Copper One Penny Token, minted by an unknown British mint. Issued by T.W. Courlay & Co, Ironmongers, Christchurch, circa 1864. This firm traded briefly in Christchurch, probably from 1862 to 1865. The earliest record of the company was from the 22 October 1862 edition of the local paper the Christchurch Press, which announced that the store would be opening on 15th of September; presumably this advertisement had been running for more than a month by the time the October edition was printed. The store was known as Economy House, and was located in Ferry Road, Christchurch. In 1864 part of Ferry Road was renamed High Street, making it likely that the tokens were issued around this date. The business was listed in local directories until 1865.
A round copper token (34 mm diameter). The piece features the name, address and business of the issuer: T.W. Gourlay & Co. Economy House High Street Christchurch, ironmongers. The obverse features a cast iron fireplace and the reverse a two-man timber saw. Heavy knock to right side of reverse.
At centre a cast-iron fireplace, above, [T.]W. COURLAY & Co. / IMPORTERS / OF below, AND / KITCHENERS / CHRISTCHURCH. T damaged by heavy knock to reverse.
At centre a two-man timber saw, above, ECONOMY HOU[SE] / BUILDERS / & / FURNISHING below, IRONMONGERS / HIGH STREET. SE of house damaged by heavy knock.
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 11/1/1978
circa 1860 AD
Obverse: T.W. COURLAY & Co. IMPORTERS OF AND KITCHENERS CHRISTCHURCH Reverse: ECONOMY HOUSE BUILDERS & FURNISHING IRONMONGERS HIGH STREET
Type of item
13.519 g (Weight)
The mint which produced the Gourlay tokens is unknown but employed one obverse and two reverse dies for their manufacture. Die identification is the basis of standard references and the museum storage system. The reverse dies can be identified as follows: Reverse Saw Handles Centering bead teeth on saw 1 3.0 mm none 24 2 2.5 mm above saw 22 The following die combinations have been recorded: A/1 (this token), A/2
[Book] Andrews, Arthur. 1921. Australasian Tokens and Coins., No. 150
[Book] Heyde, Gilbert C. & Skinner, Dion H. 1967. Unofficial Coins of Colonial Australia and New Zealand., No. 84/1
[Book] Lampard, William H. 1981. Catalogue of New Zealand Coins Tokens Bank Notes., No. 320
[Book] Humberstone, Vaughn. 2010. Merchants Making Money.