Volkart Brothers
~1872 - Grandpass Mills

A large Zinc Token struck in Switzerland around 1872 for Full Task Value.
Denomination pence
Diameter45.3 mm
Thickness mm
Weight8.90 gms
grandpass_mills_obverse grandpass_mills_reverse
Lowsley #37 Pridmore #104
*   -*-   *
between two plain circles around
at center below a neatly cut circular hole
for suspension with a circle marked around.
Rev. : Blank
This is a large circular token, or chit, of copper, about two inches in diameter, but very thin. compared with similar Maradana Mills token of same firm. It was also struck at Winterthur, Switzerland, by order of the Company, about the year 1872. It was circulated at the value of 18¾ cents, the then equivalent for 4½d. It is of a form more like a ticket than a token. The Grandpass Mills employed over 500 hands.

VOLKART BROTHERS. The firm of Volkart Brothers was founded in 1851 at Winterthur, Switzerland, and. Bombay, India, by the brothers S. Volkart and J. G. Volkart. The intention of the brothers was to establish direct commercial relations between India and the continent of Europe. At the outset the firms business was confined to the import of raw cotton and the export of manufactured goods to the Indies.
On the 1st October, 1857, a branch office was opened at Colombo. Its business activity embraced the export of coconut oil, coffee, cinnamon, cotton and pearls. This was later extended to all forms of Ceylon produce and a large Agency business for shipping and insurance.
As their tokens indicate, they established two oil mills, one at Grandpass and the other at Maradana. In later years the Maradana mills were moved to Mutwal.

* 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

Image of token ex Pridmore Collection from B&W print scanned from catalog and colorized with Photo-Shop. Displayed at 150 dpi.