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Token - 1 Penny, T.F. Merry & Co, General Merchants, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, circa 1863 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 4101

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. This token has been cleaned (resulting in fine general surface pitting) and has been varnished.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 14.734 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, W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, United Kingdom, Alfred Chitty Collection
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: Mr Alfred Chitty
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 (see NU 11420). The new die, Obverse B was then needed to complete the order. 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.

This token was struck from die 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. 366
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 169/1

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