The Amsterdam Broker's Guild is recorded in 1612, but the guild possibly existed as early as 1578. The makelaarsstokje (broker's baton) was introduced by the guild in 1636. The baton assured a third person that he was dealing with a sworn broker. It was fitted with the city arms of Amsterdam on one side and on the opposite side the letters MKLRSG, consonants from the words: Makelaars Gilde (Broker's Guild). Usually the baton also bears the name of the owner and the year in which he was sworn in. Although the baton was introduced in 1636, the earliest extant example dates back to 1707. This is probably largely due to the fact that initially after the death of a broker the baton was returned to the guild. The account books of the guild show that batons were handed out until 1854 (see B.W.G. Wttewaal, Nederlands Klein Zilver 1650-1880, Amsterdam 1987; J.M. Middag, Makelaarsstokjes en -penningen, Zeist, 1999).