British Tokens, Tickets and Passes, Wiltshire Coins and Paranumismatica (30 September 2021)

Date of Auction: 30th September 2021

Sold for £1,300

Estimate: £400 - £500

LONDON, Covent Garden, Royal Italian Opera, ivory (2), both 1863, legend around, named (C. & T. Lucas Esqs.), revs. date above Box 80, 1, Box 80, 2, both signed by J. Parsons, both 37mm, 4.52g, 4.15g (W 161; D & W 15/179) [2]. Very fine, second with small indentation in centre, very rare; both pierced for suspension £400-£500


Charles Thomas Lucas, Bt (1820-95) and Sir Thomas Lucas (1822-1902), brothers, b London; C.T. Lucas commenced business as a building contractor in Norwich in the early 1840s and was soon joined by his brother in a venture entitled Lucas Bros in Lowestoft. Involved in much construction work in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, as well as throughout East Anglia, they were the principal contractors for rebuilding the Covent Garden Theatre under the architect, E.M. Barry, after it was destroyed by fire in 1856. They, and 13 other subscribers, acquired the lease after jointly subscribing some £80,000. Building began in September 1857 and was completed on 8 May 1858 the following year, with much of the joinery completed in Lowestoft and shipped to London by sea. The Covent Garden contract cemented the company’s reputation in the metropolis with the establishment of a factory in Belvedere road, Lambeth, and Lucas Bros subsequently built Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations, the Langham Hotel and the Star and Garter Hotel in Richmond, the Royal Albert Hall and the Floral Hall in Covent Garden, to name but a few. In 1874 the brothers invited the Beaconsfield-based railway, gas and water contractor Sir John Aird, Bt (1833-1911), to join them and the result was three different but allied companies; between them they were involved in many railway contracts throughout England and Scotland and would have constructed the line from Suakin to Berber, but the cessation of the Egyptian conflict in 1886 caused the cancellation of that government contract. Charles Lucas died at his home, Warnham Court, near Horsham, which he acquired in 1866.

Please note ivory is covered by CITES legislation and may be subject to import/export and trade restrictions