Token, Store

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A copper token for Brown and Duthie. The obverse features an exaggerated profile of Mount Egmont / Taranaki. " TARANAKI / 1866 " is written under it. " BROWN AND DUTHIE / BROUGHAM STREET / WHOLESALE / & RETAIL / IRONMONGERS " is written on the reverse.
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The supply of money during the early part of the nineteenth century was far less certain than it is today. The Government did not consider it was their responsibility to ensure that there was an adequate supply of coins, they believed that function belonged to the banks. One solution that was tried was for individual merchants to issue their own tokens, usually with a face value of a penny or halfpenny. These had the advantage of being relatively cheap to produce as production costs were below nominal face value, and they were often lost or never presented. They also worked as a valuable means of advertising the business. A number of New Zealand merchants produced their own tokens between 1857 and 1881, among them four New Plymouth firms. Brown and Duthie, an ironmongery firm that operated in Brougham Street, New Plymouth, issued this token in 1866. It was discovered in Wanganui before being donated to Taranaki Museum.
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