News Update


After 257 years, the Bristol Old Vic theatre token may still be valid.

Only 50 tokens were created for the Bristol Old Vic’s original shareholders, entitling the bearer to see every performance held there.

It is being auctioned at Henry Aldridge & Sons in Devizes.

According to the Bristol Old Vic, “we famously uphold our policy for all the tokens that have been authenticated.”

The token – ticket no. 35 – is expected to sell for between £1,500 and £2,500 at the Wiltshire auction house.

“If it is indeed authentic,” the Bristol Old Vic continued, “we will honour our policy and provide free tickets to the owner.”

“It is believed 20 of the coins have survived, but only a handful of these have ever been offered up for auction,” a spokeswoman for the auction company stated.

“The vendors are from Bristol and have always treasured the item as an important piece of local history.”

The Theatre Royal, as it was known at the time, was built on King Street between 1764 and 1766 and inaugurated on May 30, 1766.

There were 50 initial shareholders, or proprietors, who each contributed £50 – a significant sum in the 18th century – to the theatre’s construction and got one of the silver tokens in exchange.


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