Renniks Australian & New Zealand Token Values
Edited by Michael T. Pitt
Renniks have been publishing books on numismatics since 1961, but this book on Australian and New Zealand token values is their first on the subject. By necessity, unofficial coins were part of the Australian monetary system since first settlement - the First Fleet carried no money and the country had no treasury. In 1800, Governor King proclaimed rates at which foreign coins were to pass current and in the same year British copper coins were imported in quantity, but barter was widely used and alcohol in particular; that's where the term 'rum currency' comes from. The tokens and notes that were used for money in the fledgling colony have become rare and in some cases enormously valuable, and it's these that form the basis of this book. Every token is illustrated, usually with both obverse and reverse and the standard of the images is high. There is an explanation of the grading system, the market values and general coin terms, making the book easy to use. In his introduction, editor Michael Pitt writes: 'There are, tucked away in boxes in older houses, many of these curious pieces. If you discover them and show interest, you may even have them presented to you. Many a relative or neighbor will pass on old tokens, coins etc to the budding collector, if they know that you have an interest.' And if you do have an interest, you need this book.
Renniks Australian & New Zealand Token Values, edited by Michael T. Pitt. Published June 2012 by Renniks Publications, Banksmeadow, NSW. 128pp, full colour, hard cover 175mm x 250mm. RRP $39.95.
Deportment for Dukes & Tips for Toffs
Author: Brummel & Beau
First published in 1900, Deportment for Dukes & Tips for Toffs is a satirical take on the Victorian book of etiquette. The sub-title says, 'A Compendium of Useful Information for Guests at the Mansions of the Nobility, Gentry, and Clergy'. Situations covered include the journey, the arrival, at the dinner table, amusements, hunting, shooting and in the ballroom. The advice given is priceless. In the travel section, for example: 'Avoid the vulgar and objectionable habit of conversing with your fellow travellers. Be on your guard when asked a civil question; if you cannot answer rudely, do not reply at all.' Or this arrival advice: 'It is usually superfluous to shake hands with the footman. You will recgonise him by the fact of his opening the door.' And here's a great excuse you can use when wishing to depart somewhere early: 'To your fellow guests you may account for the sudden-ness of your departure by explaining that the telegram from His Royal Highness was peremptory, or that your supply of handkerchiefs is now exhausted.' This is a delightful book and a recommended light-hearted read.
Deportment for Dukes & Tips for Toffs by Brummel & Beau. Published September 2013 by British Library Publishing, UK. 64pp, black and white, hard cover 160mm x 210mm. RRP $16.95.
John Campbell Pottery – Recollections & Collections
Author: Kevin Power
This is a lovely quality book. The weight of the paper, the depth of the illustrations and the overall design indicate that you're going to be looking at something special, and you're not disappointed. The book tells the story of the potter John Campbell and his family, who arrived in Launceston in Tasmania on the eve of the 1880s. By 23 years of age was Campbell running a pottery and brickworks, and in 1891 and 1892 he hosted the International Exhibition in Launceston. He became an industry leader known for his innovation, quality standards, focus on skills and training and his fairness in dealing with his workforce. His story is fascinating and deserves to be told, and author Kevin Power has an obvious affinity with his subject matter. "My wife bought a small green pot that was signed John Campbell," he says, "and I thought, who's this John Campbell guy?" Although he won the highest awards at international and local industry exhibitions, Campbell's pottery was taken for granted during his most productive years. "I thought, there's something in this, it ought to be documented - someone had to record this great Tasmanian story," said author Power, who details three generations of the Campbell family, along with insights on potting techniques, glaze recipes, kiln-firing routines and the various marks used at the pottery. The project took him five years to complete and includes historical photographs and an extensive catalogue of both colonial and later pottery work, along with recollections from two of the Campbell family members. The pottery illustrated in the book is drawn from private collections and public institutions and a wide cross-section of wares is presented. There is no doubt that Kevin Power has produced the definitive title on John Campbell Pottery.
John Campbell Pottery - Recollections & Collections by Kevin Power. Published in 2014 by Kevin Power, Tasmania. 160pp, colour throughout, hard cover 215mm x 305mm. RRP $85. Email: JCPbook@hotmail.com or call 0412 215 763.