Typical stippled inscription on a smoothed English Penny. Obverse reads "A Token from John Chapman Aged 20 1832" : Reverse inscription reads "When this you see remember me untill (sic) I get my liberty"

  • Diameter 36mm
  • Exhibited:
  • Medals, Commemorative
  • Literature:
  • Coins, Monies & Stamps
  • Medium:
  • 393
  • Circa:
  • Collectibles
  • Notes:
  • Convict Love Tokens have been romantically described as 'postcards before leaving' but they were really sad mementos of relationships torn asunder by the courts and the tyranny of distance. Most were crafted from smoothed English pennies and were inscribed with messages of love from a convict to a wife, lover or family that would most likely never see him again if he received a sentence of transportation. The subject of this token was John Chapman a 'waterman' of Middlesex, a petty criminal convicted in May 1832 of stealing a tea caddy in a shop robbery. After receiving his sentence of 14 years transportation to New South Wales he was sent to the prison hulk 'Retribution' moored at Woolwich where this token would have been fashioned. Chapman bore a tattoo of a woman flanked by the letters 'BC' and 'EP' on his right arm. Who the intended recipient of this token was is unknown, but his parting love is depicted by two kissing doves separated by a heart. Chapman left England on the 'Lord Lynedoch' on the 30th May 1833 arriving in the Colony of New South Wales on the 18th October 1833.

Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Paypal, Visa, Wire Transfer



Purchases within Australia will be charged a MINIMUM SHIPPING FEE of $10.00 and will be sent by Registered Post.

Additional insurance is optional at the buyer's expense.

Larger lots may incur an additional charge.


Overseas purchases will be charged a MINIMUM SHIPPING FEE of $35.00 and will be sent by standard International Post.

Additional insurance is optional at the buyer's expense

Larger lots may incur an additional charge.

If we are unsure of the bona fides of a successful bidder we may request identification such as a Passport Photo or Drivers's Licence that matches the Credit Card details registered with Invaluable before we despatch an item.

Both Australian and International packages are traceable in transit and may require a signature on delivery.

June 21, 2020 12:00 PM AEST
Paddington, Sydney, Australia

Smalls Auctions

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 20% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
A$0 A$249 A$5
A$250 A$999 A$10
A$1,000 A$4,999 A$25
A$5,000 A$9,999 A$50
A$10,000 + A$100