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token

token

  • Place of origin:

    London (sculpted)

  • Date:

    1795 (struck)
    Birmingham (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    James, C. (sculptor)
    Lutwyche, William (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Struck copper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Alan Pidcock

  • Museum number:

    S.348-2011

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This token was one of a series produced by the Birmingham coin manufacturer William Lutwyche and designed by C. James of Bow Street, London during his second London period when he lived in Bow Street, Covent Garden, from 1795 to 1800.

It advertises animals in Pidcock's menagerie at Exeter Change, an exhibition hall in London's Strand from 1773. The menagerie was divided into three rooms and included African lions, tigers, beavers, emus and ostriches. An advertisement referring to the two-headed heifer, or young cow that appeared on one of these tokens appeared in the 29th January 1791 edition of the London Chronicle. According to The Morning Chronicle in 1808, the animals could be viewed for a shilling a room, or all three rooms for two shillings and sixpence. Gilbert Pidcock began with a small travelling menagerie, but in 1793 bought the stock of Thomas Clark, a dealer in wild birds and animals who had the lease of Exeter Change in London's Strand. Pidcock kept his animals there but toured them to London fairs and the provinces during the summer. Pidcock died in 1810 aged 67, and was succeeded by the travelling menagerie owner Stephen Polito (1863-1814), and then by Edward Cross (1774-1854) who bought it on Polito's death. Exeter Change was demolished in 1829, and after Cross moved his menagerie to the King's Mews, Trafalgar Square, some of his animals were sold to the new London Zoo in Regent's Park. In 1831 Cross sold the remaining animals to the Surrey Literary, Scientific and Zoological Indtitution and the animals were moved to the Surrey Zoological Gardens in Kennington.

Physical description

Circular copper token in the halfpenny size with milled circumference, issued as advertising and currency for Pidcock's Exhibition at Exeter Change. Antelope recto, standing, inscribed around: PIDCOCK'S EXHIBITION ALIVE 1795; ostrich verso, inscribed around: EXETER CHANGE STRAND LONDON, and below the figure: 'JAMES'.

Place of Origin

London (sculpted)

Date

1795 (struck)
Birmingham (manufactured)

Artist/maker

James, C. (sculptor)
Lutwyche, William (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Struck copper

Marks and inscriptions

'PIDCOCK'S EXHIBITION ALIVE' '1795'
struck, in raised lettering recto

'EXETER CHANGE STRAND LONDON' 'JAMES'.
struck, in raised lettering verso

Dimensions

Diameter: 2.9 cm

Descriptive line

Halfpenny trade token depicting an antelope and an ostrich, advertising Pidcock's Menagerie, Exeter Change, London. Copper. Designed by C. James of London and struck by William Lutwyche, Birmingham, 1795

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bell's Tradesmen's Tickets & Private Tokens 1785-1819 Corbett & Hunter Ltd., 1966.

Production Note

Signed 'JAMES' under the feet of the ostrich, verso.

Materials

Copper

Subjects depicted

Ostrich; Antelope

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Coins & Medals

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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