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Medal - Federation of the World, Be Good & Do Good, Cole's Book Arcade, Victoria, Australia, circa 1885 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 31120

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

Medal, Cole's Book Arcade, Federation of the World, Be Good and Do Good, circa 1885. This nickel-plated 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 nickle plated bronze medal (31 mm diameter) featuring a tree fern and a thought provoking maxim.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Edwards, 1989
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 31 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 11.58 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: advertising, booksellers, retailing, world federation
Themes this item is part of: Edward William Cole, Bookseller (1832-1918), Cole's Book Arcade Collection, 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; to left of fern, BE / GOOD / AND to right, DO / GOOD / HINDOO MAXIM
Reverse Description: Above rainbow, PURE / THOUGHTS / PURE WORDS / PURE DEEDS / PARSEE MAXIM below rainbow in tiny letters; FEDERATION OF THE / WORLD MEDALS / ISSUED / BY E.W. COLE / BOOK ARCADE MELBOURNE
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: BE GOOD AND DO GOOD HINDOO MAXIM
Reverse: PURE THOUGHTS PURE WORDS PURE DEEDS PARSEE MAXIM FEDERATION OF THE WORLD MEDALS ISSUED BY E.W. COLE BOOK ARCADE MELBOURNE
Shape: Round
Material: Nickel-plated
Issued By: Cole's Book Arcade, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1885
References: Chitty 52 = Dean 68
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.

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