Love tokens: engraved coins, emotions and the poor 1700-1856

  • Bridget Millmore

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis examines the love tokens that were made by the poor from low value coins in Britain in the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The investigation has located approximately 5000 examples of love tokens in public and private coin collections in England and Wales; the majority date from 1700-1856. One hundred and eighty eight tokens in the Acworth collection from Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery were selected for detailed analysis. A digital database was created and the features of the engraved coins’ content and form were catalogued and tagged.1 The study employs the language and imagery of popular literature in order to situate the tokens within the visual and material literacy of the poor. The research benefitted from the accessibility of digitised versions of these eighteenth century sources of illustrated ballads and broadsides.
Date of AwardFeb 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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