A 19th century unmarked silver Ticket for the Theatre Royal, Sheffield.
A rare unmarked silver Subscriber’s Ticket for the Sheffield Theatre, engraved ‘Proprietor‘ and on the reverse stamped ‘No. 4‘, circa 1835.
The Theatre, later known as the ‘Theatre Royal’, was built and funded by a group of thirty six subscribers, each share costing approximately £100, and the foundation stone for the theatre building on the intersection of Tudor street, Norfolk street and Arundel street, was laid in August 1777. Over the period upto 1897, when the subscription system ended, about 150 different people from various backgrounds owned the shares. Each of the thirty six subscribers was entitled to a silver ticket allowing free access to performances.
The theatre, at that time the second oldest theatre outside London, was destroyed by fire in 1935. The minute books of the theatre from 1795 survive, together with a register of proprietors [Sheffield Archives].
For a detailed history of theatre in Sheffield [which can be read online], see ‘The Challenge of Nineteenth Century Theatre in Sheffield‘, a PHD thesis by Hilary Jane Wilson, 1959-2014, School of English Language, Literature and Linguistics, The White Rose University. For another example of a silver subscription ticket for the Theatre Royal, see the collection of Tim Hale, offered at Dix Noon and Webb, 6th July 2021, lot 1142: this ticket engraved ‘John Kirkby, Proprietor‘ and stamped ‘No. 23‘.
Length – 3.20 cm.; Width – 2.70 cm.; Weight – 5.70 gms.