Convict Love Token sculpture
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
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
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.