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Tokens And Special Purpose Coins Of New Zealand

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 Posted 05/17/2022  09:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

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Gaisford and Edmonds Butchers, Christchurch - 1875
Another wonderful piece of history.


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Just like jbuck... it's pretty easy to grab some popcorn, settle back and take it all in.
A show is always better with some friends.


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One final point is the use of & (Ampersands) on these coins, I read somewhere they were only invented in 1837 - so this is a very early widespread adoption of them.
They have been around longer than that. What dates to 1837 is the term ampersand, which is a corruption of "and per se and."
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 Posted 05/17/2022  11:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow! - Boy do I look stoopid!
Hudaphunkit?

Meanwhile, the "holey" token has arrived and expect a post on it soon. It only cost me $8 postpaid and I feel without the hole I could had quadrupled that cost easily.

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 Posted 05/18/2022  08:53 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Do not sweat it. I would be a very rich man if I got paid every time I was wrong or had incomplete details on something!


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Meanwhile, the "holey" token has arrived and expect a post on it soon.



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It only cost me $8 postpaid and I feel without the hole I could had quadrupled that cost easily.
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 Posted 05/21/2022  9:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
G L Beath & Co Drapers Christchurch, c1870 - 74 Penny Token


Obv - Words: G.L.Beath & Co, Clotheirs, Direct, Importers, &, Drapers, Christchurch, (Example has hole at 11.30 o'clock)


Rev - Argyle House, Cashel Street, Coat of Arms of the Argyle Family (English from Dutch origin Van Arkel) pertaining to the building not firm. Latin incription "Vix ea nostra voco" means "I hardly call them ours".

This token obviously has a hole through it and because of that fact it was cheap, otherwise its not bad and would grade Fine or slightly better. Most of them are found in poor condition, being a usual low quality item from Stokes and Co in Melbourne (Lets be honest, they were the el cheapo producer). This one is worse, its copper and only 31mm weighing 9.4 grams. So the same size and weight of a bronze penny after 1860, yet an el cheapo copper version.

It is not dated, but is believed to be early 1870s for 2 reasons, one being G.L. Beath only joined the firm started by a Mr Kirby in 1860, in 1866. Generally one does not starting issuing tokens when they first join a company.

The other being the coin is smaller, and Stokes was known to be making the full sized copper tokens (34 - 35mm, 14 - 15 grams) well into the 1870s. Finally the Beath Company as we see has lasted through to the 1980s! Compare that to their competitors across the street (Yes) Hobday and Jobberns who crashed and burned in 1888.

Roker gives the coin a date of c1870, but I believe it is later and many Christchurch tokens were made well into the later 1870s and even early 1880s.



G.L Beath is one of Christchurch's oldest and long running firms, started in 1860 by a Mr Kirby, he was joined by George Beath in 1866 and in 1869 Kirby was brought out by Beath and Frank Malcolm starting a partnership that lasted until 1896. In 1871 they lost a lot of money when the wooden town hall they leased from 1858 burnt down and they lost £3k and only were insured for 1k. Things picked up as they moved from Drapery and importing fabric to general department store materials - yet the market was saturated with these stores. Across the street was Hobday and Jobberns, Ballantynes, Stranges, the DIC who opened a state of the art store in 1881, which burnt down in 1908 and Beaths joined with them that year becoming DIC Beaths.

This was their only token and it's pretty basic, 2 obverse and 4 reverse varieties exist, none are scarce. Like most Christchurch tokens, they are frequently found in wells, basements and rubbish tips and earthquake salvage has meant more have been found. This coin will eventually be upgraded.


The DIC Building at a much later time.

Argyle House was demolished sometime in the 1910s and a 6 storey single bay monstrosity was built with a tea garden on top. This building was demiolished in the 1980s and the building to the right survived to the present day (It was built in the early 1930s). Beaths DIC was brought out by Arthur Barnetts in 1983 and the department store lasted until 1999. That year it shut down and the building was turned into Christchurch's main bus station called the "Crossing" and included a airbridge across to Ballatynes across Colombo street. In 2011, the earthquakes affected it and it was shut down. To this day the building remains empty.


DIC Beaths tower in the mid to late 1930s, building across street is the Ballantynes building which replaced the Hobday and Jobberns one in 1889. This building was destroyed in a dreadful fire in November 1947 which killed 41 people and was our worst ever commercial disaster before the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

Of course George Beath died in 1914, but by the time of the above photo, Beaths DIC owned most of the buildings on that block.

The next 2 tokens are foreign coins used in New Zealand and one is merely an exemplar of the Justice allegory found on many NZ tokens.

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Edited by Princetane
05/21/2022 9:46 pm
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 Posted 05/23/2022  01:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Professor Holloway penny Token (UK) 1858


Rev - Image of Hygeia (Spirit of health) sitting surrounded with a flowing robe and a serpent reaching into a bowl adjacent to her. "Holloway's Pills and Ointments, 1858"


Obv - Image of Holloway "Professor Holloway"

The coin is copper and 34.5mm in size, made by Heaton and Sons, London. The condition of my example is practically EF and about as good as these get. Most 1857 Holloways are found in poor and corroded condition due to the wreck of a ship called the Dunbar at Sydney Heads in 1857, many died in the wreck.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar_(ship)

The Dunbar suffered the loss of 121 lives, but also several thousand Holloway penny and halfpenny tokens. Despite this, the coins were salvaged partly and used as currency in the coin strapped colonies of Australia and New Zealand. To this date corroded Holloway coins wash up or are salvaged.

Despite being a British coin, the Holloway tokens circulated widely in Australia and New Zealand in the 1850s and 1860s. We know of Halfpenny and Penny tokens dated 1857 and 1858, all are very common on the scale of tokens are the same level as the Auckland Licensed Victuallers and Somerville tokens. Fine examples cost around $20, this aEF one cost me $37 and is worth every cent in my opinion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Holloway

Professor Thomas Holloway (1800 - 1883) was really the king of the Charlatans and Mountebanks offering patent and quack medicines that offered little more than puff and dope. His medicines and creams sold heavily throughout the world and he made a huge fortune off them. A study in the 1990s proved 3/4 of all of them were useless items made up of powder and water. Yet doctoring was scarce amongst the rabble in the 1830s to 1860s. There was also no evidence he was a "Professor" in anything except harvey Norman style advertising and selling fire water. The travelling medicine show is basically a Holloway thing.

Despite his Mountebankery, he redeemed himself by building a gothic pile called Holloway college for women in London and a sanitorium there too. The former building takes Gothic revival to insane haunted house types. The spooky buildings were the setting for the 1983 song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, being 7 it scared the heck out of me. Yet it kick started my obsession with gothic architecture, as my home city of Christchurch (was - pre 2011 earthquake ) dotted with Hollowayesque gothic knock off architecture of the 1860 - 1925 period.

All in all, an interesting diversion in my collection and any collection of Australia or New Zealand tokens is not complete without a Holloway or 3 in it.

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 Posted 05/25/2022  05:33 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Melbourne Victoria - Peace and Plenty Token 1858



Obv - Coat of Arms, Emu and Kangaroo with "Advance Australia" seems the concept of "Australia" existed long before 1901! Words around the coin edge "Peace and Plenty"


Rev - Allegory of Justice with scales and blindfolded, next to a cornucopia and ship in horizon with bales etc on a wharf "Melbourne, Victoria"

I brought this coin very cheap for just $1.50 and it must be the cheapest I have ever paid for a token so far from this era. Yes that verdigris is nasty and I may have to treat it - but we have a VF coin here with almost no damage and corrosion beyond that stain, plus it is over 160 years old!

Why did I buy it? - Because it was cheap and I needed it to illustrate a point - this "Justice" Allegory has appeared on at least 5 of my tokens so far ranging in date from 1857 to 1875 - this proves at least its not unique to New Zealand in any way and it is on several Australian trade tokens as well.

https://coinscatalog.net/australia/...-token-issue

Copper and 34mm in size. It was made by Heaton and Sons in the UK and thus a better item. I can't find much out about them more, except they were also issued in 1859. From what little I know - no company issued these coins and they are likely a colonial government piece issued by the Colony of Victoria or maybe on the Municipal level of Melbourne. When gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851, Melbourne went overnight from a town of a few thousand to a city of 200k by 1860! Boom towns no doubt needed boom quantities of coins and local coppers filled the void. It seems the Australian token making industry started in 1852/53 (If we exclude holey dollars of the 1810s!) and was banned between 1863 and 1878 (Western Australia).

https://collections.museumsvictoria.../items/71839
This site lists the token issuer as "Anomymous" which is strange given every other token shown thus far has doubled as a metallic advertisement for whoever issued it, in addition to serving a penny or halfpenny token. Nothing is being sold on this piece except a slogan to have peace and plenty and eventually Australia will advance beyond a few colonies! They nailed it

I think Victoria banned tokens in 1866, yet Stokes and Co issuing tokens for NZ as well was issuing tokens through to 1875 (Hobday, Beaths etc) for the NZ version of Melbourne, Christchurch.

All in all an interesting piece.

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 Posted 05/25/2022  08:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

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Why did I buy it? - Because it was cheap and I needed it to illustrate a point - this "Justice" Allegory has appeared on at least 5 of my tokens so far ranging in date from 1857 to 1875 - this proves at least its not unique to New Zealand in any way and it is on several Australian trade tokens as well
Very interesting! Thank you for sharing.
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 Posted 05/28/2022  3:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just cleaned out my storage unit and found some old archaeology reports I used to write my thesis 20 years ago. These were excavations in Central Auckland in the late 1980s and early 1990s during the demolition derbies going on in that era.

The big money, corporate greed era of this time was about demolishing old buildings and erecting ugly glass towers. Fortunately by this era, there had to be an archaeological dig done on the site as most of the new towers required deep basements and carparks.

I found 4 and looked at the artefacts recovered, lots of pottery, glass, bricks, buttons, leather etc. But also coins and tokens.

So far from the 2 I looked at, one about the Mechanics institute which was digging a big block for a 32 storey glass box in 1989/90 saw about 12 places dug up and only a hearth had 2 burnt Coombes pennies (1870s). Yet this site which was a slum in the 1860s and nice housing in the 1840s contained many 1/3 farthings, farthings and small silver of William IV and Victoria, none after 1850.

Most of the coins were very corroded.

The second site, the Victoria Hotel, started in 1840 when Auckland was founded, was burnt down for insurance fraud in 1865 as it was recently refurbished and losing money. This was due to poor decisions by the owners selling 70 types of clay pipe and many fancy liquors at a time most people drank beer and nothing else. Basically the basement survived and they found intact bottles of beer from 1865 (The beer had gone rancid). They also found many clay pipes and 6 tokens, these were 4 Somervilles (I told you they were common) and 1 each of the Gittos and Ashton (Common but both later 1862/63).

Had it been 10 years later, there would have been several Auckland Licenced Victuallers ones and maybe a Thames Hotel (Grattan Maori canoe). They also found several copper and small silver coins dating from 1817 to 1854. A 1790 Good times guinea was found (The brass gaming token fake of a 1790 spade guinea), yet the archaeologist assumed it was gold. I remember setting him straight back in 2002!

I will read more, but interesting and a reason why the tokens appeal to me as they confirm my love of coins and archaeology and marry the two together. Now as you have read, its Christchurch producing the archaeological tokens due to the earthquake rebuilding!

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 Posted 06/15/2022  9:49 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Picked up this very nice 1948 Otago centennial anniversary medal because I liked the design. It's heavier than it looks. No idea on the composition, nor do I have any references as to any other information about it, but here you have it!

A little bit of handling rub, otherwise semi-prooflike in hand with some decent contrast.

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 Posted 06/15/2022  11:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ttkoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

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Picked up this very nice 1948 Otago centennial anniversary medal

Nice looking medallion great pick up.
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 Posted 06/15/2022  11:54 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ttkoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Princetaine, I must commend you for this very detailed and entertaining topic. I had not considered tokens as a collectable but now I will keep my eye out.
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