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Token - 1 Penny, Bell & Gardner, Ironmongers, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, circa 1855 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 3567

Copper One Penny Token, minted by J. C. Thornthwaite, Surry Hills, New South Wales. Issued by Bell & Gardner, Ironmongers, Rockhampton, circa 1855. The earliest surviving Rockhampton newspapers date from 1865, and Bell and Gardner advertised in some of the earliest surviving editions. A small advertisement on page 3 of the Rockhampton Bulletin for 13 January 1865 locates their trade as 'Wholesale and Retail Ironmongers'. Bell and Gardner also took out a half page advertisement in Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1866, in which they described their wares: 'Importers of Iron, Steel, Lead, Oils, Paints, Tools of every description, General and Furnishing Ironmongery, Lamps, Rope, & Also- China, Glass, & Earthernware.'

Thornthwaite was the first person to manufacture tokens and medals in Australia. Migrating to Sydney in 1949, his tokens are noteworthy for the lack of clarity of detail in design because the dies were not cut deep enough and he lacked the tools to produce high quality tokens. Thornthwaite also worked as a medallist, particularly after tokens were made illegal in NSW in 1868. Thornthwaite's most accomplished tokens were produced in silver. In 1854 he made a small number of three-penny silver tokens for James Campbell of Morpeth, New South Wales, which were 'larger and thicker than normal currency issued' and consequently 'represented about 33% more in metal content and thus value.'

Previous Collections: National Gallery of Victoria
A round bronze token (34 mm diameter). The token features the name address and business of the issuer: Bell & Gardner, Rockhampton, Ironmongers. The reverse features a wreath of wildflowers tied together at the base, the top divided by a Rising Sun. Within the wreath the denomination, PENNY TOKEN, is written.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 17.250 g (Weight)

More information

Themes this item is part of: Bell & Gardner, Ironmongers, Rockhampton, Queensland, John Craven Thornthwaite, Token Maker & Medalist, Sydney, New South Wales (1820-?), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: Australia - Queensland
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: circa 1855 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: At centre, BELL / & / GARDNER; around * IRONMONGERS * ROCKHAMPTON
Reverse Description: Within a wreath of wildflowers tied together at the base, the top divided by a Rising Sun, PENNY TOKEN
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: Bell & Gardner, Ironmongers, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia, 1850-1865
Mint: John Thornthwaite, 1850-1865
Previous Collection: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Numismatics Collection, pre 1976
References: McLeod, S., 'A Bell and Gardner with a Difference', Australian Coin Review, February 1991, pp. 22 - 23;
Advertisement, The Rockhampton Bulletin, 13 January 1865, p.3;
Advertisement, Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1866, unnumbered page;
Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1866;
Advertisement, Hopkins' Rockhampton Almanac for 1878, advertisements section p.26.
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 43, pp.10-11 Pages
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 25


Rockie Hampton Posted on 15 Feb 2013 1:39 PM
The earliest Rockhampton newspaper dates to 9 Jul 1861 - the first issue of the Rockhampton Bulletin (see copy on Trove website).
Bell & Gardner were located in East Street, west side Denham Street-William Street. The date "circa 1855" is incorrect. More likely ca 1862.

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