1949 One Pound Star Note Coombs/Watt R31sL about Unc ex Deutsher collection
Front: King George VI at right, window at left, the denomination with serials and signatures at centre.
Back: Agricultural scene in bas-relief at centre.
Signatories: H.C. (Nugget) Coombs as Governor of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia; George Watt as Secretary to the Treasury
Period on Issue: August 22nd, 1949 through to October 1952
Lot #41, Max Stern Auction of the famed Deutscher collection (July 1977). Estimate: $40, Hammer: $125, Nett: $125.
Lot #2414, Downie's (Australian Coin Auctions) Auction 271 (March 2000). Estimate: $7,500, Hammer: $6,250, Nett: $7,187.50.
This truly rare star replacement note was held by one of the most important collections of Australian notes ever formed.
Note printing authorities in Australia decided to adopt the US system of using star replacement notes as substitutes for spoiled notes from September 1948. A memo to Commonwealth Bank staff advised them that: "Notes used for replacement purposes will have a five-pointed star in the position normally occupied by the last figure of the serial number."
The star replacement system made it easier for printing staff and tellers to check and count notes and brought about a considerable saving in time and labour costs. The star replacement notes from the King George VI series are amongst the rarest and most keenly sought of all of Australia's pre-decimal banknotes.
Not only was the number of these notes printed incredibly low, but their survival rate is incredibly low also.
Dr Herbert Cole (Nugget) Coombs was Governor of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia between January 1st 1949 and January 13th 1960 and was then the inaugural Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia from the date of its establishment on January 14th 1960 until July 22nd 1968.
George Watt was Secretary to the Treasury from 23 November 1948 until 31 March 1951.
Notes with this signature combination on them were on issue during the early phases of the Korean War, right up until the economic crash that followed the closing stages of the Korean War.
The Deutsher Collection - One of Australia's Finest Collection of Banknotes
Keith Deutsher is known as being a perennial collector of a wide range of Australian objects, and is best known for his published work "The Breweries of Australia: A History". In the numismatic world, Deutsher's collection of Australian banknotes are widely acknowledged as one of the finest ever formed.
At the time it was auctioned, some of the comments made about the Deutsher collection were:
"Mr Keith Deutsher has assembled a collection of the distinctive banknote issues of the Commonwealth of Australia which is generally acknowledged to be the best in private hands."
"No effort or expense has been spared by Mr Deutsher to obtain the finest specimens available."
"Serious students of the series have availed themselves of the collection for research purposes for a number of years, and its reputation is unsurpassed."
"It is not an exaggeration to say that this sale is a "once in a lifetime" event."
"The catalogue of the Deutsher Collection will in future years become a reference work on the subject."
It is valuable to observe that this was the only star replacement note to have sold out of all of the star notes held by the Deutsher collection.
One way of determining the current value this note has today is to identify the prices it realised first back in 1975 and then in 2000. We then list each of the other notes in those auctions that made similar prices and look for wide variations. Our analysis of those prices realised shows this note is solid value for money at the current price.
This note has strong paper, to the extent that sections of the green intaglio ink remain raised across the front of the note. The corners and edges all remain sharp and clear, just one angled centre bend is evident from the back of the note.
This is a premium example of one of Australia's rarest banknotes issued in the past 80 years, it has a provenance that ties it to one of the finest collections of Australian paper money ever formed.
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