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Token - 1 Penny, G.& W.H. Rocke, Furniture Importers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1859 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 4287

Summary:
Copper one Penny Token, minted by W.J.Taylor, London. Issued by G. & W.H. Rocke, Furniture Importers, in Melbourne, Victoria Token, circa 1859. Brothers George and William Henry (W.H.) Rocke arrived in Victoria in 1852 from Wrexham in northern Wales. It appears that after a visit to England in 1857 they began a business in Lonsdale-street as importers of English Furniture, and Furnishing Warehousemen, with a large assortment of Bedsteads and Mattresses always on hand. George returned to England in 1862 and W. H began a partnership with Mr. Beauchamp in Colllins Street in 1863. W. H. continued to run this business until his death in 1883.

Previous Collections: George McArthur
Description:
A round copper token (34 mm diameter) giving the name address and business of the issuer: G. & W.H. Rocke, 18 Lonsdale St. East, Melbourne, English furniture importers. The token features at centre of the obverse a male lion standing to left with head crowned facing front, its right paw is raised and rests on a shield bearing the Union Jack, its tail curved back over its body. On the reverse a female figure representing Justice seated on a wool bale with legs to left but her head and upper body to front. A wine barrel lies on the ground behind her, its end decorated with a cross to hint at a Union Jack (as found beside Britannia on the copper coins of the period). A three-masted sailing ship sails to the right on the horizon to the left. Justice wears a blindfold and extends a balanced set of scales with her right hand. With her left she holds an inverted cornucopia from which fruits flow onto the ground. She wears an ancient-style of flowing dress bound at the waist, her left arm bare and right draped to near the elbow. It bears the date 1859.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 14.894 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: furniture, import trade, retail trade, retailing
Themes this item is part of: G.& W.H. Rocke, Furniture Importers, Melbourne, Victoria, George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, United Kingdom, McArthur Bequest
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: Australia - Victoria
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1859 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: At centre a male lion standing to left with head crowned facing, its right paw is raised and rests on a shield bearing the Union Jack, its tail curved back over its body; around in two concentric circles; G & W.H.ROCKE. .ENGLISH FURNITURE IMPORTERS / 18 LONSDALE STREET EAST . MELBOURNE .
Reverse Description: Female figure representing Justice seated on a wool bale with legs to left but her head and upper body to front. A wine barrel lies on the ground behind her and a three-masted sailing ship sails to the right on the horizon to the left. She wears a blindfold and extends a balanced set of scales with her right hand. With her left she holds an inverted cornucopia from which fruits flow onto the ground. She wears an ancient-style of flowing dress bound at the waist, her left arm bare and right draped to near the elbow; around above, MELBOURNE VICTORIA in exergue, 1859.
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: G & W.H. ROCKE ENGLISH FURNITURE IMPORTERS 18 LONSDALE STREET EAST MELBOURNE
Reverse: MELBOURNE VICTORIA 1859
Shape: round
Material: Copper
Issued By: G. & W.H. Rocke, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1859
Mint: W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, England, Great Britain, 1859
Previous Collection: George McArthur
References: The issue of trade tokens was ordered in London from the firm of W.J. Taylor and followed a format which was quite common in Melbourne - a lion surrounded by the details of the issuer in two concentric circles combined with a seated Justice reverse. There is some confusion as to the mint which produced this form as Heaton & Son show it as one of their products.

The production of the Rocke tokens involved two obverse dies (called A & B) and three reverse dies (called 1,2 and 3).
Obverse A has stops after G.&. while obverse B does not. (Note: Sharples JNAA.7 p.57 has mixed the secondary characteristics - the 8 over 9 and die flaw on C of ROCKE are on die B not die A)

The reverse dies were very similar and are best identified by measurement of the distance between the horizon and the lowest point of the letter M of MELBOURNE. There is a variation between where a line across the tops of the pans would cross the letters ME of MELBOURNE.

Reverse M to sea line across top of pans crosses
1 6.0 mm Between ME
2 5.2 mm Base of E
3 4.3 mm Middle of E

Reverse 1 cracked along the tops of the letters RNE and reverse 2 cracked from the rim between the letters LB to near the top of the scale arm. These die cracks are only found with obverse B so this provides the order of production.
Bibliography:
  1. [Thesis] Lugton, Mary E. 1989. George McArthur of Maldon: his Life and his Book Collection.
  2. [Catalogue] Morrison, Ian. 2003. The Baker of Maldon.
  3. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 466
  4. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 221/4
  5. [Article] Sharples, John P. 1993. A Catalogue of the Trade Tokens of Victoria 1848 to 1862. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. vol.7: p.1-77., V. 134

Comments

Paul Hovendene Posted on 06 Feb 2010 7:33 PM
hi - i have one of these exact tokens in pretty good condition - from 1858 - just wondering how much roughly it would be worth?
Reg Number: NU 4287
Discovery Centre Posted on 08 Feb 2010 12:42 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Unfortunately Museum Victoria cannot provide valuations of objects. Please see our Question of the Week information on obtaining valuations of coins. http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/discovery-centre-news/coin-valuations/

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