Great Britain ND (ca 1790) Halfpenny Token, Middlesex, Pidcock’s Lion and Eagle DH-414 MS64+BN PCGS. Obv. A lion lying down (“couchant’) holding a circular shield reading EXETER CHANGE with PIDCOCK’S EXIBITION around. (Exibition is misspelled on this variety; the DH-415 has it correctly spelled as EXHIBITION.) Rev. An eagle in the center, BIRDS and BEAST around. (The noun disagreement is also corrected on DH-415, which additionally bears the date 1795 at bottom rev.)
This is a stunning near-Gem example of this popular variety with pastel-green and bluish-purple tones contrasting against a light-gold background on both sides. Both the crouching lion and the feathery eagle are marvelously well-detailed throughout due to the excellent, sharp strike. PCGS Population: 1 in 64+BN (this piece), 2 finer (10/2019).
Background: Pidcock’s Exhibition in London featured a wide variety of exotic birds and beasts not normally seen in cosmopolitan London. Elephants, rhinos, zebras, nylghaus (look it up), monkeys, two-headed cows, kangaroos, cockatoos, tigers, ostriches, many more, all formed part of what must have been a memorable menagerie.