Convict Love Token sculpture

Convict Love Token sculpture, Longford , Public Art, Bruno Barcodi

Public Art: Convict Love Token sculpture

Sculptor: © Bruno Barcodi

Description: This copper Convict Love Token sculpture was erected for a game called Skulduggery. It features a couple on one side and a small verse on the other. 

Date Unveiled: c.2004

Location: The Convict Love Token was originally located at the village green in Longford in Tasmania but has since been removed.


"This sculpture is a love token...and a clue!
The token will help visitors to Longford solve a crime that actually happened in 1831. This is skulduggery at its most intriguing!
Visit our information booth to find out more about playing the skulduggery game."
(Sculpture created by Bruno Barcodi)

The Skulduggery Game:  In 2004 Dr Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, a history lecturer at the University of Tasmania, came up with a brilliant travel game called Skulduggery. It centred around three unsolved mysteries that occurred in Tasmania in the 1830s.

The game invited locals and tourists alike to try and solve these crimes by visiting the hertiage towns of Longford, Ross and Oatlands. To play the game you had to purchase the game and read the stories told by a ficticious constable called John James before heading to each town.  Clues took the form of codes, wanted posters and newspaper entries which were found at participating businesses.

The game contained a kit which included a field notebook which required you to fill out details . Each mystery was painstakingly researched so there were a lot of facts to find. When you thought you had solved the crime you entered a draw to win a range of prizes.

The Oatlands crime  happened in 1836 and revolved around a publican, gaoler, trickster and blackguard called George Dudfield.

The Ross crime of 1836 centres around their famous bridge, Dr Zweigle's code breaker and a fight which broke out at Mr Saddler's tap room.

The Longford mystery revolved around the two historical properties at Brickendon and Woolmers Estates, where skulduggery was at large in Joseph Archer's wheat stacks in the summer in 1832. I suspect someone set them on fire.

What is A Convict Love Token?:  Prior to convicts being shipped to Australia, some would often leave their loved ones a "love token" which was basically a copper coin filed clean of its original designs and replaced with a new design and sometimes a verse was added. Convicts knew that if they were transported to the colonies they would probably never returm to their homeland or ever see their loved ones again. There was  a convict artist who would make the tokens for a fee.

Convict Love Token sculpture, Bruno Barcodi, Longford, public art

Convict Love Token sculpture, Longford, public art

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