Bronze One Penny Token, minted by Thomas Stokes, Melbourne. Issued by Stead Bros, Grocers & Seedsmen, Bendigo, Victoria, 1862. The three Stead brothers came to Victoria in the early 1850s from Leeds in England. They established themselves as 'fruiterers, grocers and produce merchants' in Bendigo soon afterwards. The brothers were active in their business through the 1860s. Between 1862 and 1864 they maintained a store at in Melbourne, as well as their main shop in Bendigo. From 1865 they were using H. Box & Co.'s premises as their Melbourne address. John Stead ran the Bendigo side of the business, his brothers looking after the Melbourne depot. The brothers ran a number of teams between the two cities. The Steads also kept something of a menagerie, which was not always kept under control. It is recorded that their magpie escaped and a five [pound] reward was offered. Then, their monkey escaped and the local paper reported: That embodiment of mischief, 'Stead's Monkey', managed yesterday to slip his chain and occassioned considerable amusement to a large crowd by his agility and cunning in avoiding his intending captors.'
Previous Collections: George McArthur
A round bronze token (34 mm diameter). The token features the name, address and business of the issuer: Stead Bros., Pall Mall, Sanhurst (Bendigo), grocers & seedsmen. The reverse features a vine branch with the motto "in vino veritas" a Stokes stock die - Sharples Vine 2 = Heyde Vine 2 = Andrews 1 - it is dated 1862, stock dies were shared by many issuing firms. The number 300 is pencilled on the obverse and there are some spots pf green on obverse and reverse.
STEAD BROTHERS / FRUITERERS / GROCERS / & SEEDSMEN / PALL MALL / SANDHURST
At centre within a line circle a piece of grape vine with nine large leaves and two bunches of grapes, below, but still within the line circle the manufacturers name T. STOKES MAKER MEL.; around above, VICTORIA 1862, around below the Latin IN VINO VERITAS, Border of 113 beads. This is a Stokes stock reverse, used for many trade token issuers. It is numbered in the standard catalogues as: Sharples Vine 2 = Heyde Vine 2 = Andrews 1.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), George McArthur, 15/3/1976
Obverse: STEAD BROTHERS FRUITERERS GROCERS & SEEDSMEN PALL MALL SANDHURST Reverse: VICTORIA 1862 IN VINO VERITAS T. STOKES MAKER MEL
Type of item
13.947 g (Weight)
The original obverse die employed to strike this token is in the Museum Victoria collection NU 35753. It was used in 1862 to strrike this token type and a rare variant with a Stokes stock Arms reverse (see NU 18421). Later, about 1918 the die was used to re-strike the Arms reverse type see (NU 4343) for collectors, at that time both dies showed rusting.
[Thesis] Lugton, Mary E. 1989. George McArthur of Maldon: his Life and his Book Collection.
[Catalogue] Morrison, Ian. 2003. The Baker of Maldon.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 504
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 229
[Article] Sharples, John P. 1993. A Catalogue of the Trade Tokens of Victoria 1848 to 1862. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. vol.7: p.1-77., V. 16