Copper One Penny Token, minted by W.J.Taylor, London. Issued by Stewart & Hemmant, Drapers, Brisbane & Rockhampton, circa 1863. William Hemmant and Alexander Stewart established their drapery business in Queen Street, Brisbane, in 1860. The store was burned to the ground in 1864, one of many businesses destroyed by a disastrous fire, although it was subsequently rebuilt. In Hemmant 1876 he moved to London to act as agent for the Brisbane drapery business. In 1862, Stewart and Hemmant opened a business in Rockhampton which was run by James Stewart, Alexander's twin brother. In 1868 James Stewart bought out Hemmant's interest in the business in 1868, and took Edward Seymour Lucas, his chief assistant since 1863, into partnership.
Previous Collections: National Gallery of Victoria
A round copper token (34 mm diameter). The token features the name address and business of the issuer: Stewart & Hemmant Brisbane and Rockhampton, Drapers. The reverse features an emu standing facing right. This token has been cleaned.
At centre between two bars, ONE / PENNY; around above, + STEWART & HEMMANT +; curved below, BRISBANE
Emu standing on ground facing to right; around, CRITERION . BRISBANE & ROCKHAMPTON; in tiny letters below ground, W.J.TAYLOR LONDON
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 15/3/1976
circa 1860 AD
Obverse: ONE PENNY STEWART & HEMMANT BRISBANE Reverse: CRITERION BRISBANE & ROCKHAMPTON W.J.TAYLOR LONDON
Type of item
14.239 g (Weight)
Stewart & Hemmant had two issues of tokens, the first the size of the pre-1860 British copper penny and the second that of the post 1860 British bronze penny. In manufacturing the first series W.J. Taylor employed two slightly different obverse dies. Obverse A has the word STEWART 15.8 mm long and the S is re-entered and a border of 162 beads while on obverse B STEWART is 16.5 mm long, the W is re-entered and the border is 155 denticles. There is only one reverse, Reverse 1. This cracked during the production of the A/1 tokens, it would appear that the dies were removed from the press after the crack was noticed, presumably to re-enforce it, as they were replace and the work continued. When being replaced however the dies were set in a different orientation - the first struck were with dies set at 06, after the re-enforcement it was set at 12 while the introduction of Obverse B saw a return to the 06 orientation. The standard references and museum storage are based on die identification, this token was struck with dies B/1 with die orientation at 06 after the reverse die cracked.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 506
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 230/1