London : Thomas Hall, 1795. Æ halfpenny, diameter 30 mm, weight 12 grams. Obverse: Three quadrupeds. THE KANGUROO . THE ARMADILLO . THE RHINOCEROS. Reverse: T. HALL CITY ROAD NEAR FINSBURY SQUARE LONDON 1795 / THE FIRST ARTIST IN EUROPE FOR PRESERVING BIRDS BEASTS &c. Dark brown patina with reddish highlights and excellent detail; a superb example.During the 1790s the London taxidermist Thomas Hall produced a number of copper tokens to advertise his Finsbury Museum. At this time, privately produced copper tokens were a popular form of business promotion. These tokens went into general circulation and had a value equivalent to a halfpenny. They could also be redeemed at the issuing establishment for minted crown coinage. Hall was one of numerous taxidermists and menagerists in Georgian London who made a living by charging the public to visit their displays of exotic beasts and curiosities. The first public display of a preserved kangaroo in London was in 1789, in a concert hall near Haymarket.
The first public display of a preserved kangaroo in London was in 1789, in a concert hall near Haymarket. In 1795, when Hall issued this now extremely rare token, the display of this strange animal of New South Wales was still very much a novelty that attracted enormous public interest.
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