Aust. Banknotes Commonwealth Issues - Pre Decimal


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Lot 2516    SESSION 10 (7.30PM TUESDAY 31ST AUGUST)    Aust. Banknotes Commonwealth Issues - Pre Decimal

Estimate $125,000

TEN SHILLINGS, Collins/Allen (1913) M000054/55 (R.1b), a presentation consecutive note pair, with presentation letter, Melbourne, 5 July 1913, to W.N.Hedges 'Dunboe', Sackville Street, Kew East, signed by the Secretary to the Treasury, Geo.T.Allen. Two rounded corners, a repaired tone spot top margin at left, two pin holes on the first note, otherwise nearly extremely fine, the second note a full note with printer's guide lines in all four corners of the front, extremely fine or better and extremely rare in this condition, one of the finest known, both very rare and excessively rare as a consecutive pair with letter. (2)

Ex Noble Numismatics Sale 98 (lots 4502 and 4503), the first note ex M.P.Vort-Ronald Collection, Spink Australia Sale 24 (lot 14), the second purchased from M.R.Roberts, Dec 1988 which bought with the previous numbered note made a pair. B.Winsor located this second note and the presentation letter in Western Australia per Joel Jeffrey.

William Noah Hedges, originally baptised Noah William Hedges, was born in Hertfordshire, England on 16 July 1856. In 1878 he migrated to Australia where he worked as a contractor in stone quarries. Later he contracted as a builder and building repairer in Mount Barker, South Australia where he served on the Mount Barker District Council and Road Board. On 4 April 1884 he married Elizabeth Paterson at Wistow and they had three sons and three daughters. After several years of building wharves and other works for railways and ports he moved to Western Australia in 1893 where he once again was involved in public works before acquiring a large share in a timber and firewood company of which he became managing director. He also acquired farming properties including Koolberrin near Narembeen and a farm in South Australia near Lake Alexandrina.

In 1897 Hedges constructed the Karalee rock catchment and reservoir. This was the fourth largest of the railway catchment reservoirs and was used by the goldfields steam trains between Southern Cross and Coolgardie. It held 48.3 million litres of water in an earth dam and was used by steam locomotives until 1953 when diesel locomotives were introduced. In 1999 this area was vested in the National Trust (WA) and is an attraction for visitors, picnickers and campers.

Also, there is a railway siding named Hedges Siding. Located on the cross country line from Merredin to Narrogin via Kondinin, situated between Narembeen and South Kumminin it was originally called Koolberrin after Hedges farm a few miles west of the railway line. This farm was about 22,000 acres at its peak. As well as producing wheat and running sheep, Hedges also used the farm to produce chaff for feeding his horses used on the WA Goldfields Firewood Supply Company woodline.

In 1904 Hedges made an unsuccessful attempt to enter parliament contesting the Legislative Assembly seat of Yilgarn running as a Ministerial Party candidate. This loss did not deter him and in 1906 running as a candidate for the Western Australian Party he won the seat of Fremantle in the House of Representatives. He retained this seat in 1910 as a representative of the newly formed Commonwealth Liberal Party but lost it in 1913 to Labor's Reginald Burchell. There is a printed version of one of his speeches made during parliamentary debates on 21 November 1912 on the subject of supply (Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta Railway). It was published in book format by the Government Printer, Melbourne. Following the death of John Forrest in 1918 Hedges made two unsuccessful attempts in 1918 and again in 1919 to win Forrest's federal seat of Swan as a Nationalist candidate. When Burchell retired in 1922 Hedges tried to regain the seat of Fremantle that he had held until 1913 but failed. In that same year his wife died. Thereafter he began to commute regularly to South Australia and Victoria.
In 1922 Hedges authored a book titled, 'A practical scheme for land settlement in Western Australia' which was published by R S Sampson in Perth. In 1923 he built the homestead, Highland Valley, in the southwest of Western Australia. The property unique in its style was the hub of the 4,916 hectare property with extensive landscaping and gardens and one of the finest lawn tennis courts in the southwest. Hedges was appointed President of the Western Australian Employers Federation in 1929 and at one time was also President of the Central Council of Employers of Australia. William Noah Hedges died in a private hospital in Claremont on 21 November 1935 and is buried at Karrakatta Cemetery. Representatives of almost every commercial, professional and administrative activity including many prominent political figures in Western Australia attended his funeral.

The first five hundred ten shillings notes were set aside for Federal members of parliament in what Greg McDonald's catalogue (22nd Ed p400) refers to as the 'A' list. As federal member for Fremantle, William Hedges applied for and paid for his notes. Note numbers M000054 and M000055 were issued to him together with an accompanying letter from one of the note signatories, George T.Allen, who was Secretary to the Treasury.

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 22% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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