Bristol 'Old Vic' token sold


01 December 2023
A 1766 theatre token from the reign of George III, with an original estimate of £1,500–£2,000, has recently sold at auction for £9,000.

The sale of the silver token attracted media attention when it was revealed it was one of 50 believed to have been minted for the original shareholders of the Bristol Old Vic allowing them unlimited access to shows, and it was still valid.

Each of the original 50 investors raised £50 each for the construction of the theatre and each received one of the silver tokens in return.

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The inscription on the coin reads: ‘The Proprietor of this ticket is entitled to the sight of every performance to be exhibited in the house’

…while the reverse reads ‘King Street, Bristol Theatre May 30, 1766’. This token, numbered no. 35 is one of only six surviving examples.