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Sharing Shakespeare's Story

Elizabethan earthenware money pot

Money pots like this would have been used in theatres to collect entrance money. People known as "gatherers" would have stood at the entrances of the theatre, holding these boxes, and theatre goers would pay them a penny to see the performance as a "groundling", or if they wanted a seat they could have paid extra.  You will see that the pot is entirely sealed - after the performance the box would be taken to the "box office" and smashed to retrieve the contents.  This means that surviving examples are rare, and although this one looks intact, it actually has a hole in the bottom.

3 responses
Response by


I like the money pot because you have to smash it to get the money out - and try not to make a mess.

Response by


My favourite was the money box because I think it was cool the way you had to smash it to open it.

Response by


It is made of pottery with a slot to put coins in. You have to smash it to get the money out.

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