Gaming Counter, Queen Victoria (1819-1901), gilded, Great Britain, after 1838.
Gaming counter of unspecified denomination, milled edge, beading on rim.
OBVERSE: central effigy of bust of young Queen Victoria facing left, surrounding legend 'VICTORIA QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN'.
REVERSE: span of three cards, six of hearts, knave or king of diamonds, five of clubs.
Legend struck on counter on obverse surrounding effigy 'VICTORIA QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN'.
William Wyon originally designed the 'young head' of Queen Victoria that was used on all British coinage from 1838-1887. The obverse of this gaming piece imitates the 'young head' representation.
This coin like gaming piece was made in imitation of gold sovereigns of Queen Victoria. Similar counters the 'To Hanover' type were also a copy of the gold sovereign of Queen Victoria, but with the reverse design of St George and the dragon replaced by a crowned horseman and three headed dragon with the legend 'TO HANOVER' and the date 1837. This was origjnally a satirical piece commemorating the departure of Victoria's uncle, the unpopular Duke of Cumberland, to become King of Hanover on the death of William IV. These pieces continued to be produced in large numbers after they ceased to be topical and took on the role of gaming counters, although sometimes passed off as coins. They were therefore made illegal in 1883.
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