THE PLAY'S THE THING

      Some of the earliest tokens took the form of admission tickets to places of entertainment. The most exclusive were pre-purchased, often being made of ivory or silver and engraved with the owner's name. While these were normally valid for a whole season, more frequently pieces occur in copper or brass, dating from the reopening of theatres after the restoration of Charles II in the seventeenth century until the eclipse of the Victorian music hall by the cinema industry. The earlier pieces are often cryptic in style, using abbreviations such as KS for King's Side, P for pit, G for gallery etc. Many of these are more fully elucidated in the Token Tracer on pages 9 to 85.

      Pieces showing a monetary value usually provided for part or all of the admission price to be returned in the form of refreshment. They would be given to each visitor at the time the entrance fee was paid.