(1790's) End of Pain ½p
Pandorra's Breeches, D&H-827
MS65 BN [PCGS Gold Shield]
Middlesex-Spence's D&H-827, Plain Edge. Early Die State, exhibiting just the spindly obverse die crack before it has evolved into the mega-cud seen on the LDS. Interestingly, this issue does not seem to come in a perfect, uncracked state, indicating that the die might have broken during the engraving or hardening process before the first token was struck.
With the popular End of Pain obverse motif here married to the curious PANDORA'S BREECHES reverse depicting the pair of burning trousers ('breeches') stuffed with straw that were planted above a lavatory in the House of Commons in May of 1792.
The motto PANDORA'S BREECHES was coined as a warning against political activism at that time, as Pandora's box had become a common image for the French Revolution.
Linking Pandora to those breeches (though Thomas Paine was believed responsible) implied something as disruptive and unnatural as a woman wearing trousers at that time.
The piece itself is a stunning gem, with exquisite velvety luster, superb surfaces and an unbelievably sharp strike revealing intricate details on Thomas Paine and the gibbet that we did not know existed on this issue.
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