The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.

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Collection of banknotes, tokens and coins

Coins, banknotes and medals provide important insights into the issuing government's values and how it wishes to be perceived. Nationalistic in character, they are frequently admired for their artistic and technological merit. Indeed, the critical importance of security has meant that their production methods are generally cutting edge. While some coins, banknotes and medals are valued for their rarity, most are commonplace. They are a tangible reminder of changes in nation states, deposed and …


Object No.


Object Statement

Collection of numismatic material, banknotes (23), tokens (5) and coins (4), paper / metal, various makers and issuers, Republic of Biafra / Belgian Congo / Dominion of Canada / Israel / Morocco / Mozambique / Nigeria / Nova Scotia, 1848-1974

Physical Description

Numismatic material, including banknotes (23), tokens (5), coins (4), paper / metal, various makers, Republic of Biafra / Belgian Congo / Dominion of Canada / Israel / Morocco / Mozambique / Nigeria / Nova Scotia, 1848-1974








See parts for production notes



Bill Bush developed an emotional attachment to Australia through his many visits here as a Merchant seaman during and after WWII. During his visits to ports around the world Bill Bush collected banknotes, even managing in some ports such as Sydney to arrange with friends working in banks to set aside unusual notes that he would later exchange for face value. Eventually what became an extremely valuable collection would be donated to the Powerhouse but Bill Bush's first involvement with the Museum was in the mid 1960s when he donated a table decorated with Australian 1937 and 1938 Crown coins. This was followed in 1976 by very rare examples of Cocos Island ivory-currency. These two initial gifts unwittingly provided an insight into the eccentric character of Bill Bush who delighted in the unusual and rare; happily resulting in excellent choices of which NSW and the Museum are now the custodians.


Credit Line

Gift of the late William D Bush, 2008

Acquisition Date

15 September 2008

Cite this Object


Collection of banknotes, tokens and coins 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 7 June 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Collection of banknotes, tokens and coins |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=7 June 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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