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Hanks and Lloyd Australian Tea Mart Sydney

Date: 1857
Overall: 32 mm, 0.016 kg
Medium: Bronze or bronze alloy
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with the assistance of the Andrew Thyne Reid Trust
Object Name: Trader token
Object No: 00025264
Related Place:South Head,

User Terms

    A Hanks and Lloyd trader's token with 'Hanks and Lloyd' at the centre and with the 'Australian Tea Mart / Sydney' around the circumference. The reverse features an Advance Australia coat of arms flanked by a kangaroo and emu with the inscription 'Peace & Plenty / 1857'. It is most likely that these tokens were produced in London by the W.J. Taylor mint or by Heaton & Sons, Birmingham.
    These tokens, known as trader's tokens, were issued by merchants in Australia as a solution to the shortage of coins in the colonies at the time. Part of the material from the historic shipwreck DUNBAR.
    The DUNBAR Collection was retrieved under the auspices of an amnesty enacted through the jurisdiction of the Historic Shipwrecks Act, 1976.
    SignificanceThese trader's tokens provide an insight into the role played by Sydney businesses in the commercial development of the colony and how the specific problems facing the colonies were solved locally.

    HistoryHanks and Lloyd were expecting another shipment of tokens in 1857, but the ship that was carrying them, the DUNBAR was wrecked at the Gap, in the Sydney Heads, on 20 August 1857. Samuel Peek, another token issuer, and his wife Caroline were on board the DUNBAR and drowned when it sank.

    Traders tokens were unofficial coin-like issues struck by a variety of merchants to overcome a severe small-change shortage of English coins caused largely by the population explosion which occurred during the gold rushes of the early 1850's. The majority of the tokens were issued between 1855 and 1865. Prior to this, many merchants who had been hampered in their trading by the shortage, were often forced to pay a premium for whatever change they could get.
    As well as being a convenient means of exchange, the tokens were also an excellent vehicle for advertising particular businesses and products. Everyone from doctors to ironmongers issued tokens and although the authorities frowned on the practice to some degree, a blind eye was turned due to the serious needs of the time.
    By 1868, a large shipment of regal coins from Britain had cured the small-change problem and a short but colourful chapter in our history faded from view.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: DUNBAR shipwreck collection

    Assigned title: Hanks and Lloyd Australian Tea Mart Sydney

    Related Sites South Head

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