London in the 1880s.
Head of Professor Holloway facing left with MOORE (the maker's name) in relief on neck truncation; around, PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY; below, LONDON.
Hygeia (the ancient Greek goddess of health) seated looking at snake drinking from a cup she holds in her left hand, the snake is curled around a burning altar, an orb rests on altar on her right side, around; HOLLOWAY'S PILLS AND OINTMENTS. in exergue, 1857
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Honourable William M. Vale JP, 15/3/1976
Obverse: PROFESSOR HOLLOWAY LONDON J. MOORE Reverse: HOLLOWAY'S PILLS AND OINTMENTS 1857
Type of item
8.304 g (Weight)
Holloway's tokens were struck in such large numbers that the minting technique of hubbing was clearly employed. In this a master tool, having the full appearance of the final token for the obverse and reverse is manufactured in steel. This is then used to prepare working dies. This technique makes the identification of individual dies from variations in rim bead counts or alignment of lettering impossible. Researchers have noted minor variations in the lowest relief areas of the tokens that may be the result of variations of quality of the die production off the hub (Heyde p. 49) or minor tooling. These are noted in the descriptions but museum storage is based on denomination and date.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No.667
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No.120/2