Text "C of N" on a postal numismatic cover surrounded by coins and tokens. See "About" page for list.

Coin of Note

Knowledge, one coin at a time.

Saint Eligius, pray for us

Inverted anchor cross. A cross with slightly widened ends, with two anchor flukes coming out of the top and curving left and right, also with slightly widened ends.

Generic selectors

Exact matches only

Search in title

Search in content

Post Type Selectors

Grooves top and bottom with text between, recessed circle center. SS above MM left. BS right

Gettone Autofiloviario (Italian bus token)

I’ve previously posted an Italian “Gettone Telefonico” telephone token. As one of the first tokens I encountered, I have a soft spot for these pieces with interesting grooves and details not usually found on coins. Here is another Italian token:

Grooves top and bottom with text between, recessed circle center.
SS above MM left.
BS right

According to the American Vecturist Association’s December 1981 issue of Fare Box newsletter, this token is from Brescia, Italy. Brescia is a city in Northern Italy, in between Milan and Verona. In the Lombardy region, at the foot of the Alps, Brescia is famous for its early monastery, lakes, and Roman and medieval monuments.

The letters SS MM BS on the token stand for “Servizi Municipalizzati Brescia” (which translates to “Brescie municipal services”). On reverse it is inscribed, in incuse letters : GETTONE AUTOFILOVIARIO (= “trolley bus token”) . Apparently it is in use right now (in 1981). Here is the reverse:

GETTONE (Two grooves with recessed rectangle between) AUTOFILOVIARIO

The Token Catalog listing for this piece notes that die orientation denotes the mint – although it doesn’t share what any given orientation means. My piece is “coin” orientation, which means that if you hold it up with the front right side up, someone looking at the back would see it upside down.

Numismatica Italiana have a page with a number of similar pieces.

According to Wikipedia, Brescia did originally have a trolley bus system (a bus which takes power from overhead wires), however that ceased in 1968. If this token was in use in 1981, then possibly this would have been used for regular busses, but the original transit system name stuck.

MyTransportBlog has quite a few images of busses in Brescia over the years. They’re not dated, but here is one which may have been in use at the same time as this token (or at least, it’s the one I liked the most):

Older style red and cream bus

This is a bit newer, but here is a photo I found of a modern bus in Brescia in 2013. I do like the colour scheme (Orange front, white roof, green and grey sides):

Brescia metro bus with orange front, white roof and green and grey striped sides

Here is another bus token from Prato. Still in Northern Italy, but not as far North as Brescia. This one doesn’t have grooves, but it does have a picture of a bus:

GETTONE BUS around left-top edge with a stylised image of a bus center

And the reverse:

di Prato

I don’t have any information on when this piece was used, but possibly a similar time to the previous token.

Grooves top and bottom with text between, recessed circle center. SS above MM left. BS right






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.