Australian Joint Stock Bank (Brisbane)
1884 5 Pounds Unissued Specimen Note
Reference #: MVR# 2a
Serials: B00001 - B10000
A high value specimen note on a rare Queensland domicile for this important bank.
The gold rushes that took place in New South Wales in 1851 fundamentally changed Australia’s economy and society. The Australian Joint Stock Bank was one of several banks founded to capitalise on the booming NSW economy.
The plan to create the Australian Joint Stock Bank was conceived by a group of prominent merchants and citizens at the Royal Hotel in Sydney on 27 October 1851, where it was determined that the capital would be £250 000 pounds raised from 25 000 £10 pound shares.
The wealthy wool merchant and landowner Thomas Holt was among those men - over the course of his life in Australia, he founded the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital; the Member Acclimatisation Society of New South Wales; AMP and the Sydney Railway Company.
Holt had arrived in NSW in 1842, and had made enough money as a wool merchant that he was able to retire from active business in 1855. Holt’s fellow directors on the inaugural board of the Australian Joint Stock Bank included the wealthy merchant John Blaxland, the influential media baron John Fairfax and the wealthy surgeon and entrepreneur James Mitchell. The bank established it’s first branch on George Street in Sydney, and opened for business on January 24th, 1853. Alexander Hart was appointed as the first manager.
The establishment of the Brisbane branch of the Australian Joint Stock Bank was announced in the Moreton Bay Courier in April 1853 while the London branch opened in 1866.
At the time the banking crisis struck in 1893, the Australian Joint Stock Bank was listed as having 149 rural branches throughout NSW and 20 throughout Queensland.
Notes were issued by the Australian Joint Stock Bank from branches in Armidale, Brisbane, Goulburn, Grafton, Mudgee, Newcastle, Rockhampton, Sydney, Townsville, Wagga Wagga and West Maitland.
As a result of the 1893 banking crisis, the Australian Joint Stock Bank was suspended for the 59 days between April 21 until 19 June 1893.
In 1910, the Australian Joint Stock Bank was reconstituted as the Australian Bank of Commerce Limited. The Australian Bank of Commerce Limited acquired the City Bank of Sydney in 1916, and was eventually absorbed by the Bank of New South Wales in 1931, which itself became part of the Westpac Banking Group.
Although the Australian Joint Stock bank had a significant presence in Queensland between the 1850's and 1910, few specimen notes from this bank are known with a Brisbane or regional domicile. Even fewer higher denominations are known.
This particular specimen note remains in excellent condition - it has fantastic original paper, and is devoid of any issues at all.
It is a wonderful memento of the growing Queensland economy during the late 19th century.
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