Market Lavington Museum

German jetons

Let’s start with an extract from Wikipedia. Yes, we know it can’t be 100% relied upon, but it has become a good starting point when you want to know about something. And it can tell us what a jeton is.

Jetons were token or coin-like medals produced across Europe from the 13th through the 17th centuries. They were produced as counters for use in calculation on a lined board similar to an abacus. They also found use as a money substitute in games, similar to modern casino chips or poker chips. Thousands of different jetons exist, mostly of religious and educational designs, as well as portraits, these most resembling coinage. (The spelling “jeton” is from the French; the English spell it “jetton”.)

So, jetons (or jettons) are counters or gaming chips. We have a collection of 16th century German jetons at Market Lavington Museum.

What it says on the label - German Jetons from the 1500s

What it says on the label – German Jetons from the 1500s

They were found on the Home Field – the former recreation ground – and it could suggest that gambling took place in the area. Why they were from Germany we don’t know but we can see these tokens do have a coin like appearance.

You can see these and many other items in our ‘Lost and Found’ display which was all new for this year.