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Medal - Federation of the World, All Men are Brothers, Cole's Book Arcade, Victoria, Australia, circa 1885 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20008

Summary:
Aternative Name: Token
Issued: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Medal, Cole's Book Arcade Federation of the World, All Men Are Brothers, circa 1885. This gilt medal is one of a series of medals offering maxims and proverbs issued by E.W. Cole at his Book Arcade. He called the medals 'little missionaries for the spread of educative knowledge' (Dean, 1988, p.36).

According to Sydney Endacott, an employee of Cole, customers were charged three pence for these medals (which he prefers to call tokens) which, when the Arcade was particularly busy, gave them admission to the second-hand books gallery where the orchestra played. Each medal could be exchanged for thee pence worth of goods, but most were kept. The pierced ones were sometimes worn as pendants or on pocket watch chains. The medals served as perpetual advertisements of the Arcade (Victorian Historical Magazine, February 1962). George Dean suggests that the medals were also given in change at Christmas time, and could be used to operate amusement machines (presumably including the symphonion and hens, although these only required one penny to operate).

Cole had his first medal stuck in 1879 and his last one about 1903. The medals were variously gilded, silvered or bronzed, replicating the coinage then circulating, or plated with nickel or white metal. The medal blanks were usually made of copper or brass, but some might have been bronze; aluminium was also sometimes used. In all, perhaps 300,000 medals were struck, in 97 types. Only 50 types are known to have circulated (George Dean, 1988, A Handbook on E.W. Cole: His Book Arcade, Tokens and Medals).
Description:
A gilt bronze medal (31 mm diameter) featuring a tree fern and a thought provoking maxim.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 31 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 11.08 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: advertising, booksellers, racism, retailing, wars conflicts, world federation
Themes this item is part of: Edward William Cole, Bookseller (1832-1918), Cole's Book Arcade Collection, George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: commerce & retailing
Series: Cole's Book Arcade Medals
DateEra: circa 1885 AD
Obverse Description: Tree fern in centre; around above, ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS to left of fern, THE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW to right, ARE AS GOOD AS THE PEOPLE THAT YOU DO KNOW
Reverse Description: Above rainbow, ACQUAINTANCE ONLY REQUIRED / IF / ALL MEN / THROUGHOUT / THE WORLD / WERE ACQUAINTED / WITH EACH OTHER / THERE WOULD BE / * NO WAR *; below rainbow in tiny letters, FEDERATION OF THE / WORLD MEDALS / ISSUED / BY E.W. COLE / BOOK ARCADE MELBOURNE
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: ALL MEN ARE BROTHERS THE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW ARE AS GOOD AS THE PEOPLE THAT YOU DO KNOW
Reverse: ACQUAINTANCE ONLY REQUIRED IF ALL MEN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WERE ACQUAINTED WITH EACH OTHER THERE WOULD BE NO WAR FEDERATION OF THE WORLD MEDALS ISSUED BY E.W. COLE BOOK ARCADE MELBOURNE
Shape: Round
Material: Gilt
Issued By: Cole's Book Arcade, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1885
References: Chitty 18; Dean 24
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], George Dean, A Handbook on E.W. Cole, His Book Arcade, Tokens & Medals, Tarragindi, 1988
  2. [Book], Cole Turnley, Cole of the Book Arcade: a Biography of E.W. Cole, Cole Publications, Hawthorn, 1974
  3. [Article] 1973. A Tribute to E.W. Cole. Australian Numismatist. 27 (10): 5-10.
  4. [Catalogue] Morrison, Ian. 2003. The Baker of Maldon.
  5. [Thesis] Lugton, Mary E. 1989. George McArthur of Maldon: his Life and his Book Collection.

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