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Token - 1 Penny, B. Palmer, Liverpool Arms, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, circa 1857 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 11479

Copper One Penny Token, minted by an unknown British mint. Issued by B. Palmer, Liverpool Arms, Sydney, circa 1857. Benjamin Palmer is listed as the publican of the Liverpool Arms Hotel between 1855 and 1867. B. Palmer was first listed as a publican in Ford's 1851 Directory at 'The Swan with Two Necks Tavern' on the corner of Park and George Streets South. In 1855 he was listed as the publican of the Liverpool Arms. Benjamin Palmer may have been a long serving alderman of Sydney (1870 to 1893), and Mayor of Sydney 1875-1876.
A round bronze token (34 mm diameter). The token design features the name, address and business of the issuer: B. Palmer, Liverpool Arms, Pitt & King Street, Sydney, wine and spirit depot. The reverse features a representation of the mythical Liver bird, featured on early Arms of Liverpool. The Liver holds a sprig of olive in its beak (interpreted by Chitty as a 'liver weed', the sea-weed that proliferated in the estuary near Liverpool) and stands on a length of rope. This token has been cleaned and the reverse re-toned green. The token is holed through the letters ER of LIVERPOOL.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 14.301 g (Weight)
Dimension Comment: Holed

More information

Tagged with: retailing, shops, spirits, wine spirit merchants
Themes this item is part of: Benjamin Palmer, Hotelier, Liverpool Arms, Sydney, New South Wales (circa 1830s-?), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch, Melbourne, Victoria, Branch Mints of the Royal Mint, Deputy Masters of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint, Closure of Melbourne Mint, Melbourne Mint during World War II, Establishment of Melbourne Mint, 1872, Melbourne Mint
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: Australia - New South Wales
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: circa 1857 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: At centre, B.PALMER / PITT & KING ST. / SYDNEY; above, WHOLESALE; below, WINE & SPIRIT DEPOT
Reverse Description: A liver bird standing on rope facing left with wings spread and holding an olive branch in beak; around, LIVERPOOL ARMS
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: Benjamin Palmer - Liverpool Arms, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1850-1868
Previous Collection: Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch
References: The Liver Bird
Another area of debate about the origins of the name Liverpool focuses upon the bird on the Liverpool seal. The name 'liver' is said to come from a type of waterfowl, named liver, or lever. The borough arms have been presented as proof of this but it has been suggested that no bird of that type has been found in the Liverpool area. The historian Sir J. A. Picton noted that the symbolic bird of Liverpool was the Eagle of St John, which meant that the name liver should not have been attributed to the bird. This theory is less certain due to the evidence presented by the town seal. By 1829 the seal featured an aquatic style, or water, bird which looked like a crane but the bird on the corporation seal (a copy of which is in Matthew Gregson's Fragments of the History of Lancashire) was not aquatic. The image on this seal is said to appear to be a dove with an olive branch, which had been made to look like seaweed. If this was the case, then the origin of the name was said to be topographical or related to the area itself.
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 408
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 198

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