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Token - 1 Penny, Levy Bros, Fancy Goods Importers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1855 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 4027

Summary:
Copper One Penny Token, minted by W.J. Taylor, London. Issued by Levy Bros & Co, Fancy Goods Importers, Melbourne, 1855. In 1852 the Levy brothers, Goodman, Nathaniel and Lewis, established a fancy goods warehouse and importing business in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. Another brother, Alfred, was a travelling sales representative. They moved to Queen's Arcade in 1853. In 1858 the business moved to Bourke Street, then later to the corner of Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street, and later to Little Collins Street. In 1890 the business returned to Lonsdale Street. Nathaniel and Lewis retired in 1867, and Goodman took a partner, Walter Josephs. Alfred was murdered on the road from Beechworth to Melbourne, and Goodman moved to England to manage the London end of the business. In 1896 Horace, son of Goodman, was admitted as a partner. When Walter Josephs died in 1907 the business was converted to a Limited Proprietary company. In 1912 the business was still running in Lonsdale Street, with a bulk store in Franklin Street. An advertisement from the time described them as Merchants, Wholesale Distributors and Importers, and stated that they also had operations in London, Hamburg and New York.

Previous Collections: George McArthur
Description:
A round copper token (34 mm diameter) giving the name address and business of the issuer: Levy Brothers, Arcade Melbourne, importers of Fancy Goods. The reverse features a female figure representing Justice seated on a wool bale with legs to left but her head and upper body to front. A wine barrel lies on the ground behind her and a three-masted sailing ship sails to the right on the horizon to the left. She wears a blindfold and extends a balanced set of scales with her right hand. With her left she holds an inverted cornucopia from which fruits flow onto the ground. She wears an ancient-style of flowing dress bound at the waist, her left arm bare and right draped to near the elbow.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 15.294 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: fancy goods, import trade, retail trade, retailing
Themes this item is part of: Levy Brothers, Retailers, Melbourne, Victoria, George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, United Kingdom, McArthur Bequest
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: Australia - Victoria
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1855 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: At centre within a bead circle, IMPORTERS / OF / FANCY / GOODS; around above; . LEVY BROTHERS . around below, ARCADE, MELBOURNE
Reverse Description: Female figure representing Justice seated on a wool bale with legs to left but her head and upper body to front. A wine barrel lies on the ground behind her and a three-masted sailing ship sails to the right on the horizon to the left. She wears a blindfold and extends a balanced set of scales with her right hand. With her left she holds an inverted cornucopia from which fruits flow onto the ground. She wears an ancient-style of flowing dress bound at the waist, her left arm bare and right draped to near the elbow. Above, AUSTRALIA; in exergue, 1855. Ship sailing on horizon under the scales.
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: IMPORTERS OF FANCY GOODS LEVY BROTHERS ARCADE MELBOURNE
Reverse: AUSTRALIA 1855
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: Levy Brothers, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1855
Mint: W.J.Taylor, Mint, London, England, Great Britain, 1855
Previous Collection: George McArthur
References: -Gardner,F.. "Trade Tokens and the Firms that Issued Them." The Australian Storekeepers and Traders' Journal. April 30 1912: p.10; -Kelly, W.. Life in Victoria or Victoria in 1853 and Victoria in 1858. Originally published London, 1859. Republished Kilmore. 1977. vol. 1: p.310; -Advertisement. The Australian Storekeepers and Traders Journal. 31 July 1912: p. 62; -Advertisement. Sands and Kenny General and Commercial Melbourne Directory for 1857: Unnumbered page; -Sharples, J.. 'Catalogue of Victorian Trade Tokens.' Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. Vol. 7. December 1993: p. 49; -Advertisement. The Argus. 1 July 1858: p. 1; -Advertisement. The Argus. 23 November 1861: p. 3; -Internet index to Unassisted Immigrants to Victoria from British Ports. VPRS 7666; -Hope, John. Levy Brothers. Unpublished MSS. 2005: 2pps.

In addition to issuing trade checks, the Levy Bros issued only one token of penny demonination, dated 1855 (this token). Andrews, suggestion that the Levy Brothers tokens were struck by W.J. Taylor can be queried. The Seated Justice type is generally attributed to Taylor, but Heaton and Sons may also haver claim to it. J Sharples, JNAA.7 p. 49
Bibliography:
  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. 320
  4. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 147
  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. 109

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