This is a most interesting piece as it appears to be an early token, most likely of lead (or possibly pewter), with two halves joined together, each side having the depiction of a clock or watch face with Roman numerals. One could propose that this may have been an advertising token used by a clock or watchmaker. (The clock mechanism only became small enough to then be transposed into a watch in the early 16th century - Peter Henlein is often credited with being the first maker). The history of early tokens has a fascinating and not always clear story and we include the following quote: “Lead, as it is soft and prone to oxidization, has rarely been used for coinage proper, and never in England. However, since it is cheap and easy to melt and cast, coin-like objects of lead, and sometimes also of pewter and tin, were widely produced in medieval times up to the nineteenth century. These lead pieces probably had a range of functions, perhaps a cheaper version of reckoning counters and as token coinage in small scale dealings, and more certainly as chits, tickets or passes. Ecclesiastical bodies used such tokens to register attendance at services. In most cases it is impossible to ascribe a particular function to these lead pieces.” (Quote courtesy of Colchester Treasure Hunting and Metal Detecting website). This is a very rare piece possibly dating from the Stuart to Georgian period. Both faces are intact but show signs of wear – at the top there is a little extra metal which just possibly may have been for an attachment loop. 1.2 ins (3cm) in diameter. Weight 12 grams. This item appears in my book, “How the Watch was Worn, A Fashion for 500 Years” on page 213.
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