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1918 Ten Shilling Cerutty/Collins R3B Very Fine

1918 Ten Shilling Cerutty/Collins R3B Very Fine

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Bold paper with original colours - a strong example.

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Australia 1918 Ten Shilling Note

Signatures: Cerutty/Collins

Reference #: R3b

Quality: Very Fine

Bold paper with original colours - a strong example.

The ten shilling denomination was not often seen in Australia prior to Federation, however it was the very first denomination printed once Andrew Fisher’s Labour government began issuing banknotes printed under the authority of the Australian Commonwealth Government in 1913.

The addition of this denomination to Australia’s circulating currency was something of a watershed moment in the world’s circulating currency - they were …the first government-issued 10-shilling notes printed in the world…, and were greeted with some degree of noise from both ends of the political spectrum.

Prime Minister Fisher stated that they were to …be a great convenience to the public, while statements from others within the Labour movement pointed to the substantial additional revenue that the Commonwealth Government had been able to accrue once it assumed authority over the nation’s paper currency.

Objections to Government intervention in the issue of the nation’s circulating currency from Liberals pointed to the likely depreciation in purchasing power that was thought to ensue, as well as a general objection to perceived Commonwealth government interference in the finances of the states.

A Great Convenience to the Public, A Potential Source of Small-Pox To Boot

One of the more colourful objections to the introduction of a smaller denomination to our national circulating currency was voiced in a letter to the editor of Melbourne’s Age newspaper on July 12th, 1913: “One can imagine the sordid history of a ten shilling note first cashed in some vile den in the slums. What a filthy experience it may have gone through. How depraved and disease stricken may be the hands that have caressed it tenderly and parted from it with reluctance and regret. Every doctor has had cases of sore hands and mouths which were suspected as contacts of contaminated paper. The risk of pollution from this source will be accentuated by the advent of the ten shilling denomination. What provision has been made, also, to quarantine notes that have passed through the fingers of Sydney people now stricken down with small-pox? Notes alive with infection may be coming through the post the exchange of money may be a certain means of introducing small-pox to this State.[1]"

So not only is a “Treasury” ten shilling note vital to any collector of Australia’s pre-decimal banknotes, it also heralds the assumption of authority over Australia’s circulating currency by the Commonwealth government.

Beyond that, the Treasury ten shilling note is the first note of this denomination issued by a government anywhere in the world.

The Most Affordable Signature Combination for the Type Note Collector

While there were at least 6 different varieties of Treasury series ten shilling note issued before the Cerutty Collins ten shilling note with bold prefix and suffix letters in the serial numbers was printed, this particular type is the one that most collectors will encounter. It is far more readily available than the Collins Allen ten shilling notes, which means it is the type most often chased by collectors looking for as attractive a representative note as their budget will allow.

This particular note remains in crisp and original condition - remarkable quality for a circulating note that had real purchasing power close to a century ago.

The paper remains firm and strong, each of the edges and corners remain clear and distinct.

All of the original colours remain as-printed - the blues retains life, as does the orange in the centre of the front of the note. (That always fades the longer a note spends in circulation.)

A number of light folds are evident, these do nothing to diminish the note’s appeal. It remains a strong and relatively-affordable example of Australia’s first Commonwealth ten shilling note.

[1] Vort-Ronald; Mick, "Australian Banknotes", Self-published, Adelaide, 1983, p 83.