Copper One Penny Token, minted by J. C. Thornthwaite, Surry Hills, New South Wales. Issued by Bell & Gardner, Ironmongers, Rockhampton, circa 1855. The earliest surviving Rockhampton newspapers date from 1865, and Bell and Gardner advertised in some of the earliest surviving editions. A small advertisement on page 3 of the Rockhampton Bulletin for 13 January 1865 locates their trade as 'Wholesale and Retail Ironmongers'. Bell and Gardner also took out a half page advertisement in Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1866, in which they described their wares: 'Importers of Iron, Steel, Lead, Oils, Paints, Tools of every description, General and Furnishing Ironmongery, Lamps, Rope, & Also- China, Glass, & Earthernware.'
Thornthwaite was the first person to manufacture tokens and medals in Australia. Migrating to Sydney in 1949, his tokens are noteworthy for the lack of clarity of detail in design because the dies were not cut deep enough and he lacked the tools to produce high quality tokens. Thornthwaite also worked as a medallist, particularly after tokens were made illegal in NSW in 1868. Thornthwaite's most accomplished tokens were produced in silver. In 1854 he made a small number of three-penny silver tokens for James Campbell of Morpeth, New South Wales, which were 'larger and thicker than normal currency issued' and consequently 'represented about 33% more in metal content and thus value.'
Previous Collections: National Gallery of Victoria
A round bronze token (34 mm diameter). The token features the name address and business of the issuer: Bell & Gardner, Rockhampton, Ironmongers. The reverse features a wreath of wildflowers tied together at the base, the top divided by a Rising Sun. Within the wreath the denomination, PENNY TOKEN, is written.
At centre, BELL / & / GARDNER; around * IRONMONGERS * ROCKHAMPTON
Within a wreath of wildflowers tied together at the base, the top divided by a Rising Sun, PENNY TOKEN
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15/3/1976
circa 1855 AD
Obverse: BELL & GARDNER IRONMONGERS ROCKHAMPTON Reverse: PENNY TOKEN
Type of item
17.25 g (Weight)
McLeod, S., 'A Bell and Gardner with a Difference', Australian Coin Review, February 1991, pp. 22 - 23; Advertisement, The Rockhampton Bulletin, 13 January 1865, p.3; Advertisement, Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1866, unnumbered page; Pugh's Queensland Almanac for 1866; Advertisement, Hopkins' Rockhampton Almanac for 1878, advertisements section p.26.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 43, pp.10-11 Pages
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 25