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Hanks & Lloyd, Tea & Coffee Merchants, Sydney, New South Wales

By Museums Victoria    |   Thursday, 17 October 2019

Hanks and Lloyd was the first in a series of three trade token-issuing businesses owned by members of these two families. The following summary describes the series of businesses.

John G. Hanks joined William Lloyd (probably William Fairclogh Lloyd - earlier identified in this text as A. Lloyd) to open a business at 319 George Street in 1853, which traded as the Australian Tea Mart. In 1855 Hanks and Lloyd issued their first tokens: commemoratives of the opening of the first Sydney Railway in 1855, an excellent publicity opportunity.

Hanks and Lloyd - Australian Tea Mart
Hanks and Lloyd - Australian Tea Mart - 1855 Penny

Hanks 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. A month later, the Sydney Morning Herald, 28 September 1857 (p.8) reported that the partnership between Hanks and Lloyd had been dissolved on 7 September.

The replacement tokens ordered after the loss of the Dunbar did not arrive until 1858, by which time the company had changed name. It seems that Lloyd was still participating in the business, but he had always been the junior partner.

The Hanks and Lloyd halfpenny token orders employed 3 obverse and 2 reverse dies. The reverses are easy to identify as they are either dated 1855 or 1857 but the obverse die identification is based on the length of the word HANKS together with the number of border dots. Neither dies employed in 1855 were carried forward to the 1857 striking, but 2 new obverse dies were employed that year.

When Lloyd retired in 1866 the new partner's name was included in the title of the renamed business, Metcalfe and Foss. Metcalfe and Foss ceased trading in 1868, but members of the Lloyd family continued in the tea and coffee trade until the 1960s – their last shop was in the old Royal Arcade (now demolished).

In 1861 the founder's son, John L. Hanks, opened another – Tea and Coffee Merchants – business at 558 George Street, trading as J. G. Hanks & Co. The next year he moved to number 520. The junior Hanks' business endured at this address until almost the end of the 19th century. J.G. Hanks left his original business in 1863 and joined his son's enterprise.

According to Arthur Andrews (Australasian Tokens & Coins), all of Hanks & Lloyd's tokens were struck by W.J. Taylor of London.

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