Paper Money a Highlight of Sale
By Kerry Rodgers
More than 800
lots of paper money were featured in Noble
Numismatics first sale of 2009, conducted in
downtown Sydney, Australia, from March 31 to
April 2. Along with a wealth of Australian and
New Zealand issues there was a wide range of
other world notes, with particular interest
directed to a large offering of wartime paper
money and chits that formed part of the
extensive John Malcolm collection of military
currency. These included a range of notes from
POW and internment camps in India, South Africa
and the United Kingdom.
The main lots of paper came to the block on
April 1. The action quickly warmed up with sale
of two Indian George V 100 rupees. Both took
$4,300, the first drawn on Bombay, P-10a, and
the second on Calcutta, P-10d.
These were soon followed by one of the more
significant offerings of New Zealand private
bank issues seen for some years, 55 notes in
all. Top price was paid for a Bank of Auckland
first issue �1, dated July 4, 1865, P-S106. In
VG it fetched $10,750. Its price was later
matched by a third-issue Bank of New Zealand �10
with an obscured date, P-S193, in good F, one of
only two known to still exist.
A �1 from the curious and obscure Bank of
Aoteoroa, P-S101, made an unexpected and very
rare appearance. It was the Pick plate note and
is heavily marred by stains and/or burns. Graded
Fair it went for $6,610.
New Zealand Reserve Bank specimens all sold
well. Notable were three UNC sets signed by R.N.
Fleming. Highest price of $14,475 was paid for a
10 shillings to �10 bearing the 108 prefix,
P-158d-161d. A second set but from 10 shillings
to �50 and with the 8Y prefix, P-158d-162d, made
$8,685. A third, consisting of two notes each
$1-$100, P-163a-168, went for $11,340. A single,
0/U prefix, �50 T.P. Hanna specimen, P-162a, in
EF+ fetched $4,800 after some spirited bidding
Cherrypickers were out in force for the
Australian section of the auction, with buyers
extremely focused as to those items they were
prepared to pay top dollar for.
First up were three lots of extremely rare
1814-1819 New South Wales Police Fund notes. An
uncut �1/10shillings pair in Fair-VG went for a
tidy $6,285 on a similar estimate. These were
followed by an engraved copper plate by Samuel
Clayton for printing Bank of New South Wales (BNSW)
10 shillings notes circa 1819. It took $12,400.
The best price among the Australian private bank
issues of $13,650 went to an issued BNSW �5
dated April 2, 1883 and drawn on Sydney in about
VF. A similar �5 specimen, but drawn on Adelaide
and in EF took $9,100. The Mercantile Bank of
Sydney was not to be outdone with a �1 specimen
of its Jan. 1, 1877 issue in good EF taking
Among Australian Commonwealth bank notes,
consecutive pairs, trios and other runs of high
quality notes are proving popular. The way was
led early in this section with a 10 shillings
pair circa 1936 of P-19 in UNC that made $8,440
on a $5,790 estimate. These were quickly trumped
by a �1 pair from 1923 that consisted of two the
finest known examples of P-11b. In UNC they
fetched an eye-watering $28,125.
In contrast a run of four �1 circa 1932, P-16d,
in EF+ could obtain just a miserly $14,060, with
a run of 10 shillings of P-25d (1952) in about
UNC managing a mere $6,200 for the 10 notes.
Sequential runs in the decimal series also
proved trendy with a $5 trio, P-39b, in about
UNC taking $12,400.
Notable among the singletons was a �5 (1918),
P-5b, in about EF that realized $12,400, with a
�10 (1927), P-14, in good EF taking $10,270. In
the decimals one of the finest known examples of
$5, P-39a, in about UNC went home for $10,750.
Star (replacement) notes are still in demand,
although the cherrypicking fraternity was
particularly single minded even here. A 10
shillings* (1942), P-25b, in good VF obtained
$11,990 but its equivalent �1* (1942), P-26b, in
superior good EF grade, managed $23,575.
The Australian specimens included one
historically important set. It consisted of
$1-$50, P-42d-47d, and had been presented to V.G.
Wooding for forestalling a major currency note
theft on Sept. 21, 1982. It was accompanied by a
presentation card signed by Johnston, governor
of the Reserve Bank of Australia at the time,
and one of the signatories of the notes. This
set went for a healthy $86,025.
Military paper aficionados had an early treat
when a rare WWI Australia/German New Guinea, 10
marks drawn on Australian Treasury, P-2b, came
up for grabs. In about F it fetched $7,030. But
finally came the hour of the John Malcolm
collection paper. The range of paper items on
offer showed John had true collector's bent.
Beer chits jostled with rare specimen sets.
Typical of the former were.
Main interest centered on three sets. The first
was a Great Britain British Military Authority
undated (1943) specimen set: 6d, 1/-, 2/6, 5/-,
10/-, �1, PM1-P-M6. Fresh, flat and in UNC they
easily took $2,480 on their $248 estimate.
Second up was set of five Isle of Man World War
II Civilian Internment Camps issues: 3d, 6d,
1/-, 2/6, 5s (Feller & Feller IM1400-1404). All
notes were unstamped for specific use by any one
camp. In UNC they were bid up to $3,600 on a
Thirdly was a Libya British Military Authority
Tripolitania specimen set five to 1,000 lire
circa 1943, P-M3s-M8s. An agitated and badly
out-of-breath prospective buyer rushed into the
auction room just as this set was about to be
knocked down. He held his card firm and high
while trying to get focused and recover his
wind. It seems his train had been delayed. His
determination paid off as he claimed this UNC
set for $3,475. He also secured the scarce
issued Tripolitania 1,000 lire (1943), P-M8a, in
good VF-about EF for $1,570.
Military collectors may well wish to check out
the range of items in the Malcolm collection and
the prices realized. They, and other interested
parties may do so at the Noble's Web site:
www.noble.com.au. A buyer's premium of 15
percent is included in all the prices cited