All collections » Tokens » Stinton's Halfpenny
On the obverse side there is a grasshopper, a circular legend: “FINE.TEAS.OF.THE.ROUGH.FLAVOUR” (Fine teas with rich aroma).
On the reverse side there is a circular legend: “WN. STINTON ST. JAMES.S STREET. LONDON” and in the center in three lines: “PATENT.COCAO WAREHOUSE 1795”.
Edge inscription: “PAYABLE IN DUBLIN OR LONDON”.
Engraver: Dixon, producer: Lutwyche.
Issued 5 cwts (1 cwts = 100 lb = 45.359237 kg).
The manufacturer of the token, William Stinton (1741-1810), was a grocer who sold tea and cocoa, and also engaged in wholesale deliveries of fruits from Italy, Portugal and France. His shop was at 12 St. James Street, and later he took over two more houses at numbers 13 and 14 on the same street and a fourth at 24 Jermyn Street nearby.
The grasshopper was one of the symbols used by grocers. Tea was the national drink in the 1700s. It was terribly expensive, from 16 to 50 shillings a pound. Due to the high cost, servants of wealthy people rolled and dried used tea leaves for resale, which was illegal.