Shadwell sham, 19th century

A ‘Shadwell Sham’, made by William Smith and Charles Eaton. Museum of London object N2382

These two notorious Victorian forgers worked in Shadwell, specialising in fake mediaeval pilgrim badges and small bronze figurines which they passed off through auction houses. They fooled many scholars. Layton’s collection includes quite a few fakes, forgeries and copies but we have no way of knowing whether he collected them for what they were or was amongst those who were fooled by these items.