The Sydney Hodgkinson Find

The very last 2 pieces of the Sydney Hodgkinson card money collection are being offered in our 1200th Auction 9th March 2019  Lots 194 and 195

Front of the blue card scrip $5,00

Dease Post blue $5 card money No. 103

Front of Fort Grahame red $1 card money No. 321

Fort Grahame red $1 card money No. 321

Front of Dease Creek cream 25 Cent card money No. 476

Dease Creek cream 25 Cent card money No. 476

Card scripts (or card tokens) from the H.B.C. Tradings Posts in Northern B.C. were collected by Sydney Hodgkinson and brought in to All Nations by his family.

Sydney Hodgkinson worked as an accountant with the mighty Hudson’s Bay Company from 1908 to 1935. The trading posts were often in tiny, remote settlements.

Brian Grant-Duff is the expert who has handled the entire collection: card scrip is basically non-government issued, unofficial or semi-official currency. It looks like they come from the pre-World War I era. The historical record, which is scant, says that they were not supposed to be issued, they were not authorized by the Hudsons Bay Company. But the poor guys running the post needed some form of money as people were trading. So this is possibly locally created scrip.

The scrips are very small, like an old-fashioned ticket at a movie theatre. They come in four different denominations, each with a different colour. The 25-cent scrips were white, 50 cents were green, $1 was red and $5 was blue.

6 card money denominations aid out

“What is interesting is that it’s multi-coloured printing,” said Grant-Duff. “They managed to get a rainbow-coloured printing on it, I guess to prevent counterfeiting. I’m not sure how they did that, but it’s  extraordinary.

Grant Duff auctioned the first scrip in the cache on June 20 2015. It was estimated at $100, but wound up selling for $1,099. Six bidders from across Canada faced off over the scrip, which appeals to both Hudson’s Bay Company and B.C. collectors. The rarity of the scrips makes them valuable. 

Thank you John Mackie for these words from your article in The Vancouver Sun.

Vancouver Sun logo

McDames Creek blue $5 card money No. 640

McDames Creek blue $5 card money No. 640

Front of Dease Lake red $1 card money No. 179

Dease Lake red $1 card money No. 179

Front of Dease Post Creek green 50 Cent card money

Dease Post Creek green 50 Cent card money No. 392

Front of grubby Dease Creek cream 25 Cent card money No. 447

Dease Creek cream 25 Cent card money No. 447

Fort Grahame $1 card money

8 cards of red $1 Fort Grahame

Fort Grahame red $1 card money laid out

Sydney Hodgkinson was an imaginative and lyrical chap – he writes to a friend in familiar verse, thanking him for a book:

scan of poem

Sydney Hodgkinson poem

 Sydney was a regular writer and contributed to The Beaver – H.B.C.’s inhouse journal:

scan of The Beaver The Gold Nugget by Sydney Hodgkinson

The Gold Nugget by Sydney Hodgkinson from The Beaver (HBC internal newsletter)

Hudsons Bay Company, B.C. District Fort Grahame $1 Scrip

Hudsons Bay Company, B.C. District Fort Grahame $1 Scrip

Lot 194 Hudsons Bay Company, B.C. District Fort Grahame No. 117 $1 Scrip corner rounding  Lot 194 sold for $ 577 in our Auction Saturday 19th January 2019 Explore: B.C. History | Card Money | Fort Grahame | Hodgkinson | Hudson's Bay Company View and Bid in this...

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