Spade Guinea

An image of a coin. On the coin is a picture of King George, and around is written a quote from John Harris.
Spade guinea on a wooden stand from the Eldon House collection

Country of Origin: England
Year: ca. 1835
Materials: Gold and glass 

One of the most interesting pieces held in the museum collection is a spade guinea that was passed through generations of the Harris Family. Family stories say that this was a gift given by John Harris to his wife Amelia after there were discussions surrounding finances. Their youngest child Teresa Littledale inherited the guinea and had it fitted with a stand and had an inscription carved into it. The inscription reads:

“About 1835 my Father John Harris threw the spade guinea into the lap of my Mother Amelia Harris saying “There! As long as you own that you will never be a poor woman.” It has been looked upon as the family mascot ever since.” -Teresa Littledale 

The “mascot” was given to Teresa’s great nephew Victor Crutchley, grandson of her sister Eliza Bayfield Harris. Until 2019 it remained in the Crutchely family’s keeping, though one of their descendants, A. Crutchley, decided to donate it to Eldon House “…where it belongs.”

This is the first time this artifact has been featured by the Museum.