1953 R33S One Pound Coombs/Wilson Uncirculated
Fantastic body, with a truly impressive provenance to boot.
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One Pound Star Replacement Note 1953
Type: Commonwealth Bank
Signatures: Coombs / Wilson
Provenance: Ex John Fife and Deutscher
Fantastic body and a truly impressive provenance.
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 Reserve Bank of Australia was brought into being in 1960, so any Queen Elizabeth II star replacement notes issued with the Commonwealth Bank designation were printed and issued between 1953 and 1960.
The exact mintage figure of this note is not known, however research by Mick Vort Ronald indicates that it is in the region of 9 million notes. While that number does seem to be staggeringly high, we must keep in mind that more than half a billion Commonwealth Bank £1 notes were printed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. (Yes that number does start with a B!) This means that the R33s star replacement notes are 300 times rarer than the standard R33 £1 notes that they replaced.
Keith Deutscher - A Passionate and Dedicated Collector
Keith Deutscher was a passionate and dedicated collector of Australian currency notes - his collection easily rates among the finest and most comprehensive collections of Australian banknotes ever formed. It contained a number of incredible banknote rarities that are seldom seen - the overall quality of the notes in the Deutscher collection were also quite high.
The Deutscher collection was auctioned in Melbourne by Max Stern on July 28th, 1977 - the importance of the collection was highlighted by the fact it was listed in a dedicated catalogue, which was a very rare privilege during that era.
Prior to exiting his collection of banknotes, Deutscher founded the "The Wedgwood Society of Australia" in 1973, an organisation founded for people "interested in the products of Josiah Wedgwood, FRS (1730–1795) and his successors."
Deutscher went on to write "The Breweries of Australia - A History", a book that “...gives, in minute detail, the history of every single brewery that has operated in Australia since colonisation." The second edition of this comprehensive work was published in 2012 and is keenly used as a reference work in the craft beer industry to this day.
John Fife - A Discerning Dealer in Australian Coins and Banknotes
John Fife was a dealer in Australian coins and banknotes, experienced collectors of Australian notes are aware that notes with the Fife provenance are more often than not rare and in superior quality - this Elizabeth II star replacement note is no exception at all.
This note retains fantastic paper quality - it remains crisp and is very strong. The simultan and intaglio colours remain bold, bright and original. It is entirely devoid of any flicks, folds or bends - it easily makes the Uncirculated quality designation.
Our auction research into this note shows that it is one of perhaps just two R33s notes in this quality seen at auction over the past decade at least.
It is a rare and historic note, and is worthy of the finest collection of Australian currency notes.