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E. De Carle & Co., Merchants, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

E. De Carle & Co. Token Penny

Image: E. De Carle & Co. Token Penny

Source: Museum Victoria

Edward De Carle was a successful Melbourne businessman who moved to Dunedin in the early 1860s. De Carle issued several varieties of tokens in Melbourne, both in his own name, and as a part of the partnership Hide & De Carle. For information about his earlier career, see E. De Carle & Co. - Melbourne.

Williams and Sutherland state that his tokens were issued in Dunedin in 1862. At this time they report his address to have been 22 Princes Street South. They also include a copy of a letter he had published in the Dunedin Daily Telegraph on 18 February 1863, in which he repudiated his tokens as pennies and called upon the public to only accept them as halfpences:

"'Caution to the public'
(To the editor of the Daily Telegraph)
Sir,-Will you allow me a place in your columns to caution the public against receiving the new tokens, bearing the superscription of E. De Carle & Co., as pennies. In size they are equal to the new English penny and as such were consigned to me from home; but I have sold them at great loss to myself as half-pennies, and as such they should now pass.
I am, Sir,
Yours truly,
E. De Carle."

Williams and Sutherland do not state whether his appeal to the public to respect the terms under which he on-sold his tokens was accepted, but it seems unlikely. They theorise that De Carle may have heard that tokens had been made illegal in Victoria, and he had presumed that the same would happen in New Zealand so he divested himself of the risk by selling his tokens at a discount (Williams and Sutherland, 1950).

Williams and Sutherland go on to say:

'The De Carle Dunedin token was dated about the time of the gold rush in Otago, and this may have attracted De Carle to Dunedin. In 1864 he advertised that his 'Forwarding Department for all the Gold Fields' was at 20 Princes Street. This firm owned property in Dunedin in 1868.'

References:
Williams, H. G., & Sutherland, A. (1950). 'Otago Currency Token Issuers' in The New Zealand Numismatic Journal, Vol. 6, No.1, March, pp.17-18.

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