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