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IAG Sale Shows Market is Healthy
By Kerry Rodgers
Bank Note Reporter

The dust has settled at Australia's first major auction of 2009. Activity was intense. The strength of the prices realized for the numerous quality items described in February's Bank Note Reporter shows paper money collecting remains a growth industry Down Under. Attendees might be forgiven if they had found themselves asking, "What economic crisis?"

International Auction Galleries Sale No. 69 took place on Sunday, March 8 in the Sofitel Hotel on Queensland's Gold Coast. The paper section of the auction was dominated by Australian issues. Top price of A$425,000 [US$276,000] was paid for the consecutive trio of UNC �1 star (replacement) notes from 1942 signed by Armitage-McFarlane, P26br. With buyer's commission of 16.5 percent added, the total comes to a tidy A$495,125 [US$321,929], the highest price ever paid for a set of Australian star notes.

On the whole, pre-decimal Commonwealth issues sold well. A 1923 Miller-Collins 10 shillings in UNC (P10) was knocked down for A$46,600 [US$30,290]. A consecutive pair of Riddle-Sheehan 1934 10 shillings (P14) in UNC went for A$39,000 [US$25,350]. A consecutive pair of 1927 Riddle-Heathershaw �5s in UNC fetched A$60,000 [US$39,000]. A 1932 Riddle-Sheehan �5 in crisp UNC and one of the finest known made A$81,000 [US$52,650]. And a 1918 Cerutty-Collins �10 in good VF realized A$67,500 [US$43,875].

Among the rarer notes was a red serial Collins-Allen �1 of 1914 (P4a). Although graded just VG+, it is still one of the best extant examples known and took a healthy A$28,500 [US$18,525].

Top of the pops among the singleton pre-decimals was the extraordinary �20 1913 Collins-Allen, P7a. In good EF it is rated as the equal finest known and after some spirited bidding, finally went to a good home for A$239,000 [US$122,350].

Seventeen scarce pre-Federation trading bank notes were on offer. Bidding was highly competitive with none selling for less than A$12,000 [US$7,800]. The five top prices in this segment were:

l �5 Bank of New South Wales issued note, April 1,1881, good VF: A$32,500 [US$21,125]
l �50 Federal Bank of Australia specimen, June 1, 18--, about UNC: A$31,000 [US$20,150].
l �20 Federal Bank of Australia specimen, June 1, 18--, about UNC: $28,200 [US$18,330].
l �1 Bank of Australasia issued note, Jan. 1, 1897, VF: A$28,000 [US$18,200].
l �10 Western Australasia Bank specimen, Jan. 1, 1906: A$25,200 [US$16,380].
The �1 Bank of Australasia item had been purchased many moons ago by a bank manager for �5 and a bottle of scotch.

Notable among a number of decimal specimens was a special black presentation Note Printing of Australia pack containing a polymer $5 1992 and polymer $10 1998 pair. Both notes were in UNC and overprinted specimen. The pack sold for A$51,000 [US$33,150].

World War II Hay Internment Camp notes from 1941 are proving extremely popular among Aussie collectors. Three were on offer in the IAG sale. A sixpenny Epstein-Stahl in about EF took A$13,000 [US$8,450], a one shilling Mendel-Stahl of the same date in good EF made A$20,400 [US$13,260], and a two shillings Mendel-Stahl in about UNC made A$20,800 [US$13,520], the last two selling above estimate.

The sale included numerous rare coins and tokens and on the day the total realized was A$3.5 million [US$2.28 million].

Catalog and prices realized can be downloaded from IAG's Web site at www.iagauctions.com.

 



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