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.
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.
Legend in five lines: M. SOMERVILLE / WHOLESALE / FAMILY GROCER / CITY MART / AUCKLAND
At centre a bouquet of rose, thistle and shamrock with the legend NEW ZEALAND 1857.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Mr Alfred Chitty, 15/3/1976
Obverse: M. SOMERVILLE WHOLESALE FAMILY GROCER CITY MART AUCKLAND Reverse: NEW ZEALAND 1857
Type of item
16.24 g (Weight)
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: Obverse WHOLESALE 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, B/2 (this token), B/3
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 499
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 277/1
[Book] Lampard, William H. 1981. Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes., No. 342b
[Book] Humberstone, Vaughn. 2010. Merchants Making Money.