Copper Halfpenny token, minted by Heaton & Sons of Birmingham, circa 1857. Issued by Smith, Peate & Co. Grocers, Tea & Wine Merchants in Sydney.
In 1855 Thomas Peate and Alfred Harcourt joined Edward A. Smith to form Smith, Peate and Co., Shipping and Family Grocers and Wine Merchants, in Sydney. Peate and Smith's grandfathers, Captain George Peate and William Smith, had been the owners of a trading vessel Sally from 1820-1825. During the 1860s the business did well and claimed the patronage of 'His Excellency, the Governor in Chief.' In 1880 the business became Peate and Harcourt. In 1886 W.H. Peate, son of Thomas, moved the business to larger premises, and in 1893 T.J. Turton became a partner in the firm. The Smiths and Harcourt had all retired from the business by this time. The business closed in 1897 and the building was demolished.
A round copper token (28 mm diameter). The token design featuring the name, address, business and foundation date of the issuer: Smith, Peate and Co., 258 & 260 George Street Sydney, grocers, tea dealers, wine merchants. The reverse depicts Justice standing facing left, blindfolded and extending balanced scales from her right hand, her left hand rests on an inverted cornucopiae from which fruits flow. A sailing ship is seen on the horizon to the left of the figure. This token has been lightly cleaned, the obverse has re-toned dark green. This was part of a large issuer of tokens production of which involved four obverse and three reverse dies. The obverse of all dies bore the same legend. This die was characterised by the letters of the words WINE MERCHANTS being 24.0 mm long; 122 dots around the edge and the A of TEA being 1.2 mm from the D of DEALERS. The reverse die is characterised by the distance of the start and end of the word ESTABLISHED to the horizon is: E to sea 8.5 mm, D to sea 9.0 mm; border of 113 dots. See notes tab for a table of other die variations.
SMITH, PEATE & Co. / GROCERS / TEA DEALERS / & / WINE MERCHANTS / 258 & 260 / GEORGE ST. / SYDNEY This die was characterised by the letters of the words WINE MERCHANTS being 24.0 mm long; 122 dots around the edge and the A of TEA being 1.2 mm from the D of DEALERS.
The reverse depicts Justice standing facing left, blindfolded and extending balanced scales from her right hand, her left hand rests on an inverted cornucopiae from which fruits flow. A sailing ship is seen on the horizon to the left of the figure. Above ESTABLISHED, in exergue, 1836. The distance of the start and end of the word ESTABLISHED to the horizon is: E to sea 8.5 mm, D to sea 9.0 mm; border of 113 dots.
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
circa 1857 AD
Obverse: SMITH, PEATE & Co. GROCERS TEA DEALERS & WINE MERCHANTS 258 & 260 GEORGE ST. SYDNEY Reverse: ESTABLISHED 1836
Type of item
8.193 g (Weight)
The dies employed in this series are generally poorly described employing the minor variations of alignments of letter. Chitty uses phrases like "perhaps a trifle more under the E" catalogue p. 42 , Andrews ""The & is slightly to the right of E in line above the verticle line of which if continued would pass between OC of GROCERS. p. 84, and Heyde warns " Students should not take these descriptions too seriously. Not all of the pieces have been assembled and some of the descriptions have been worked out from those given by Andrews and, particularly Chitty" p. 71. Table of obverse die variations. This token struck with dies H/4. Die WINE MERCHANTS A to D Rim dots Notes F 24.0 mm 1.2 mm 122 This die chipped at 04 see NU 4322 G 24.5 mm 1.7 mm 126 This die chipped at 07 see NU 4323 H 24.9 mm 2.0 mm 128 T of St is re-entered see NU 4324 I 24.6 mm 2.0 mm ? see NU 4330 Table of reverse die variations Die E to sea D to sea Rim dots Extension of scale bar 2 8.5 mm 9.0 mm 113 through E above D see NU 11701
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 486
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 226/1