A collection of Georgian-era gaming counters issued by London clubs…

small, round coin

A collection of six gaming counters or monetary tokens from the gambling houses and clubs of Georgian London. Four were made by John Milton (signed “J. Milton f.” or “J.M” on the smaller pieces) with an ace of spades encircled with the quote “Honi soit qui mal y pense”, wreathed and crowned. The two others by Milton have on the obverse the initials “S.F.” (S. Fiuri, in Bury Street St. Mary Axe) and the date “1 May 1792” and a value of “XII” or “VI”. The two other Milton counters are marked “S&L” indicating Smith & Lockwood and the other “JL” for John Lister in Haymarket. Another small token in white metal issued by the “Cocoa Tree” with the value on the obverse “One guinea”. The last counter in gilt-brass issued by “Free Mason Tavern” and marked “462′ in the center and on the obverse “M. Richold Guina.” with laurels above and below.

  • Title: A collection of Georgian-era gaming counters issued by London clubs and gaming houses.
  • Production: [England], [approximately 1790-1820]

Catalog Record

66 790 C697

Acquired November 2023


Sir Jeffery Dunstan, Mayor of Garrat

front and back of metal coin

Obverse: In center, full-length portrait of Jeffery Dunstan facing right; legend inscription with Dunstan’s name and title as Mayor of Garrat. Reverse: In center, six lines of inscription with T. Hall’s address and date, the penulitimate line is much larger letters than the others and the legend inscription advertising Hall’s taxidermy services.

  • Title: Sir Jeffery Dunstan, Mayor of Garrat [realia].
  • Publication: [London] : [Thomas Hall], [1795]

Catalog Record

LWL Min. 151

Acquired March 2022

Halfpenny of Lackington Allen & Co

“A trade token issued by the famed bookseller James Lackington (1746-1815), the same year he opened the Temple of the Muses, ‘one of the wonders of London’ (Oxford DNB); with reputedly a million books on display, it was at the time the biggest bookshop in the world. Tokens such as these were issued in many places in England in the late eighteenth century, when the government failed to mint enough copper coinage for the conduct of business. According to Oxford DNB, Lackington issued thousands of such tokens, which were only valid at his shop. All were struck by Lutwyche of Birmingham.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Creator: Lackington, Allen and Co.
  • Title: Halfpenny of Lackington Allen & Co. [realia] : cheapest booksellers in the world.
  • Publication: [London] : [Lackington, Allen and Co], 1794.
  • Manufacture: [Birmingham, England] : [Lutwyche], [1794]

Catalog Record

LWL Min. 147

Acquired October 2019

Foundling Fields 1795 : payable on demand

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE: Foundling Fields 1795

Obverse depicts in the circle the crest of a lamb holding in its mouth a sprig of thyme and the legend ‘Foundling Fields – 1795″. On the reverse side in the circle the initials JB (i.e., James Burton 1761-1837, builder and developer of much of the foundling hospital in the 1790s) and the legend ‘Payable on demand”.

1 token, copper, 3 cm diameter.

  • Title: Foundling Fields 1795 : payable on demand.
  • Created: [London : J. Burton, 1795]

Catalog Record

File 66 795 F771

Acquired January 2013