CHILD'S PLAY

      Miniature replicas of many aspects of adult life have long been a feature of children's games and pastimes. Some of these, often encouraged by parents and teachers because of their educational content, used tiny copies of current coins. The leader in producing such toy coins for most of Europe, including Britain, was the firm of Lauer in Nuremburg, continuing the earlier tradition of the jetton makers.

      Some progressive Victorian schools used unusually small tokens to reward good behaviour and penalise bad by adopting what amounted to an internal currency. Advocates of the system included the family of Rowland Hill, the inventor of the penny post.