The Collection of London 17th Century Tokens formed by the late Mrs Dora Harris

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Date of Auction: 11th December 2002

Sold for £110

Estimate: £60 - £80

Golden Lane [Barbican], Thomas Humphries, Halfpenny, 1.24g/12h (BW. 1166); Gracechurch Street, Robert Carter, Penny, 1668, 4.54g/12h (BW. 1198); Great Eastcheap, John Sapcott, Penny, 4.27g/12h (BW. 1259) [3]. First two about very fine, last about fine and extremely rare (£60-80)


*BW. 1166 J. Wynne-Williams Collection, Spink Auction 28, 28 April 1983, lot 70 (part), bt Seaby November 1983; BW. 1259 bt N. Clark December 1989.

John Sapcott, proprietor of the Boar’s Head, which was one of the largest and most famous of the 16th century taverns in Eastcheap. It was mentioned by Shakespeare, whose plays were performed there. In the Great Fire it was totally destroyed, together with its neighbours, the Chicken, the Plough and the Three Kings. When rebuilt, the date 1668 was carved in stone above the door, with a boar’s head and the initials I.T. Sapcott is believed to have become the tenant at that time because the style of his token would date it to 1668-72. The tavern stood on the site of what is now 2 and 3 Great Eastcheap and the freehold was bought by the Corporation of London in 1831, preparatory to the erection of London Bridge