Love Token given by James Davis to Miss Tilly in Great Britain, 1825.
Love tokens were often commissioned by convicts before they were transported to Australia, as a memento for their loved ones. Itinerant engravers visited the prisons and hulks, finding a ready market for these tokens, which were made to order from smoothed-down coins.
Love tokens are evidence of the British Government's attitude to law and order and treatment of indentured labourers in a strict Government 'Assignment System' which provided cheap labour for the expanding British Empire during the 1700s and 1800s.
About one third of migrants who came to Australia between 1830 and 1850 paid their own way. Convicts and settlers who came to Australia found that in comparison to Europe, conditions were very good and with hard work and determination they could prosper.
Love token engraved on a 1797 British penny (36 mm). The surfaces of the penny have been removed and engraved.
The obverse of the penny been removed and engraved, above a heart pierced by two arrows, '1825 / From James Davis / To Mis Tilly'.
The original reverse has also been removed and engraved, 'When / this you see / Remember / Me When / I am Far / Away'.
The edge is plain.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
36 mm (Outside Diameter)