Found at the weekend and now cleaned up as much as I dare. A Theatre token dated 1905-6 featuring Fred Karno and his 'Grand New Production' featuring 'Comedians'. Karno (1866-1941), was an English Music Hall Comedian and popularised slap-stick like the custard-pie-in-the-face gag and developed the first 'sketch' comedy without dialogue. His shows were the precursor to the silent movie and Charlie Chaplin worked for him, and so did Stan Laurel from Laurel and Hardy. Moses & Son were a big Jewish owned Clothes Company who may have made these tokens for Karno in return for free advertising.
And it goes on... Karno was kind of a big deal and bought Taggs Island on The River Thames in Hampton West London. He demolished the hotel that was there and built 'The Karsino' which was a resort dedicated to all sorts live acts. It was popular in 1914 in the First World War for returning military officers and their families and had picnics and shows for injured soldiers.
With the birth and overwhelming popularity of cinema, Karno's businesses failed and he declared bankruptcy in 1925 and the hotel was finally demolished in the 1970s.
Film producer Hal Roach said "Fred Karno is not only a genius, he is the man who originated slapstick comedy. We in Hollywood owe much to him." All that from one token #mudlarking #theatretokens #oldcoin #fredkarno #fredkarnosarmy #london #metaldetecting #thames #thamesandfield #theatrehistory