Summary

Copper Specimen 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.

Previous Collections: National Gallery of Vcitoria

Physical Description

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 heavily cleaned and varnished, it is from a different obverse die to the others in the collection but exact measurements require a non-damaged specimen. 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 24.5 mm long; uncertain number of dots around the edge and the A of TEA being 2.0 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.

Obverse Description

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 24.5 mm long; uncertain number of dots around the edge and the A of TEA being 2.0 mm from the D of DEALERS. This token has been heavily cleaned and varnished, it is from a different obverse die to the others in the collection but exact measurements require a non-damaged specimen.

Reverse Description

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.

Edge Description

Plain

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