Commercial Banking Company of Sydney (Sydney) 190* 1 Pound Unissued Specimen Note
Front: Female personification at left, Captain Cook at right
Back: Bank headquarters within medallion at left, harbour scene within medallion at right
Reference Number: MVR# 5b | Grade: about Unc Serial Numbers: F700001 - F800000
This is one of the most affordable pre-federation specimen notes available.
The Commercial Banking Company of Sydney was established way back in 1834 and is one of the earliest banks established in Australia.
The bank's operations in its first few decades of existence were restricted to New South Wales. After a restructuring between 1848 and 1854, branches were then opened in London, Brisbane and elsewhere.
Like so many other banks, the CBC of Sydney was greatly affected by the banking crisis of 1893. The bank's doors were closed in the middle of May and re-opened around a month later.
The CBC of Sydney's market share was such that its notes accounted for approximately 14% of all of the pre-federation notes that were circulating in Australia at the end of 1910.
Following the introduction of the Commonwealth notes in 1913, the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney amalgamated with the Bank of Victoria in 1927, and then the National Bank of Australasia in 1981. The final name for the merged entity became "National Australia Bank" in 1983.
This particular specimen note is classified as Type 5b by Mick Vort-Ronald - it has:
- The term "Limited" was added to the front of the note; and
- All wording and denomination figures were removed from the back of the note.
The note features a green simultan print, with the serials printed in black.
A female figure appears in a panel on the front left-hand side - she is holding a caduceus and a shield, which leads me to believe she is intended to be the personification of peace or concord.
Captain Cook features in a panel on the front right-hand side, the man regarded by many as being "The Father of Australia".
The reverse of the note shows the CBC of Sydney headquarters building on the left and a scene of Sydney Harbour.
This particular specimen remains in excellent condition - the paper remains crisp and original and remains Uncirculated apart from a few light corner folds.
This is arguably the most affordable pre-federation specimen banknote available to collectors.
They have been priced out of the league of most collectors for many decades, yet are now at a level that they can be purchased as an affordable representation of this important chapter in our economic and numismatic history.
Just how long prices stay at this level remains to be seen.
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