Convict Tokens Exhibition at Benalla Library

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The National Museum has 315 convict tokens in its collection. They represent an enduring connection between the convicts and those they left behind. Often, they were a final farewell.


Smoothing and engraving a coin with a message of affection was one of the few ways a convict could leave a memento before being transported to Australia. The tokens were engraved or stippled, which involved making marks with a series of small pinpricks, and include personal details and rhymes of separation.


Convicts’ lives are well documented by official government records, but the tokens record emotional responses to an uncertain future. Although tiny, they are a powerful link to Australia’s convict past.


A selection of convict tokens from the National Museum’s collection is now on tour/on show at Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop Learning Centre, 2 Fawckner Drive, Benalla VIC. 


Image description.
Convict love token from David Freeman, 1818
Photo: National Museum of Australia / Jason McCarthy 



  • Friday, 09 February 2024 | 09:30 AM - Saturday, 27 April 2024 | 12:00 PM


Benalla Library, 2 Fawckner Dr, Benalla, 3672, View Map

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