Leaden Tokens & Tallies Roman to Victorian

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Tokens & Tallies Roman to Victorian

Tokens & Tallies Roman to Victorian
Soft back, 114 pages, illustrated Colour, 19cm x 25cm


This is the third in Ted Fletchers popular Tokens & Tallies series. This casts a much needed light on a group of collectable artefacts about which little has been written until now. A board game once popular throughout the Roman Empire used small leaden counters that often depicted aspects of Roman life such as gladiators, gods, emperors and sacrificial altars. A few centuries later similar leaden discs bearing images of early saints were carried across Europe by Christian pilgrims as souvenirs commemorating visits to holy shrines. In medieval East Anglia yet more pieces embellished with portraits of choir boys dressed as bishops were thrown to crowds as free meal tickets. And right across England, whenever low denomination currency became scarce, people used coin-like castings of lead as token farthings if they needed change for a silver penny. Other curious uses served in the past by small mouldings of lead and pewter included admission tickets to Holy Communion services, passes to gain access to brothels or to cross bridges, tallies for all manner of work done on farms, such as picking hops in Kent or shearing sheep in Hardy’s Wessex. Lead pieces have also seen use in English games - most strangely as missiles thrown at tethered hens, a pastime that later developed into the less bloodthirsty game of shycocks.

These uses and many more are lavishly illustrated and fully described in this fascinating book. The text ranges far and wide to tell the stories; the photographs show several hundred images of leaden tokens and tallies from every age. They cast much needed light on a group of collectable artefacts about which little has been written until now. This book is the third in Edward Fletcher’s popular Tokens & Tallies series. 780 illustrations 


Tokens & Tallies Roman to Victorian contents:

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • A note to Paranumismatics
  • In the beginning
  • The Anglo French connection
  • Early English Tokens
  • The boy Bishop phenomenon
  • Tokens & Tallies after 1400
  • Tudor Tokens & Tallies
  • Post Tudor developments
  • Agricultural Tallies: 17th - 19th Century
  • Communion Tokens
  • Shycocks
  • Moulds
  • A brief look at cloth and bag seals
  • Collecting & Researching
  • Some puzzling pieces


See also:

  • Tokens & Tallies Through the Ages by Edward Fletcher
  • Tokens & Tallies 1850-1950 by Ted Fletcher
More Information
Weight (kg) 0.320000
Author Edward Fletcher
Pages 113

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