CANADA Borderline Token C'est Du Cuivre Token 23.05mm brass 4.23 grams, Die axis: ↑↑. Edge: Plain Bowman #20a
Obverse: Laureate bust to left, probably that of Napoleon. J. DAVIS
Reverse: Ship with Union Jack on the bow-sprit sailing to left. “C’EST DU CUIVRE”.
Lyman Low said of the coin, “The ship, the flag, the inscription, the engraver and Napolean make it highly probable, in my mind, that it was made for circulation in Canada, where the warmest welcome was extended to everything having a resemblance to a coin up to Victoria’s coinage of 1858”. It is probably a pattern struck in the hope of obtaining orders for a quantity from Canada. The writer knows of but two specimens.
Bowman in his article on Canadian Borderline tokens was referencing the larger (27mm) token that was unsigned. It is very likely that this smaller scarcer piece was made for the same purpose. I have also had an example of this piece in lead.
JOSEPH DAVIS A Birmingham Die sinker of the second quarter of the 19thy century died about 1857. Earlier in the century Joseph Davis was listed as a gilt toy manufacturer in Great Charles St Birmingham and he appears to have entered into the business of a Die engraver in the year 1828. He is described in the Post Office Directory of 1845 as Joseph Davis 7 Clarence Row Die engraver to HRH Prince Albert and HRH the Duchess of Kent. In 1850 his name does not appear in the Directory.