Copper advertising token for John Thornley, tea merchant
Preston, Lancashire, England, AD 1850
An early coin-like advertisement
Throughout the nineteenth century, advertising was used by British shopkeepers and traders to make their businesses known to customers. Using copper tokens was one way of promoting a trader's name and the goods he sold. Other advertising methods included printed trade cards, advertisements in newspapers, and posters on the walls of the larger cities.
While the printed tradecard was made of paper, an easily degraded material, the copper token was more durable. It was probably given out to established customers when they visited the tea merchant's shop.
Weight: 10.080 g