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Token - 1 Penny, T.F. Merry & Co, General Merchants, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, circa 1863 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 11421

Summary:
Copper One Penny Token, minted by W.J. Taylor, London. Issued by T.F. Merry & Co, General Merchants, Toowoomba, Queensland, circa 1863. A short biography of Merry by F. Simpson was published in the Australian Coin Review, September 1970. According to Simpson, Merry was born on 1 March 1829 in England. Migrating to Australia in 1851, he worked as a a Draper's assistant in Hobart, before moving to Brisbane, where he established a store which he later sold. Some time later he moved to Toowoomba and established himself as a general merchant, he opened branches of his business in Warwick, Stanthorpe, Goondawindi and other Queensland locations. He was one of the first directors of the co-operative store J.P. Barnes & Co., which still existed as the Barnes Co-op in 1970.
Description:
A round copper token (34 mm diameter). The token design featuring the name, business and Town of the issuer: T.F. Merry & Co. general merchants, Toowoomba and on the reverse a Coat of Arms consisting of a central shield below a Rising Sun and supported by an emu at left and kangaroo at right all resting on a ribbon with the motto ADVANCE AUSTRALIA. The shield is quartered and contains: upper left - a golden fleece; upper right - a three-masted sailing ship; lower left - a bull standing facing left; lower right a anchor. There is fine pitting over much of surface and it appears lacquered. Knock to obverse field below A of MERCHANTS.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 14.723 g (Weight)

More information

Themes this item is part of: T.F. Merry & Co., General Merchants, Toowoomba, Queensland, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch, Melbourne, Victoria, W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, United Kingdom, 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 - Queensland
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: circa 1863 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: T.F.MERRY / GENERAL / MERCHANTS / TOOWOOMBA the first and last lines being curved
Reverse Description: At centre Coat of Arms consisting of a central shield below a Rising Sun and supported by an emu at left and kangaroo at right all resting on a ribbon with the motto ADVANCE AUSTRALIA. The shield is quartered and contains: upper left - a golden fleece; upper right - a three-masted sailing ship; lower left - a bull standing facing left; lower right a anchor. Above, PEACE & PLENTY
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: T.F.MERRY & Co. GENERAL MERCHANTS TOOWOOMBA
Reverse: PEACE & PLENTY ADVANCE AUSTRALIA
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: Merry T.F. & Co., General Merchants, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, circa 1863
Mint: W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, England, Great Britain, circa 1863
Previous Collection: Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch
References: W.J. Taylor employed two slightly different obverse dies to manufacture tokens for T.F. Merry & Co together with one stock Arms reverse.
Obverse die A cracked initially from the rims at 03 & 09 but later through most of the word TOOWOOMBA (NU 11420). The new die, Obverse B was then needed to complete the order. The state of preservation on this token makes detection of any die cracks difficult. The differences between the dies (other than the die cracking when present) were slight and are best tested by measurement of the following:

Die GENERAL space between GENERAL and MERCHANTS Border dots
A 17.5 mm 2.8 mm 130
B 18.0 mm 3.3 mm 129

In addition there is a slight difference in the alignment of letters. For example a line down the left edge of the verticle stroke of the L of GENERAL would pass down the left side of the letter T below it on Obverse A but down the right side on Obverse B.

The same reverse die was used for the Merry & Bush issue of 1863 as there is a characteristic die crack from the rim to the E of PEACE. This suggests that the T.F. Merry issue is contemporary with the dated 1863 Merry and Bush.
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 367
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 169/2

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