Australia: Rejected pre-decimal designs of 1937/8

Started by <k>, October 07, 2011, 02:27:41 PM

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<k>

In 1938 Australia released a new series of designs for its pre-decimal circulation coins. These designs were created by Royal Mint engraver George Kruger-Gray.

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<k>

The Australian commercial artist Douglas Annand also entered the initial competition to provide preliminary designs for the series.



Below you can see his kangaroo designs, intended for the two shillings and/or the sixpence.

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<k>

Douglas Annand also produced a wheat design for the threepence, which differs from the eventual accepted wheat design created by Kruger-Gray.
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<k>

This design of a ram for the shilling was also by Douglas Annand. The issued shilling design has always been ascribed to Kruger-Gray, but the ram itself bears a very close resemblance to Annand's preliminary design.



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<k>

Kruger-Gray's preliminary design for the sixpence shows a larger coat of arms than in the finished design.
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<k>

Though the Australian pre-decimal coins form a fine set, I am disappointed that the coat of arms was used both on the sixpence and the florin.

Here is a delightful koala design for the sixpence, created by Kruger-Gray. What a superb design! Why wasn't it used?
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<k>

Here we see some more designs presented by Kruger-Gray. The threepence and shilling look very similar to the eventually accepted designs. However, we now see the koala on the halfpenny, and a beautiful design of a running emu, intended for the sixpence. I photographed these designs in the National Archives, London. Unfortunately there was no larger photo of the emu design - my suspicion is that it has been lost or stolen.
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<k>

On this alternative photo of the same set shown in the previous image, you can see some of Kruger-Gray's alternative designs for the florin.
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<k>

#8
Compared to the New Zealand pre-decimal set, which was also designed by Kruger-Gray, I have always found the Australian set to be something of a disappointment. In the first place, the Australian set does not have a half crown - apparently the Australians did not like that denomination. Secondly, the same kangaroo design is used on both the halfpenny and the penny - they simply face in opposite directions. Thirdly, the sixpence and the florin both use a similar design of the coat of arms with supporters. Finally, the wheat stalks on the threepence are uninspired when compared to the shilling and penny designs.

These rejected designs show that it could all have been so different. Just imagine if Kruger-Gray's koala halfpenny and emu sixpence designs had been used. The resulting set would have looked much more balanced. I mourn the loss of this opportunity.

And apparently there are more of Douglas Annand's design sketches in existence in Australia, though I was only able to find one. It is said that he also prepared a platypus design. A platypus eventually appeared on Australia's decimal 20 cents coin, but I would love to see Mr Annand's design too.
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andyg

Quote from: coffeetime on October 07, 2011, 03:00:11 PM
Secondly, the same kangaroo design is used on both the halfpenny and the penny - they simply face in the opposite direction.

The Kangaroo was first used on the penny, then added to the ½d from late 1939 - perhaps it was running back by then?

(Any ideas why the 1938/39 ½d has the George V design?)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

<k>

Quote from: andyg on October 07, 2011, 07:01:04 PM

Any ideas why the 1938/39 ½d has the George V design?


I've no idea and have not read any reasons for it. You'll notice that New Zealand didn't add the penny and halfpenny to its set until 1940, though the rest of the designs were issued in 1933.
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translateltd

Quote from: coffeetime on October 07, 2011, 08:27:13 PM
You'll notice that New Zealand didn't add the penny and halfpenny to its set until 1940,

Actually late 1939 (the bronze coins were post-dated), just for the record :-)


<k>

An Australian correspondent and writer on numismatics, T. Vincent Verheyen, kindly forwarded me this koala penny design by Douglas Annand. Vince tells me, "It was actually rejected because of its resemblance to an Australian politician of the times, the prime minister Joe Lyons!"



Joseph Lyons, Australian prime minister from 1932 to 1939.
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<k>

Here is a lyre bird sixpence design of 1946, by S V Hagley. I am grateful to T. Vincent Verheyen, an Australian writer and researcher into numismatics, for providing me with this image.
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Figleaf

That one appeals to me. Funny note: with bad eyesight you can't tell if the bird's butt is pointing towards you or away from you.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.