Communion Tokens of the Church of Scotland: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Cup Marks, Charcoal, Stone Circle, Burnt Bone
Nineteenth Century, 20th Century
A catalogue of more than thirteen hundred is presented. Only those tokens which are of special rarity or interest have been illustrated. The transition from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century produced no immediate change in the form, material, or design of the communion token. Some congregations, refusing to be influenced by changes in fashion, deliberately retained early shapes and styles down to the twentieth century. As the nineteenth century went on, however, the tendency, already noticeable at the close of the previous century, away from earlier simplicity and irregularity towards elaboration and mechanical exactitude of design,\r\nbecame more and more marked. The crude productions of country craftsmen were despised as inelegant, and, with the improvement in communications and the increasing mechanisation of industry, it became easier and cheaper to order quantities of tokens from city die-sinkers than to have them made locally. The results were the loss of a great deal of the individuality and variety which make the older tokens so attractive, and, by the middle of the century, a widespread limitation in design to standardised commercial types.