I have the third one dated 1725 (B2826). This relatively small (at 19mm), single-sided square was stamped with a hand-crafted die on crudely rolled or hammered stock.
|The Glasgow Series in Brook.|
|The first one in the series as|
pictured in Kerr & Lockie.
It is cataloged as B2822.
On my piece, the seal of Glasgow is placed in the center of two concentric circles that form a band that includes the parish name at top, and the date at bottom. A simple leaf or point, flanked by two pearls, adorn each corner -- perhaps representing the trinity. A subtle beaded border completes the design. It is the same design used in 1714 and 1716 with only minor variations.
As mentioned in an earlier analysis, a bell hangs on a limb, a bird is perched atop the crown, and a fish rests below at the root. The 1714 piece is the earliest CT to show the Glasgow City Arms.
It is also the first CT to show this arrangement of concentric circles on a square flan. Or is it? The design elements are certainly not new when it comes to the world of tokens. In fact, many round merchant tokens, plus church tokens for the poor, show a circular pattern wherein the legend follows the outer rim with a circle (lined or beaded) in the center. Within this inner circle, we often see either a tradesman design, initials, or in some cases, a legend or date.
|Here is my ruddy Glasgow Square.|
It is the third one in the series with
an attractive design that begat
a popular regional subtype. This
one is a bit worn out, but all there.
But wait! There is a 1714 Glasgow CT that is round and has the City Arms placed within an inner circle. Unfortunately, the piece is not pictured anywhere. It, too, was first cataloged by Kerr & Lockie in the above-mentioned 1952-53 article. But the round one was not made again. It seems that the square was preferred as if to identify it as a CT. Hence, Glasgow-styled squares are distinctive (but with a familiarity that token collectors ought to recognize).
So, back to my question, is B2822 the first Glasgow square?
And, in a related vein, when was the last Glasgow-styled CT made? "Glasgow" squares appear to have been made until 1819. But many parishes were producing similar squares well into the 1830s. But the last one? And don't mention B2895 from Glasserton in Wigtown! That one is a retrospective piece meant to look like the 1771 token!
In the meantime, if you have a 1714 (or 1716) Glasgow piece you want to sell me, let me know. I want the first one (and the second one).