In response to yesterday’s post on trench art, one of Microkhan’s treasured Aussie readers turned us on to convict love tokens. These engraved coins were made by English convicts as they awaited deportation to Australia, during the island continent’s 19th-century turn as a massive penal colony. The token to the right was produced by an English baker who received a seven-year sentence for robbery; the cryptic (yet oddly hopeful) inscription, painstakingly engraved with a pin-like object, reads: “When in captivity time goeth very slowly, but free as air to roam how quick the time does go”.”
More on convict love tokens here. And definitely check out The International Center of Convict Studies, which features oodles of research on how Britain’s draconian imprisonment policies led to the creation of whole new societies.