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Specimen Token - Halfpenny, James Nokes, Wholesale & Retail Grocers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1854 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 4180

Copper Halfpenny Specimen Token, minted by the Kangaroo Office in Melbourne, in 1854. It was issued by James Nokes, a Wholesale and Retail Grocer, in Melbourne, Victoria. Soon after issuing his tokens Nokes experienced monetary problems, and sold his grocery firm to T.W. Thomas & Co. This token is a specimen strike of the Nokes / seated Australia type struck before the obverse die cracked.

The tokens were struck by Reginald Scaife at the Kangaroo Office, with dies prepared in Melbourne using steel die banks brought from England, on copper halfpenny blanks. The commemorative reverse die has survived and is in the mueum collection NU 35977. Nokes also issued another token which was struck with a stock seated Australia reverse.

Previous Collections: George McArthur
A round specimen strike of a copper token (28 mm diameter) giving the name address and business of the issuer: James Nokes, Melbourne, grocer and on the reverse a stock reverse of the Kangaroo Office, Australia seated.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 28 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 8.097 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: gold, grocers, retail trade, retailing
Themes this item is part of: James Nokes, Wholesaler & Grocer, Melbourne, Victoria (circa 1830s-?), George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, Kangaroo Office Mint, Melbourne, Victoria, 1854-1857, McArthur Bequest
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: Australia - Victoria
Tertiary Classification: specimen strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1854 AD
Denomination: Halfpenny
Obverse Description: Legend in 3 lines (the first and last curved): JAMES NOKES / GROCER / MELBOURNE
Reverse Description: Australia seated on rock facing to left holding an olive branch extended in her right hand and resting a staff on her left forearm.
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: James Nokes - James Nokes, Wholesale and Retail Grocer, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1854
Mint: Kangaroo Office (Mint), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1854
Previous Collection: George McArthur
References: This issue was struck by Reginald Scaife at the Kangaroo Office. The dies were prepared in Melbourne using steel die banks brought from England and struck on copper halfpenny blanks also brought out on the Kangaroo. The first issue had a commemorative reverse (the die has survived and is in the mueum collection NU 35977). Nokes sold his grocery firm to T.W. Thomas & Co. who also issued halfpenny tokens employing the Hotham commemorative reverse. This, second form of Nokes token, was struck with a stock seated Australia reverse. Three of these dies are in the museum collection.

This token is in excellent condition, is well struck and does not show the die-cracking that normally characterizes this issue.
  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. 407
  4. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 197
  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. 120

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