World Coins

Two Bath pleasure gardens tokens in Noonans auction

A proprietor’s ticket in silver was used at the famous Georgian era pleasure garden, Sydney Gardens, in Bath, England.

Images courtesy of Noonans.

Bath, England, is famous for being the home of Jane Austen, and for the Roman baths that give the city its name.

The town west of London, in the English countryside, is also home to the last Georgian pleasure garden, Sydney Gardens.

The gardens were planned and laid out by the architect Charles Harcourt Masters in 1795, and “throughout the end of the 18th and into the 19th century it was the popular place to see and be seen by the fashionable visitors to Bath,” according to

Visitors would pay for access to the gardens, and tickets and passes, in metal, were used for various levels of access.

One such ticket is being offered in Noonans Jan. 24 auction of tokens, tickets and passes.

The silver proprietor’s ticket bears the engraved number 29 on the reverse, with a frontal elevation view of Sydney House on the obverse.

Sydney House, or Sydney Hotel, is now the site of the Holburne Museum. The building played host to all manner of entertainment during the heyday of the pleasure garden.

The ticket weighs 13.49 grams and measures 35 millimeters in diameter.

It has damage, an edge knock, on the reverse at the 4 o’clock position, but otherwise the token is “about Very Fine,” according to Noonans.

It has an estimate of £100 to £150 ($120 to $180 U.S.).

The ticket is one of many items in the auction from the collection of British tokens formed by Ivor Bridges.

Another such piece is from another location in Bath, Spring Gardens.

This brass sixpence piece weighs 6.49 grams, and measures 31 millimeters in diameter. The token bears inscriptions identifying the denomination and the issuing garden.

The Spring Gardens, on the side of the river Avon, were opened by 1769. Admission was by a sixpenny ticket that entitled the bearer to anything at the bar to that value. Those gardens closed in September 1796.

In About Extremely Fine condition, this token has an estimate of £150 to £200 ($180 to $241).

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