Explore highlights
Brass advertising token issued by John Kirk

 

Diameter: 25.000 mm
Weight: 3.590 g

Freudenthal Collection

CM 1870-5-7-4511

Coins and Medals

    Brass advertising token issued by John Kirk

    London, England, 18th century AD

    A metal worker advertises his business

    In Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries manufacturers and retailers commonly made use of coin-like tokens stamped in base metals, to advertise themselves and their wares. This example was issued by John Kirk, a shopkeeper and metal worker, who ran an engraving and die stamping business from St Paul's Churchyard in London.

    Kirk's token describes the sort of goods he sold in his shop. Among other things he made dies (metal stamps) for tickets, tokens, toys, keys, coat and sleeve buttons, seal handles and ornaments for jewellers' work. The British Museum also has a metal admission ticket made by Kirk for Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens in its collections.

    Toy makers and silversmiths like Kirk, whose production was based on novelties and small luxury objects, attempted to arouse curiosity by giving a 'shop window' quality to their advertising tokens. Kirk revealed his shop's richness through this advertisement. The brass token shows a shop interior, with a customer being served by a female shop attendant who is demonstrating toys for sale.

    L. Forrer, Biographical dictionary of m-1, vol. 3 (London, Spink, 1907)

    Highlights

    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    Shop Online

    Beautiful catalogue of Worcester porcelain, £25.00

    Beautiful catalogue of Worcester porcelain, £25.00