This is the second in a series of posts which highlight various standout pieces from my personal collection.
Obverse: Crown and date surrounded by musical notation for "God Save The King", which is also the melody used for "America (My Country, Tis of Thee)".
Reverse: "WM Forster. Violin, Tenor & Violoncello Maker" along with the address in a double circle, surrounding The Prince of Wales’s crest.
Edge: Plain (some examples exist with lettered edges)
Tokens like these were produced by private individuals and businesses in the late 18th century as population growth and the Industrial Revolution spiked demand and the government failed to supply enough coinage for every day use.
This token was made by William Forster, a highly-regarded instrument maker. Forster had an instrument shop in London, which is advertised on the reverse of this token.
Forster was also a music publisher and he entered into a deal with the composer Joseph Haydn to publish Haydn's works, including numerous symphonies, quartets, and solos.
Thankfully tokens were popular coins to collect, even back at the end of the 18th century, so this high grade piece survives today. While it may not be rare or scarce or particularly valuable, it is one of the highlights of my Symphony Set and I treasure it for that reason.