British Tokens, Tickets and Passes (27 August 2020)

Date of Auction: 27th August 2020

Sold for £1,500

Estimate: £700 - £900

Gardens, BERMONDSEY, Bermondsey Spa Gardens, Thomas Keyse, Skidmore’s Halfpenny, 1786, copper, bermondsey spa gardens around conjoined ts between two keys, rev. musical instruments around flaming heart, edge skidmore holborn london, 12.95g/10h (DH Surrey 4; W 1301, this piece illustrated; D & W 65/158; Young, Gardens, p.79, this piece). Collector’s number ‘2122’ in lower obverse field, otherwise extremely fine and patinated, extremely rare £700-£900


Provenance: D.T. Batty Collection; W. Longman Collection, Glendining Auction, 12-13 March 1958, lot 262 (part); D.L. Spence Collection, Part II, DNW Auction 67A, 29 September 2005, lot 1703 [from Baldwin November 1973]; R.S. Bole Collection, Part I, DNW Auction 68A, 15 December 2005, lot 2097.

Superior to the specimen illustrated in DH; only one other example seen by the cataloguer in commerce. Thomas Keys, or Keyse (1722-1800), b. Gloucester, a self-taught artist, bought the Waterman's Arms and four acres of land in Bermondsey in 1766, which he laid out as a tea-garden and named it the Bermondsey Spa Garden; subsequently he hosted musical concerts and erected a picture gallery and museum on the site. After Keys’ death the popularity of the Garden declined and by 1806 it had closed