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Popular Errors Explained and Illustrated.
A Book for Old and Young. by John Timbs, F.S.A., New and Revised Edition--fourth Thousand

London: Kent and Co. (Late Bogue), Fleet Street. MDCCCLVIII. [1858]

[Pages 181-184]
Queen Anne's Farthing

Few Errors have become more popular than that of the extreme rarity of the Farthing coinage of Queen Anne. Many a tyro in numismatics, on inspecting the cabinet of a coin collector, has exclaimed: "But you have not a Farthing of Queen Anne? You know there were only three of them struck." [If you answer in the affirmative, he is ready for you, armed at all points, with the old story: "Why, there never were but three: the Museum has two of them, and would give a large sum for the third!"] And so current has been this belief, that, probably, no practical Error has occasioned more mischief and mortification to those who have been misled by it, than that which we are about to elucidate. This task has often been attempted, but has never been so satisfactorily performed as by our friend, Mr. William Till, the respectable medallist, in London; who, at our request, in the year 1835, drew up as complete an explanation of the Error as his extensive acquaintance with numismatics, and his long experience in coin-dealing, enabled him to accomplish.

"These tokens of brass are thinner than the real copper Farthings of Anne. On the head side, they present you with an exorable bust of the queen, with a long, scraggy neck, unlike that of this sovereign, with the legend 'Anna Dei Gratia.' On the reverse, the royal arms in the shape of a cross, roses sometimes seen between the quarterings;) indeed, very similar to the shilling of Anne before the Union; their date, generally 1714. These worthless counters have caused an immense deal of trouble; the lower classes becoming possessed of them, and starting off (as before stated) for London, to make their fortunes. They would not be worth noticing here, were it not to publish them as pieces of no value whatever." [

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