William Shakespeare Copper Halfpenny c1795 Obv A bust in profile to left. Around the perimeter WARWICKSHIRE Five buttons on coat. No period after legend. Rev A figure of Vulcan seated; HALFPENNY above. In Ex: 1792 Period after HALFPENNY in line with the bottom of the Y, opposite the top of the anvil and above the top pennant. The 1 of the date has a flat top and is just to the right of center of Vulcan's seat. Edge PAYABLE IN ANGLESEY LONDON OR LIVERPOOL . X . (Conder p.161, 6; Atkins p. 206, 29; D&H Warwickshire 49)
Minor marks, otherwise nearly uncirculated.
There are 45 varieties of 18th c provincial tokens featuring the bust of William Shakespeare. Some are county issues used for general coinage, some also noted as evasions, and one of Westwood’s Half Halfpennies. This die pair is likely the work of William Lutwyche and is die linked to counterfeit John Wilkinson halfpennies through the Vulcan die.
William Lutwyche, (1754-1801), toymaker, later token manufacturer, Temple Row and St Philip churchyard. Lutwyche was active in the production of tokens from 1791 until 1801 and seems to have had more individual commissions for than any other manufacturer. His output of more than 65 tons of "legitimate provincial coins" was exceeded only by that of Thomas Williams, the consortium of Westwood and Hancock, and that of Matthew Boulton. He frequently combined dies then in his posession to produce various mules, concocted numerous specious issues, and has been attributed with manufacturing the bulk of evasions and lighweight coppers that appeared toward the end of the 18th century.