Copper Halfpenny Token, minted by Thomas Stokes, Melbourne. Issued by Edward Reece, Christchurch, circa 1860. Edward Reece was born in Shropshire, England, but left his father's farm to work in Birmingham's hardware trade. He bought stock there and then departed for New Zealand, arriving in 1855. He established his business the following year. He was sufficiently successful to open additional stores in Christchurch and Fiji. He managed his store until 1879 when he passed the business on to his son, William. He died in 1887.
A round copper token (28 mm diameter). The token features the name, address and business of the issuer: Edward Reece, Christchurch, Canterbury, Ner Zealand, building and furnishing ironmonger etc. The reverse depicts a shearer shearing a sheep with hand shears beside a large wheat sheaf.
Legend in twelve lines, the first curved: EDWARD REECE / WHOLESALE / AND RETAIL / BUILDERS / AND FURNISHING / IRONMONGER / BIRMINGHAM / AND SHEFFIELD / WAREHOUSE / CANTERBURY / N.Z.
A shearer sitting on the ground facing left to right of a large wheat sheaf with a hand sickle depicted across the middle. He holds a sheep which he is shearing with a pair of hand shears. Above ADVANCE CANTERBURY in exergue, NEW ZEALAND
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Mr Alfred Chitty, 15/3/1976
circa 1860 AD
Obverse: EDWARD REECE WHOLESALE AND RETAIL BUILDERS AND FURNISHING IRONMONGER BIRMINGHAM AND SHEFFIELD WAREHOUSE CANTERBURY N.Z. Reverse: ADVANCE CANTERBURY NEW ZEALAND
Type of item
7.924 g (Weight)
The Reece issue of halfpenny tokens required one obverse (numbered D continuing from the penny dies) and three reverse dies for it's production. Identification of the die combination employed to make a particular token is the key to both the standard references and the museum storage system. The halfpenny reverse dies can be recognised by: Reverse E of ADVANCE to C of CANTERBURY 3 3.0 mm 4 2.5 mm 5 1.5 mm (based on Heyde's measurement, not seen by Sharples but photo in Lampard suggests correct) The following die combinations have been recorded for penny tokens: D/3, D/4 (this token), D/5 For details of the penny dies see NU 4250.
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 451
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 214/2
[Book] Lampard, William H. 1981. Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes., No. 340d
[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.
[Book] Humberstone, Vaughn. 2010. Merchants Making Money.