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Token - Halfpenny, Edward Reece, Christchurch, New Zealand, circa 1860 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 38470

Summary:
Copper Halfpenny Token, minted by Thomas Stokes, Melbourne. Issued by Edward Reece, Christchurch, circa 1860. Edward Reece was born in Shropshire, England, but left his father's farm to work in Birmingham's hardware trade. He bought stock there and then departed for New Zealand, arriving in 1855. He established his business the following year. He was sufficiently successful to open additional stores in Christchurch and Fiji. He managed his store until 1879 when he passed the business on to his son, William. He died in 1887.

Previous Collections: National Gallery of Victoria
Description:
A round copper token (28 mm diameter). The token features the name, address and business of the issuer: Edward Reece, Christchurch, Canterbury, Ner Zealand, building and furnishing ironmonger etc. The reverse depicts a shearer shearing a sheep with hand shears beside a large wheat sheaf.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 28 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 7.988 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: ironmongers, retail trade, retailing, shearing, wheat, wholesale trade, wool, nz.chch, christchurch
Themes this item is part of: Edward Reece, General Merchant, Christchurch, New Zealand (?-1887), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: TRADE TOKENS
Secondary Classification: New Zealand
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Trade Tokens
DateEra: circa 1860 AD
Denomination: Halfpenny
Obverse Description: Legend in twelve lines, the first curved: EDWARD REECE / WHOLESALE / AND RETAIL / BUILDERS / AND FURNISHING / IRONMONGER / BIRMINGHAM / AND SHEFFIELD / WAREHOUSE / CANTERBURY / N.Z.
Reverse Description: A shearer sittin on the ground facing left to right of a large wheat sheaf with a hand sickle depicted across the middle. He holds a sheep which he is shearing with a pair of hand shears. Above ADVANCE CANTERBURY in exergue, NEW ZEALAND
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: EDWARD REECE WHOLESALE AND RETAIL BUILDERS AND FURNISHING IRONMONGER BIRMINGHAM AND SHEFFIELD WAREHOUSE CANTERBURY N.Z.
Reverse: ADVANCE CANTERBURY NEW ZEALAND
Shape: round
Material: Copper
Issued By: Edward Reece, Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand, 1854-1870
Previous Collection: National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Numismatics Collection, pre 1976
References: The Reece issue of halfpenny tokens required one obverse (numbered D continuing from the penny dies) and three reverse dies for it's production. Identification of the die combination employed to make a particular token is the key to both the standard references and the museum storage system. The halfpenny reverse dies can be recognised by:

Reverse E of ADVANCE to C of CANTERBURY
3 3.0 mm
4 2.5 mm
5 1.5 mm (based on Heyde's measurement, not seen by Sharples)

The following die combinations have been recorded for penny tokens: D/3 (this token), D/4, D/5
For details of the penny dies see NU 4250.
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], Dr Arthur Andrews, Australasian Tokens and Coins, Trustees of the Mitchell Library, Sydney, Sydney, 1921, No. 450
  2. [Book], Dion Skinner - Renniks & Co Pty Ltd, Gilbert Heyde, Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand, 1967, No. 214/1
  3. [Book], William Lampard, Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes, Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand Incorporated, Wellington, 1981, No. 340c
  4. [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.
  5. [Book], Vaughn Humberstone, Merchants Making Money, 2010

Comments

Vaughn Humberstoen Posted on 13 Dec 2009 11:34 AM
Edward Reece was born in 1834. He married Isabella Asher on 1 January 1856 at Lyttelton. He brought land in Fiji and planted it with cotton, eventually selling it to the Colonial Sugar Company. His only daughter Nellie Maude Reece, married Henry S.E. Hobday, the son of another NZ token issuer (of Hobday & Jobberns). Reece was a founder of the Canterbury Brewing, Malting and Distilling Company. He was also an extensive land owner. He purchased the 8,600 acre Montserrat run-hold in North Canterbury from fellow token issuer, Henry J. Hall, for 26,000 ponds. He also owned land in Kaikoura, as well as smaller farms closer to Christchurch. Edward Reece died on 12 September 1885, aged 51. Edward Reece Ltd traded until 1977. Reference: Humberstoen, Vaughn. Merchants Making Money. Unpublished, 2010.
Discovery Centre Posted on 14 Dec 2009 12:48 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 1:27 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.

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