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British, Silver Theatre Pass, 1794, RRR

Price £1,795

British, Silver Theatre Pass, 1794, RRR

Great Britain, London, Drury Lane, Theatre Royal, Engraved Silver Theatre Ticket or Pass with blue and white enamel border, dated 1794, obverse: “T R D L” engraved in script in two lines at top, “FREE TICKET FOR LIFE” engraved in capitals in two lines below, decorative wide enamelled border around in blue and white depicting white laurel wreath around and detailed royal crown at top, all on blue background, reverse: named to “Honble. Edward Bouverie by Order of the Proprietors 1794. Westley” engraved in script in five lines at centre, simple blue and white enamelled wide border around, edge plain, diam. 47mm, weight 26.67g, with integral loop for suspension at 12 o’clock.

The Honourable Edward Bouverie (1760-1824) was the 4th son of William de Bouverie (1725-1776), 1st Earl of Radnor. The first theatre was destroyed by fire in 1672. Thomas Killigrew built a larger theatre in the same spot, designed by Sir Christopher Wren which opened in 1674. This building lasted nearly 120 years, under leadership including Colley Cibber, David Garrick and Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

The great Ulster Shakespearian actor Charles Macklin performed in this building. In 1791 the building was demolished to make way for a larger theatre which opened in 1794 (not listed by Davis & Walters in “Tickets and Passes” or in “Catalogue of the Montague Guest Collection of Badges Tokens and Passes” published by the British Museum).

Extremely fine and extremely rare.