“PIDCOCK’S EXHIBITION” (22 minutes) Collectors of Conder tokens — and just about every other numismatist — are familiar with the range of wild and exotic animals from Gilbert Pidcock’s Menagerie. Pidcock advertised his animals — and his location at the Exeter ‘Change on the Strand through a variety of intriguing tokens issued circa 1795-1800.
Even though he didn't start the menagerie on the Strand, and it passed through other hands after his death, his name is most often associated with the proto-zoo/pre-circus. Or was that pre-zoo/proto-circus. You decide.
Fortunately, Pidcock didn't live to see the public relations disaster caused by Chunee, owner Edward Cross' elephant. After Chunee killed one of his handlers, he was dispatched by a firing squad of soldiers. That event was spread -- in living color, or dying color in this case -- to the wide public through a large number of graphic illustrations. A far cry from Pidcock's cute little critters.
If you know little about Conder tokens, this is a place to start!
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