UNITED STATES Evasion Colonel Percie Kirk 1686 Britons Own Happy Isle Atkins 65, Rulau CONN185
An interesting mid-nineteenth century piece based on the British Evasion series, and issued by Connecticut lawyer, Aaron White. Two hundred were minted and upon his death in 1886 there were 191 of these evasion / bungtown pieces found amongst three tons of coinage in his house and barn. After Elliot Woodward auctioned off the first group of White's coins Edouard Frossard followed with another sale in 1888. Frossard listed all 191 of the Bungtown tokens in one lot but described them as "Pierce Clark" in error. To make matters even worse there was also a theft during Frossard's auction of the White collection in which medals and tokens had been stolen. Reading The Numismatist articles from the time of both sales it's also mentioned that some of the copper coinage from the White hoard had been taken to smelters to be turned into alloy.
The real evasion tokens (if real can be used in describing a counterfeit) were produced in Great Britain at the end of the 1790s, and were designed to exploit a legal loophole that allowed private manufacturers to produce pseudo-coins imitating the regal issue, as long as they were not exact copies. To the illiterate eye, there was little difference between the ‘evasion coppers’ and the regal coppers that they supplanted. They were of course lighter and thus were profitable to manufacture. The manufacturers were many of the same who had produced the Provincial Series (Conder) tokens i.e. Kempson, Lutwyche, and like the later ‘blacksmith tokens’ used in Canada, they were deliberately crudely made, so that they would look worn even when newly manufactured. A series that is both whimsical and fun to collect. The series was catalogued by James Atkins in 1892 in his book The Trademen's Tokens of The Eighteenth Century in the section entitled Imitations Of The Regal Coinage, which included this curiosity. The inclusion of a well struck and heavier piece into a series of apparently heavily worn 18th century counterfeits would be based on that another of the evasions (Atkins #60) had the obverse "COLONEL KIRK" and the reverse "BRITONS HAPPY ISLE"