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Token - 1 Penny, M. Somerville, Wholesale Family Grocer, Auckland, New Zealand, 1857 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 29469

Copper One Penny Token, minted by an unknown British Mint. Issued by M. Somerville, Wholesale Family Grocer, Auckland, New Zealand, 1857. Little is known about Mark Sommerville, although it is certain that his business endured for many years. The corner block where the store was located was 'the datum point for most information given to strangers as to suburban distances; ?so many miles from Somerville's corner? was the common form of direction.' (Robinson, 1974, p.142). After many years the store moved to another site in Auckland, and soon after Sommerville sold it to a Mr Walter Graham. Somerville died in 1902.

Previous Collections: Henry Smith
A round copper token (34 mm diameter). The token features the name, address and business of the issuer: M. Somerville, City Mart, Auckland, whilseale family grocer. The reverse features a bouquet of rose, thistle and shamrock with the legend NEW ZEALAND 1857.
Acquisition Information:
Cultural Gifts Donation from Mr Robert (Bob) Edwards, 1989
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 34 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 14.75 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: grocers, wholesale trade
Themes this item is part of: Mark Somerville, Wholesale Grocer, Auckland, New Zealand (circa 1830-1902), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: New Zealand
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: 1857 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: Legend in five lines: M. SOMERVILLE / WHOLESALE / FAMILY GROCER / CITY MART / AUCKLAND
Reverse Description: At centre a bouquet of rose, thistle and shamrock with the legend NEW ZEALAND 1857.
Edge Description: Plain
Reverse: NEW ZEALAND 1857
Shape: round
Material: Copper
Issued By: M Somerville - Wholesale Family Grocer, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, 1857

Donor: Mr R Edwards 1988
Previous Collection: Mr Henry Smith
References: The Somerville issue required two obverse and three reverse dies for its production. The identification of the dies employed in the production of a particular token are the basis of the standard references and the museum storage system. The dies can be identified as follows:

A 19.5 mm
B 18.3 mm

Reverse top leaf points wreath base points top point of thistle
1 to back of E between 85 left side of W
2 between ZE over 5 left side of W
3 between ZE over 57 right side of W

The following die combinations have been recorded: A/1, B/1 (this token), B/2 , B/3
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 498
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 227/3
  3. [Book], William Lampard, Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes, Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand Incorporated, Wellington, 1981, No. 342a
  4. [Book], Vaughn Humberstone, Merchants Making Money, 2010

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