Summary

Copper metal token excavated at the Commonwealth Block site between 1988 and 2003. Badly corroded and somewhat indecipherable. It was issued by Edward De Carle & Co, Auctioneers & Land Agents, Arcade Office, Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria in 1855.

De Carle arrived in Australia in 1849. Over the following fourteen years he was involved in a wide range of business ventures in Melbourne, taking advantage of the explosive growth caused by the gold rush. He later moved to New Zealand, where he died. De Carle's three different tokens, which featured his business as 'Grocers and Spirit Merchants,' 'Auctioneers and Land Agents' and 'Auctioneers, etc.,' indicated the range of his business activities and speculation. He was also involved in the urbanisation of Footscray and a section of Brunswick. De Carle operated his businesses with a number of partners, in a network of business dealings.

Working in Little Lon.
Alongside the tightly packed cottages, commercial enterprise thrived in little Lon. Shops sold food and 'fancy goods'. Factories and workshops manufactured bellows, furniture, waterproof clothing and ice cream.

In the 1880s grocers flourished, and in the 1890s clothing firms and Chinese cabinet-makers dominated the local manufacturing scene. But Little Lon's most numerous businesses were the myriad hotels and brothels.

It is easy to overlook the 'invisible' work carried out in people's homes. Because such work was rarely documented we rely on things left behind to tell the story. The abundance of lace bobbins dug up at Little Lon hints at a lace-making industry and busy lives otherwise hidden from history.

Physical Description

This is a copper token. On the Reverse there is a female figure & scales on barrel with an ocean scene in the background. On the obverse is a Brittania shield and lion in centre with inscription.

Physical Description

Copper token.(rev) 'MELBOURNE VICTORIA 1855' with female figure & scales on barrel and ocean scene in background.(obv) partly obscured, Brittania shield and lion in centre, inscription on inner rim reads 'ARCADE OFFICE QUEEN ST.' and outer rim reads 'AUCTIONEERS & LAND AGENTS...'.

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