Where is it from?

Association locations map

Similar items over time

Token - 1 Penny, R. Gratten, Thames Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand, 1872 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 3759

Bronze One Penny Token, mint unknown. Issued by R. Gratten, Thames Hotel, Auckland, 1872. The Thames Hotel, was run by R. Gratten in 1872. It stood at the corner of Queen and Customs Streets in Auckland. Robinson suggests that the name connects the hotel with the gold fields in New Zealand's South Island, and that fights between patrons at the end of the evening were a common event.

Previous Collections: George McArthur
A round bronze token (31 mm diameter) featuring the name and business of the company that issued the tokens: R. Gratten Thames Hotel Auckland. The reverse features a Maori in paddling a dog-headed canoe within a fern wreath and the date 1872. This token has been cleaned.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 31 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 9.516 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: canoes, hotels, maori culture, maoris
Themes this item is part of: Richard Gratten, Hotelier, Thames Hotel, Auckland (1849-1875), George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, McArthur Bequest
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: New Zealand
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1872 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: Lehend in three lines: THAMES HOTEL / R. GRATTEN / AUCKLAND
Reverse Description: At centre within a wreath of fern fronds, a Maori paddling left in a canoe. The canoe is decorated with geometric patterns and has a dog head carved prow.
Edge Description: Plain
Reverse: 1872
Shape: Round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: Richard Gratten, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, 1872
Previous Collection: George McArthur
References: -Robinson, H.A.. "Auckland Tradesmen's Tokens." The New Zealand Numismatic Journal. May 1974: p. 140
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 152
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 85
  3. [Book], William Lampard, Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes, Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand Incorporated, Wellington, 1981, No. 321
  4. [Book], Vaughn Humberstone, Merchants Making Money, 2010


Vaughn Humberstoen Posted on 13 Dec 2009 11:21 AM
The Thames Hotel was opened on 1 November 1868, to cater for the diggers leaving for the Thames goldfields across the road from the Queen St Wharf (as well as for those returning). It was demolished in 1925. The second proprietor was Richard Gratten, born in Auckland in 1849 (making him NZs only NZ born token issuer). He took over the Thames Hotal in 1872, and died on 24 October 1875, aged 26. Reference: Humberstone, Vaughn. Merchants Making Money. Unpublished, 2010.
Discovery Centre Posted on 14 Dec 2009 12:49 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Vaughn, thanks for your comments and information. We've referred this to one of our History & Technology curators and will get back to you soon.
Discovery Centre Posted on 14 Dec 2009 1:29 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Vaughn, thanks again for your information and the offer of your research. We look forward to receiving this and will update our records as appropriate once we've had a look at the information contained therein.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No