Alternative Name(s): Wall Chart

Poster identifying token and medal die combinations used in the production of promotional tokens and medals for the Coles Book Arcade. Compiled by George D. Dean, of Tarragindi, Queensland and published in conjunction with his 'A Handbook on E.W. Cole, His Book Arcade, Tokens & Medals', 1988.

George D. Dean, a numismatist and collector, issued his own copper vanity medal in 1984 in Tarragindi, Queensland, commemorating his collection of Coles Book Arcade tokens (NU 16643).

Cole's Book Arcade opened in the Bourke Street Mall in 1883, after earlier operating from other sites. It was a shop like no other, crammed with new and second-hand books and other wares, but with the atmosphere of a circus. Cole enticed customers of all ages with a menagerie and fernery, a band, a clockwork symphonion and other mechanical delights. Readers could sit in comfortable chairs, encouraged by a sign: 'Read for as Long as You Like - Nobody Asked to Buy'. The Arcade's proprietor, Edward William Cole, was optimist and idealist, believing passionately in the power of education and envisaged a world without borders, expounding his views in pamphlets and books. Cole died in 1918, still dreaming of a better future. Cole's Book Arcade, one of the wonders of 'marvellous Melbourne', closed in 1929.

Physical Description

Rectangular poster, printed in black on white on one side only. Features photographic images of 169 tokens and mdeals in rows, numbered (although not all numbers used) from 1 to 105. All are joined by lines to at least one other token or medal. Associated text appears on upper left and right of poster. Lined border with square blocks in corners.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Cole's Book Arcade Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Leisure, Numismatics & Philately

  • Acquisition Information


  • Acknowledgement

    Printed on poster: 'Not to be reproduced in any form without permission. Copyright 1988.'

  • Person Named

    Mr. Edward W. Cole - Cole's Book Arcade, Bourke & Little Collins Streets, Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  • Author

    George D. Dean

  • Inscriptions

    Title at upper centre: 'COLE'S BOOK ARCADE / TOKEN AND MEDAL / DIE COMBINATION IDENTIFIER'. At left: 'INSTRUCTIONS / Take any Cole token or medal and match one side with an illustration on / this chart. / Turn "coin" over to match other side. The connecting lines will give / renevant "D" number and this should be used in all future references to the / piece. / For further information consult / "A Handbook on E. W. Cole, His Book Arcade, Tokens & Medals" / by George D. Dean (1988).' At right: 'This wall chart is No. [blank'] of a limited run of 1000. / Both chart and refernce book are available from: / George D. Dean, 8 Woolton St., Tarragindi Q 4121. / Telephone (07) 848 5651. / Not to be reproduced in any form without permission. Copyright 1988.'

  • Classification

    Medals, Commemorative, Commerce & retailing

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    629 mm (Width), 411 mm (Height)

  • References

    [Book] Dean, George D. 1988. A Handbook on E.W. Cole, His Book Arcade, Tokens & Medals.

  • Keywords

    Booksellers, Dies, World Federation, Medals, Tokens