I couldn't resist buying this counter-marked tokens when I saw it for sale.
GGH PATENT counter-marked Odone's Rest. in a circle and perforated with the 1/- denomination. uniface aluminium, 32.4mm
I have not discovered the meaning of GGH ; perhaps some generic type of token for sale. The Counter-mark however would appear to be for Giuseppe Odone of 152 Victoria street London SW.
An early London Guide lists ODONE'S CAFE RESTAURANT, 152, Victoria Street, S.W. Another, London and Its Environs from 1927 shows: Odone, 152 Victoria St.; L. 2/6, D. 4/.
Some newspaper references from the early 20th century show they were not loath to call the police when someone could not pay:
"... in the House of Commons, Was charged at Westminster to-day with fraudulently obtaining credit at Odone's Restaurant, Victoria-street, S.W. Prisoner dined at an expense of 7s. 7d. ; he had a small bottle of wine..."
From: London Evening News - London, Middlesex - Jan 25 1906
"... giving the name of Wyndham Faulet St. John Mildmay, 56, retired captain. Rifle Brigade, was charged under the Debtors Act with obtaining credit with fraudulent intent, at Odone's Restaurant, Victoria..."
From: London Standard - London, Middlesex - June 24 1911
"..., if they keep to their native dishes; it is only when they try English and French things that they occasionally—not always go astray. Opposite Victoria Station (District) is Odone's, opposite King's Cross..."
From: London Evening News - London, Middlesex - Feb 6 1912
Great Grosvenor House?
Great Grosvenor House seems doubtful to me. Google only finds Grosvenor House in several locations as a hotel chain.
GGH Patent on the token suggests to me a patented type of token in the new-fangled aluminium [c1900] possibly designed for use in places such as restaurants.
Prior to the newly discovered processes around this time aluminium had been a very expensive metal.
Perhaps it relates to one of these:
G G H = George G Honour
Patent is GB 6119 of 1894 taken out by Henry Eaborn and George Honour for "Improvements in Checks or Tokens".
Thank you that explains it exactly and the date is what I had expected too.
We need a little more information on George G Honour now.
But how was it used? The denomination is too high for toilet or cloak room or even a beer.
I have now purchased a token just like this one and am trying to find out more about George Gates Honour.
Try this page (http://925-1000.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30091&start=100), scrolling down to the post of 15th February 2014.
Thank you, very interesting.
But wonder what this token was used for
So do we all. If you can figure out what a silver smith and a a popular restaurant have in common, we'll be closer to an answer, I guess.
Yes cutlery and silver plates etc but what would the token be used for?
Lightbulb moment....a deposit on using silver service cutlery then you got your deposit back. Had to be high enough value to be worthwhile and to stop people nicking the silver...
Today I missed out on another value a 6d (sixpence) I saved an image though. This one is countermarked J.O.
That's more information. There was a series and the first denominations found were 6d and 1/-.
I don't believe in the cutlery theory. You'd need to clean the table before the guests leave. Waiters aren't used to that. As an alternative, I suggest that GGH was a silversmith who had refined punching metallic shapes out of metallic objects and could apply that knowledge to tokens. They probably also did the counter-stamping, as it looks professionally done. Odone just liked the tokens. They could not be confused with circulation coins or someone else's tokens, so they had a higher chance of remaining in the shop.
Here's how they might have been used. Odone had - as was fashionable in those days - a semi-automatic restaurant, where clients would take out dishes from vending machines. Some stuff (e.g. alcoholic drinks) were either subject to additional checks (age) or unsuitable for the vending machines of those days. They could be had at the bar, against payment in tokens, so that the barman didn't handle cash; only the trusted cashier would receive it. I have seen this system in operation in a Dutch buffet restaurant.
The tokens apparently must have been issued in the period from 1901, when Henry Eaborn retired, to 1910, when his two sons entered the business and the style was changed to G.G. Honour & Sons.
GEORGE GATES HONOUR
G.G. HONOUR & SONS
Founder of the business was Henry Eaborn active, before 1879, at 84 Hatton Garden. In 1879 Henry Eaborn entered in partnership with George Gates Honour under the style Eaborn & Honour moving at 64 Hatton Garden. The partnership lasted until 1901 when Eaborn retired and Honour continued alone as electro plate manufacturer silversmith, nickel and electro plater and gilder. In 1910 his sons George Philip Honour and Herbert Percy Honour entered in the business and the style was changed to G.G. Honour & Sons. In 1912 they participated to the Jewellers' Exhibition and opened a branch in Birmingham (52 Branson Street). After the retirement of G.G. Honour (c.1925) the firm was filed for bankruptcy in 1929