1876 - Lee Hedges & Co.,
Demattagodde Mills

The copper token struck of yellow brass, with the dies designed in England. The company started in 1857 by W. D. Lee, admitted J. R. Hedges as partner in 1866. The value of the tokens issued in 1876 was 18 cents each, or about the pay of a day's work for a woman.

Denomination18 cents
Diameter29.0 mm
Thickness1.8 mm
Weight8.65 gms
Die Axis
1876_demattagodde_mills_obverse 1876_demattagodde_mills_reverse
Lowsley #8 Pridmore #62

Obverse :Centered Flower within wreath DEMATTAGODDE
along periphery in beaded circle inside raised rim.
Reverse: Centered tea-bush LEE,HEDGES,&CO.
* 1876 *
along periphery in beaded circle inside raised rim.

LEE, HEDGES & Co. The inception of this firm dates back to 1857 when W. D. Lee started business in Colombo for Brice and Boustead of London. In 1866 he admitted J. R. Hedges as partner and from that year the firm became known as Lee, Hedges & Co. On the death of Lee in 1871, G.A.M. Hedges, brother of JR. Hedges, came into the firm but in 1877.
The firm had two Mills in Colombo. The earlier one at Colpetty, a coffee and oil mill, the other, the Demattagodde Coffee Mills employing about 400 hands in Dean's Road, Maradana. In 1880 the Demattagodde Mills was closed after the partnership was dissolved and JR. Hedges left Ceylon in 1880. The property in 1895 was called Vavasseur & Co.'s Mills.

* Coins and Tokens of Ceylon, Lieut. Col B. Lowsley, Num. Chron. Sr III Vol. XV, 1895.
* The Coins of British Commonwealth of Nations to the end of the reign of George VI 1952 Part 2 - Asian Territories by F. Pridmore Spink & Son Ltd., 1965. Tokens

The coin was scanned at 300 dpi and the images are displayed at 200 dpi.
The very fine condition coin was purchased in November 2001 from a Collector in Pittsburgh, who had got it from William Woodside(1905-1978) at a WPNS meeting. Bill Woodside is acknowledged as a contributor by Pridmore in the Asian Territories Volume containing Ceylon. Woodside's collection was gifted to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh of which he was the head volunteer curator of the coin collection. The museum however sold that collection at a later date.