Search the collections
Token - 1 Penny, G.& W.H. Rocke, Furniture Importers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1859 Reg. No: NU 4283
- 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 buissness 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 bussiness until his death in 1883.
- 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. This token has a die crack on the reverse from the rim to the scales.
- Acquisition Information:
- Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
|Dimensions:||34 mm (Diameter)|
|Weight:||14.857 g (Weight)|
|Tagged with:||furniture, import trade, retail trade, retailing|
|Themes this item is part of:||G.& W.H. Rocke, Furniture Importers, Melbourne, Victoria, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, United Kingdom|
|Primary Classification:||TRADE TOKENS|
|Secondary Classification:||Australia - Victoria|
|Tertiary Classification:||working strikes|
|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. Die crack from rim to top of the scales.|
|Inscriptions:||Obverse: G & W.H. ROCKE ENGLISH FURNITURE IMPORTERS 18 LONSDALE STREET EAST MELBOURNE
Reverse: MELBOURNE VICTORIA 1859
|Issued By:||G. & W.H. Rocke, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1859|
|Mint:||W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, England, Great Britain, 1859|
|Previous Collection:||Mr Curtis|
Biography: -Gardner, F.. "Trade tokens and the firms who issued them." The Australian Storekeepers and Traders Journal. 30 March 1912: p. 10; -Immigration records: Public Records Office of Victoria. Internet index of Unassisted Immigrants to Victoria, 1852 - 1923; -Humfrey, H.M.. Victorian men of the time 1878. biographical entry on W.H. Rocke: pp.177 - 178; -Sharples, J.. "Catalogue of Victorian Trade Tokens." Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. Vol. 7. December 1993: pp.53 - 54; -Advertisement. Sands and Kenny Commercial and General Melbourne Directory for 1860. Advertisements section: p.47; -Hope, John. Rocke, G. & W.H.. Unpublished MSS. 3 pps.
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
This item is part of the following themes: