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William Smith - Engraver, Letter Cutter, Die Sinker


master brummie

Its Simon here once again, your friendly token collector from Ipswich, Suffolk. Whilst I am not from Birmingham and have no known links to Birmingham, I often come here to show you what tokens I've recently acquired that have a Birmingham link to them, as many of you are interested and some of you have purchased tokens from me in the past.

I actually specialise in George III Imitation Spade Guineas, which were mainly made around the late Victorian period, and many were produced by makers from Birmingham such as Pope, Bagnall, Harcourt, Illiffe, Bancroft Brothers and of course Henry Kettle.

Last week I secured a previously unlisted type, with the name William Smith, Engraver, Letter Cutter, Die Sinker, New Meeting Street, Birmingham with the reverse being of George III with Georgivs III Dei Gratia as the legend.

This has now been recorded and therefore as far as we know, is the only known example of it's type currently.

Whilst it is not for sale, I'm happy to place on record the photos I've taken of it, so yourselves are the first to officially see it, other than the seller, the expert who has recorded it and myself.

HOWEVER, I'd actually like to write an article about the token and more importantly the maker, who I presume is Smith as he would have had the capability to produce these tokens but no record exists of any person taking him up on his ability to produce these type of gaming tokens.

All I know of William Smith is that his address was 12 (subsequently 12A) New Meeting Street, Dale End, Birmingham, from around 1860'odd to just short of 1900.

Can anyone provide any further more detailed information please?

Until next time, regards to all at BHF.


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Super Moderator
Staff member
A William Smith, engraver & letter cutter is listed as at 90 Dale end , with home at 13 prospect row in the 1855 Whites directory , and in court 10 Dale end (next to no 90) in the 1845, 1849 & 1855 PO directory.

He is listed as a letter cutter and general brass plate engraver at 90 Dale end in the 1850 whites directory, with home at 37 Gopsal St

In the 1841 Pigots directory william smith is an engraver at court 9 Dale End

The william smith engraver is living at 13 Propect row in 1851 census, was born in what looks like Colwick (?), Staffordshire, was 39, married to Dorcas, also 39, and with a 1 year old daughter. the wife's occupation and pace of birth i cannot interpret.

In the 1862 Corporation directory Dorcas Birch lives at 13 Prospect row.. but in the 1861 census Dorcas Hawkins (widow) lives there.

Not sure what this means, whether the earlier William smith is the same as the later one, or died around 186o or so .

Seems a bit of a coincidence same name (even if common) and occupation and one follows from other. Maybe osn follows on


master brummie
Hi Mike, As alkways a fount of knowledge.
Thank you for the info, a great starting point for my ''voyage of discovery'' regarding William Smith.