National Bank of Australasia (Perth) 1893
One Pound Unissued Specimen Note
Reference #: MVR# 4
Although the NBA operated in WA from 1866, no issued notes are known from this bank and domicile.
The National Bank of Australasia (NBA) was formed by a group of Melbourne businessmen in October 1857. The bank's stated aims were "...to financially assist merchants, traders, manufacturers, settlers, agriculturists and miners, as well as any other of the industrial classes."
Interestingly, the NBA opened it's first Perth branch in 1866, yet it did not open a branch in Sydney until 1885.
The notes of the NBA are among the most prolific in the entire Australian pre-federation note series and feature some of the most attractive designs.
The notes of the NBA differ by state - while the designs remain largely the same regardless of which colony or state the note was issued in, each different state was identified not only by a notation of the domicile (either by the state or city of issue), but also by a different female figure personifying that state.
Although one online source states that "Western Australian notes show a more buxom female resting her arms on the head of an axe", it doesn't matter how many beers I have, I simply can't see the level of detail that author was referring to...
Like so many others, the NBA suspended trading following the land speculation boom and bust in 1893. Several mergers over the next century later, the NBA is now not only one of Australia's largest banks, but also one of it's largest companies.
Mick Vort Ronald's research shows that there have been just 5 equivalent specimens of this denomination from this bank seen on the open market.
While it can fairly be said that prices for notes in the Australian pre-federation note series somewhat ran away from reality leading up to 2012, now that supply and demand is evenly spread throughout the market (in Australia and across the world), these notes are now trading at levels that informed collectors see as being solid value for money.
Sangropers being a patriotic bunch, notes with a West Australian domicile have held up better than those from other states.
This particular specimen note has extremely light paper - it is literally paper-thin. Despite that characteristic, it is as Unc as these specimens come.
It is a superb reminder of Western Australia's colonial economy prior to Federation.
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