British Movie Prop Coin from 1930s

by | Usefulness (↓) | Pleasure (↑) | 0 comment | 0 question

It's possibly made of tin. It's approximately 1mm thick but otherwise the size of a 2p coin. It's greyish gold in colour and has a shield coat of arms on the tails side and a generic male Roman emperor head on the other - his face sort of resembles Peter Ustinov - who's wearing a laurel wreath as a crown. The writing around the edge says George Dei Gratia (George By the Grace of God).
The date 1768 is on the front with the words "In Memory of the Good Old Days".

Where and how is it used?

Apparently it was part of hundreds of similar coins used as generic treasure props on movie sets at Gainsborough Studios in the 1930s. They were used instead of real money as parts of a king's fortune, pirate treasure etc. It was part of a heap of coins belonging to the daughter of one of the props masters who worked there around that time. He took them home with him one day. She kept them ever since. The one film she mentioned was the 1934 film Chu Chin Chow starring Anna May Wong. It may have been from the set of that.

What did you or someone else pay for it?

My Dad was a builder working for this lady, he asked her what they were. She told him their origin and, as there were dozens of them, knowing I loved old movies, he pinched one for me!

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

Because it has history, it may have appeared in several old movies that I have seen - Alfred Hitchcock made several films at Gainsborough - because its pretty much unique and in memory of my Dad who thought of me and not of himself when he swiped it! For those reasons, I treasure it.


How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service


Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

Someone in the studio props department. I don't know.

Who was paid to make it?

As above.

What skills does it take to make it?

Printing on sheet metal.

Where was it made?

Possibly Gainsborough Studios which was based in Shordich, London.

What does it cost to make it?

Who knows? Increments of a penny?

What is it made from?

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

To me, it's priceless.

Who or what assesses its quality?

It's rarity, it's sentimental value, the fact it's a movie prop.

Where is it sold?

Not answered yet

Who or what sells it?

Not answered yet

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

Not answered yet

Where is it used?

Not answered yet

Where is it kept?

At my house by a photo of my Dad.

How and by whom is it cared for?

Not answered yet

How long will it last?

Not answered yet

Where will it go when it's finished with?

Not answered yet

What is it worth?

Not answered yet


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