Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd > Auction 130Auction date: 26 July 2022
Lot number: 298

Price realized: 1,000 AUD   (Approx. 696 USD / 687 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


Licensed Boatman, Sydney, 1863, badge in silver (oval 55x62mm), in the centre is inscribed the license number '98' and below Sydney is inscribed the recipient's name, 'Thomas Fielder', with two securing loops on reverse, one near the top edge and one near the bottom edge, reverse inscribed, 'Presented/by G Hall junr/as a Mark of Esteem/March 2nd 1863'. Good very fine and rare.

Licensed boatmen provided a ferry service in rowing boats in Sydney Cove and Darling Harbour, for example by rowing across Sydney Harbour from points such as Millers Point (south side) to Blues Point (north side).

The regulations stated that the boatman had to register his name and place of abode at the Police Office and then receive a badge which was to be worn on the left breast of his coat or jacket. The boatman also had to have his name and place of abode painted in one inch long letters on the inside of the gunwale of the stern of his boat and also on the inside of the gunwale of the fore sheets.

See article in The Australiana Society, Australiana magazine, Vol 29 No 1, February 2007, Licensed Boatman badges by Les Carlisle. In this article is recorded that the Licensed Boatman badges for Sydney known to still exist total 9, numbered between 95 and 638, including one with details unknown. Thomas Fielder No.98 is recorded, one of only 4 in private collections and is the second lowest number known. The lowest number being No.95 to George Prince in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney.

Estimate: 1350 AUD