ONE POUND 1910 Superscribed Collins Allen National Bank of Australasia R# S50 about VF
A wonderful example of this historic and rare Australian note.
This particular superscribed one pound note is fresh and original - just remarkable when we consider the age of the note and the extent to which it would have circulated throughout World War I.
The simultan colours remain bright, and all of the superscribed details remain sharp and distinct. The border areas are lightly toned, this should be hardly surprising given the paper is devoid of any pinholes, the edges remain intact right the way around.
Just 23 superscribed one pound notes have been seen at auction in the past five years, only seven of these were from the National Bank of Australasia. Although the auction house that most recently handled the note graded it as being in good Fine condition, we believe the strength of the paper and the lack of any qualifications at all warrants the slightly higher grade of about Very Fine. Interestingly, the only other time that this note has appeared at auction was via Downie's in March 2000, where it was graded as being Virtually VF, and described as being "one of the finest known". According to that lot description, the note originated from "The North Queensland Hoard", one that had been in the family since 1928.
The vast majority of superscribed notes that remain available to collectors today have impediments of some kind - each is undoubtedly has the same rich history as those in better grade, however superscribed notes become far rarer (and definitely more valuable) when quality is a consideration.
In our opinion, there has only been one Type I superscribed note better than this one sighted at public auction over the past five years. That note was also on a National Bank of Australasia form with a Melbourne domicile - it was rarer and better condition than this note, no doubt, however the estimate was also exactly double the asking price of this note! That was the only Type I superscribed note graded Very Fine or better to appear at auction over the past five years.
Make no mistake, cheaper superscribed notes are periodically available - one could well be bought for less than $10,000 with a good degree of patience. Such a note would have a significant impairment such as missing corner or corners, a large hole or multiple tears.
Once the collecting public begins to fully appreciate the numismatic and economic importance that the superscribed notes have in the year leading into 2013, don't be surprised if demand for superscribed notes increases appreciably.
This demand will be heightened further if banknote catalogues restructure their layout to correctly reflect the fact that the superscribed notes are the first notes issued by the Commonwealth Government of Australia.
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