Copper One Penny Token, minted by Thomas Stokes, Melbourne. Issued by W.R. Watson & Co, Town Hall Hotel, Ballarat, Victoria, 1862. W.R. Watson is listed as the owner of Town Hall Hotel, Armstrong Street in the 1865 Ballarat Directory. An advertisement in the Ballarat Evening Post, January 1864 read 'Town Hall Hotel, and Wine and Spirit Stores, Armstrong Street. The Cheapest House in Ballarat. Single Bottle Department. Brandy 5s-, Gin 4s, Rum 3s, Whiskey 3s. Per bottle. Every article sold as imported. W.R. Watson and Co. Proprietors'.
Previous Collections: National Gallery of Victoria
A round bronze token (34 mm diameter). The token features the name, address and business of the issuer: W.R. Watson & Co. Town Hall Hotel, Armstrong Street, Ballarat, wine & spirits merchants. The reverse features section of grape vine, from a Stokes stock die - Sharples Vine 3 = Heyde Vine 3 = Andrews 7 - it is dated 1862, stock dies were shared by many issuing firms. This token has been cleaned and varnished.
TOWN HALL HOTEL / WINE & SPIRIT / W.R.WATSON & CO. / MERCHANTS / ARMSTRONG ST. BALLARAT
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 116 beads. This is a Stokes stock reverse, used for many trade token issuers. It is numbered in the standard catalogues as: Sharples Vine 3 = Heyde Vine 3 = Andrews 7.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 15 Mar 1976
Obverse: TOWN HALL HOTEL WINE & SPIRIT W.R.WATSON & CO. MERCHANTS ARMSTRONG ST. BALLARAT Reverse: VICTORIA 1862 IN VINO VERITAS T. STOKES MAKER MEL.
Type of item
34 mm (Outside Diameter), 15.425 g (Weight)
Stokes received an order for trade tokens from W.R. Watson & Co. in Ballarat in 1862. They manufactured an obverse giving the name of the firm incorrectly as W. Watson & Co. this was rejected and a corrected die needed to be manufactured. That die was employed with two Stokes Stock Vine reverses to manufacture tokens - this suggests two orders were involved. The stock reverses employed were Vine 2 on which the vine has 9 large leaves and Vine 3 on which it has 11 large leaves. In addition it seems a different technician set the dies in the press on each occasion, the Vine 2 die was set with the date of the reverse set at the 06 position - this is incorrect but is commonly found, giving a die axis of 04. The Vine 3 die was correctly set. Stokes stock reverses were intended to make token manufacture inexpensive to encourage small issuers. John Sharples
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 614
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 270/2
[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. 12