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5 Pounds 1954, Australia

in Krause book Number: 31a
Years of issue: 1954 - 1959
Edition: 141 120 000
Signatures: Governor, Reserve bank of Australia: Mr. H. C. Coombs, Secretary to the Treasury: Mr.Roland Wilson
Serie: 1953 - 1954 Issue
Specimen of: 1954
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 167.64 x 78.74
Printer: Note printing works at Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Melbourne (1924 - 1981)

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

5 Pounds 1954



Captain James Cook

Captain James Cook, The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, The Royal Navy (7 November 1728 - 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.


Behind each signature is an inscription - FIVE.


5 Pounds 1954

Sir John Franklin

The engraving is made, probably, from this portrait of Sir John Franklin. The author is unknown.

This engraving of Sir John Franklin made by Mr. D.J. Pound from a photograph, from "The Drawing-Room of Eminent Personages, Volume 2", published in London, 1860 by John Jabez Edwin Paisley Mayall.

Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin KCH FRGS RN (16 April 1786 - 11 June 1847) was a British Royal Navy officer and explorer of the Arctic. Franklin also served as Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) from 1837 to 1843. He disappeared on his last expedition, attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. The icebound ships were abandoned and the entire crew perished from starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning and scurvy.

Franklin was later present at a number of historic voyages and naval battles. These included the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801; an expedition to explore the coast of Australia on HMS "Investigator" with his uncle, Captain Matthew Flinders; a return to the Napoleonic Wars, serving aboard HMS "Bellerophon" at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805; and he was at the Battle of New Orleans.

He accompanied Captain Dance on the East India Company's ship the Earl Camden, frightening off Admiral Linois at the Battle of Pulo Aura in the straits of Malacca on 14 February 1804.

Sir John Franklin was one of the most distinguished men to be appointed Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land. Although he arrived in the state amid much fanfare, he left the post maligned, betrayed and exhausted.

Born in 1786, Franklin was as famous for his exploration of the arctic as he was for his military service. He received a knighthood in the 1820s and was even a Fellow of the Royal Society - no mean feat for a self made man in the early 19th century.

It was therefore somewhat ironic that it was Franklin's reputation which proved to be his biggest obstacle. Such was the high expectation of the public, Franklin could never please everyone.

Unlike the previous Lieutenant Governor, George Arthur, Franklin was a sympathetic individual who preferred to make friends with his enemies rather than sideline them.

One of Franklin's first tasks was to implement a new convict labour system called 'probation' which essentially meant an end to the free work performed by inmates for the free settlers.

Although he had no choice in the matter, the new system ruffled more than a few feathers in the colony.

The other problem faced by Franklin was a financial depression which many in Van Diemen's Land blamed on probation. Banks failed, prices for goods hit an all-time low, trade declined and labour prices went up.

"The 1840s were a bad time," said Dr Stefan Petrow from the department of History and Classics at the University of Tasmania.

"The merchants were upset, the land and interest were upset, there is bankruptcy and everyone blames Franklin. It's a very conflict ridden society at this time," said Dr Petrow.

Along with the monetary woes of the settlement there was also a strong sense of anxiety amongst the colonists that the new 'probation' system would fail and the convicts would escape and run amok.

Despite the general feeling of apprehension in Hobart Town, Franklin remained committed to promoting education and culture.

"He firmly believed education was a way of getting over the bitterness and divisions within society. He's interested in improving the education system and is more or less the founder of education in Tasmania as Arthur was the founder of the police force," Dr Petrow said.

"He set up the Tasmanian History Society and even did some exploring."

To add to his problems, Franklin's superiors felt his wife, Lady Jane Franklin, was too influential on policy. Such was the concern of the colonial office the matter was raised in London.

"He is left humiliated by the fact he does not run the colony as well as he would have liked. He is humiliated at the accusation his wife runs the colony," Dr Petrow explained.

Eventually Franklin was recalled having spent six years as Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land. "He doesn't leave in celebration, he leaves with his tail between his legs," said Dr.Petrow.

In order to redeem his reputation Franklin set out to complete the charting of the Northwest Passage. It was to be his final voyage.

Although mystery still surrounds the fate of the expedition rumours of cannibalism were rife when Franklin did not return.

Lady Jane encouraged the admiralty to send a search party but by the time they responded all hope of finding the missing vessels and crew were gone. (936 ABC Hobart)


In top left corner is Australian coat of arms.

The coat of arms of Australia (formally known as Commonwealth Coat of Arms) is the official symbol of Australia. The initial coat of arms was granted by King Edward VII on 7 May 1908, and the current version was granted by King George V on 19 September 1912, although the 1908 version continued to be used in some contexts.

In the top half of the shield, from left to right, the states represented are: New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. In the bottom half, from left to right: South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania. Above the shield is the seven-pointed Commonwealth Star or Star of Federation above a blue and gold wreath, forming the crest. Six of the points on the star represent the original six states, while the seventh point represents the combined territories and any future states of Australia. In its entirety the shield represents the federation of Australia.

The Red Kangaroo and Emu that support the shield are the unofficial animal emblems of the nation. They owe this recognition to the fact that they are native Australian fauna (found only on that continent), and likely chosen because they are the most well-known native Australian animals large enough to be positioned together in scale holding up the shield. It is often claimed these animals were chosen because neither animal can move backward, only forward - i.e. progress. In reality both animals can move backwards, but infrequently do. In the background is wreath of Golden Wattle, the official national floral emblem, though the representation of the species is not botanically accurate.At the bottom of the coat of arms is a scroll that contains the name of the nation. Neither the wreath of wattle nor the scroll are technically part of the official design described on the Royal Warrant that grants the armorial design.


The coat of arms surrounded (also along left side vertically) by Hakea leaves. Hakea is a genus of 149 species of shrubs and small trees in the Proteaceae, native to Australia. They are found throughout the country, with the highest species diversity being found in the south west of Western Australia. Hakeas are named after Baron Christian Ludwig von Hake, the XVIII century German patron of botany, following Heinrich Schrader's description of Hakea teretifolia in 1797.

Denominations in words are big centered and in lower part of banknote. In numerals are in all corners and, repeatedly, in center.


5 Pounds 1954

Centered are Aboriginal artifacts: two combat shields and boomerang.

Typically, beautifully painted shield, greater than one meter long, had a beeswax at the top left, which has been used to fill in and repair gashes in the wood from battle scars.

Around are the presentations of main industries of Australia - Livestock (bull and cow), pastoral ("Australian merino") and, as symbol of fertility, there are many fruits, such as: pears, apples, oranges, pineapple, bananas, grapes, lemons.

Top, in center, is Australian wheat "Federation".

Behind lower denominations, on background, are sea shells and pearls, symbolizing wealth of Australia.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners..


Governor of Commonwealth / Reserve Bank of Australia Mr. H. C. Coombs was in the office from

January 1949 till 1968.

Secretary to the Treasury Mr.Roland Wilson from April 1951 till October 1966.

Designed by the Note Printing Branch of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (which was Australia's note-issuing authority in 1953), with assistance from the artist Napier Waller and the sculptor Leslie Bowles.