I’ve been taking another look at those fascinating tokens found by detectorists and recorded on the UKDFD. Look at the example below – what a lot information in so cramped a space! It was described on the database thus:
An advertising token of the 19th century, issued by Thomas Pryce, oil and colourman, of London. (Colourman: one who prepares and sells paint.) Both addresses shown on the token (1 York Buildings and 12 [Northampton Place], opposite Surrey Place) are in the Old Kent Road. Thomas Pryce is known to have been in occupation of both premises in 1827, and of the latter until 1840, when Thomas Eastman Pryce continued the business.
T PRYCE OIL & COLOURMAN 1 YORK BUILDINGS & 12 OPPOSITE SURREY PLACE KENT ROAD (J H) LONDON
SOLE MANUFACTURER OF DR WINN’S BLACK AND BLUE REVIVER FOR RESTORING ALL KINDS OF FADED MOURNING
For anyone not fully understanding the reverse legend, research can lead into unsuspecting places. In this instance it led me to a Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens, entitled, Shabby – Genteel People. Here’s an extract:
His clothes were a fine, deep, glossy black; and yet they looked like the same suit; nay, there were the very darns with which old acquaintance had made us familiar. The hat, too–nobody could mistake the shape of that hat, with its high crown gradually increasing in circumference towards the top. Long service had imparted to it a reddish-brown tint; but, now, it was as black as the coat. The truth flashed suddenly upon us–they had been ‘revived.’
It is a deceitful liquid that black and blue reviver; we have watched its effects on many a shabby-genteel man. It betrays its victims into a temporary assumption of importance: possibly into the purchase of a new pair of gloves, or a cheap stock, or some other trifling article of dress. It elevates their spirits for a week, only to depress them, if possible, below their original level. It was so in this case; the transient dignity of the unhappy man decreased, in exact proportion as the ‘reviver’ wore off.
It’s good to get the views of a contemporary observer. We no longer scratch our heads over the term black and blue reviver continually wondering what the Dickens the phrase could mean!
Following the death of Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales in 1817, the following appeared in the Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser:
J Smith, High Street, Maidstone respectfully informs his friends and the public that he has just received a fresh supply of Dr. Winn’s true anticardium or Paris Black Reviver which has had the effect of restoring in a few minutes every description of Ladies and Gentlemans Faded Mourning – black hats, silk stockings, lace silks and muslins, velvets, cottons and jean boots without injuring the texture of the most delicate article. It removes dirt and grease. Prepared and sold by T Pryce (the sole possessor of the secret) in one shilling bottles. JS can confidently recommend it to families at this time of General Mourning.
The advert appeared in a newspaper of the period. I have copied it from a free ebook digitised by Google. Opticians in those days must have done a roaring trade with print so small and copy so densely packed with lack of paragraphs and white space.
THOMAS EASTMAN PRYCE, OIL and COLOURMAN, near the Bricklayers Arms, Kent Road, London so proprietor of the WINN’S TRUE ANTICARDIUM, PARIS BLACK and BLUE REVIVER, thinks it necessary to caution the public against several spurious imitations of the above articles and to ensure Ladies and Gentlemen, the … increased demand is the best proof of its rare and estimable qualities … offered for the restoration of every description of Faded Mourning, removing dirt and grease and will not injure the most delicate items … TEP deems it expedient to inform his Friends that the above is prepared by himself only …
When this post was published earlier Michael Butcher commented :
Thanks to the UKDFD finder John Kineavy … this post contains additional material to that published previously
UPDATE – APRIL 2016
How delighted I was to receive a communication from Lynda Pynn who let me know that she had found a Dr. Winn’s token whilst searching last week in Plymouth. She said:
This led me to the wonderful research you have put together on the subject. Prior to last Sunday, I had no idea what a colour man was …
Thank you for contacting me, Lynda. I’m pleased that I was able to help.
UPDATE JULY 2019
Scott Sweet contacted me about a token he found in Gawler, South Australia. He says, “. . . the only real information I found on it was yours, so just thought I’d share with you, cheers.”
Thank you Scott.
UPDATE JULY 2019
Stuart Woolger, friend of Lynda Pynn ( see above ) who pointed him towards my blog, found his rather toasted token on old pasture in an East Devon coastal village. He was using a Nox 800.