Boxing Mendoza Token, 1790, Scarce
Great Britain, Middlesex, Thomas Spence (1750-1814, schoolmaster from Newcastle, later radical book seller in London, he spent some of 1794 imprisoned in Newgate prison), Copper Halfpenny Trade Token, dated 1790, obverse: bust of Daniel Mendoza to left, D MENDOZA above, reverse: a shepherd reclining under a tree holding a crook and watching his sheep, mountain in the far distance, edge SPENCE DEALER IN COINS LONDON, diam. 29mm.
Daniel Mendoza (1764-1836), known in boxing circles as ‘The Jew’, enjoyed a lengthy prize fighting career during which he earnt the patronage of the Prince of Wales. At this time boxers generally stood still and swapped punches but Mendoza's style consisted of more than simply battering opponents into submission, his "scientific style" included defensive movement such as “side-stepping”, ducking, blocking and avoiding punches.
Mendoza was able to overcome much heavier opponents as a result of this new style and became England's sixteenth Heavyweight Champion from 1792 to 1795.
In 1789 his book, “The Art of Boxing”, was published and in 1791 he opened a boxing school with his partner, William Ward, at the Lyceum (Dalton & Hamer “The Provincial Token Coinage of the 18th Century” 788).
Ex Joel Spingarn collection, with envelope.
Good extremely fine, small spot under bust and behind shepherd but attractively toned, scarce.