Obv: a deformed dwarf, SIR JEFFERY DUNSTAN MAYOR OF GARRAT around. Rev: T. HALL CITTY ROAD NEAR FINSBURY SQUARE LONDON 1795 in centre 6 lines, THE FIRST ARTIST IN EUROPE FOR PRESERVING BIRDS BEASTS & around. Edge: ON DEMAND WE PROMISE TO PAY ONE PENNY.
EF. Provenance ex. Lincoln. On a penny flan with minor marks. Scarce.
Jeffery Dunstan was a traveling dealer in wigs, whose comic and baudy appearance made him into a very popular figure. He would walk about with no hat and his shirt opened, knock-kneed, with wigs hanging about his person, shouting to the passersby trying to sell his wigs. The hamlet of Garrat in Surrey had established a local council that would have a Mayor presiding over it to last the lifetime of the Parliament, and to be re-elected when a new Parliament was assembled. The most bizarre candidates would be put up for election and it became quite the burlesque! Dunstan was by far the most popular of these Mayors, and served three terms. He died from overdrinking in 1797. Thomas Hall used Dunstan to help advertise his exhibition of stuffed animals when it was on display at the Bartholomew Fair. An advertising token.