Æ Farthing. ND. Diameter 15.3mm. · THE· LOBSTER· AT· THE· around; in centre lobster. R. * MAIPOLE· IN· THE· STRAND around; in centre E*G BW (London) 2975; Norweb 8813 (but a different obverse die), Dent at edge, otherwise About Fine-Good Fine*. *US customers please note that this is strict British grading.
The issuer's name is unknown. The engraver of this piece has given the lobster an extra leg on the right.
According to Elizabethan chronicler John Stow, a maypole, some 30 metres tall stood on the later site of the church of St Mary-le-Strand, but it came down when the Puritans in Parliament banned all maypoles in 1644. A new one – over 40 metres tall was erected in 1661, after the Restoration. By 1713 it had rotted so much it was removed and a new one set up opposite what is now Somerset House. (Construction of St Mary-le-Strand church began in 1714.) This new maypole didn't last long and ended up being bought by Sir Isaac Newton and sent to Wanstead Park, where it supported Huygens's 37 metre-long telescope.
British Tokens - 17th Century - London - The lobster inn - the Strand -
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