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Spink marks largest note auction

By Kerry Rodgers

Extremely rare National Bank of Egypt, specimen proof £10 of 1946, Not in Pick, that topped Spink’s April sale with a price of $82,695. The note was never issued due to overthrow of King Farouk in July 1952.

Extremely rare National Bank of Egypt, specimen proof £10 of 1946, Not in Pick, that topped Spink’s April sale with a price of $82,695. The note was never issued due to overthrow of King Farouk in July 1952.

On April 15-17 Spink London held its largest ever sale of world bank notes. Buyers from across the globe competed for more than 2,200 lots of issued notes, color trials, composite essays, die proofs and specimens.

The results were impressive. The total realized was $2,887,590 [£1,718,028] with many records broken. At sale’s end matters were neatly summarized by Spink’s Barnaby Faull: “The bank note market is in robust health, particularly in the Middle and Far East.”

Spink had assigned this sale the codename “Farouk” and it was a little known Bank of Egypt proof £10 depicting King Farouk that gave the stellar performance. The price of $82,695 [£49,200] was a world record for any Egyptian bank note sold at auction.

This note is remarkable in carrying the marginal note, “approved letter 26.5.52.” Two months later, on July 27, it was all over for the king. A military coup forced Farouk to abdicate rendering the proposed note surplus to requirements. None were released into circulation.

Also from the Middle East came a Qatar & Dubai Currency Board 50 riyals of 1966, P-5. It took an expected $24,203 [£14,400] in good VF. Currently, all first issue Qatar & Dubai notes command a premium whenever they appear for sale.

But notes from outside the Middle East also did well. In recent years early Norwegian issues have been attracting increasing collector attention. The second highest price of the sale went to an extremely rare Norges Bank specimen 1,000 kroner, Trondhjem dated 18- , P-6s. In about UNC it required $52,439 [£31,200] to get out of Barnaby’s door and go to a new and loving home.

In comparison a super-rare East African Currency Board specimen 500 florins dated May 1, 1920, P-12Bs, made a satisfactory if unspectacular $31,262 [£18,600] in good EF.

Among other top prices from across the globe specimens, trials and die proofs figured prominently testifying to their increasing popularity:

• Barbados, false color specimen $100, P-6s, good VF: $8,068 [£4,800];

• Bermuda £1, Dec. 2, 1914, P-1, good VF: $13,110 [£7,800];

• Bermuda uniface one shilling specimen planned World War II emergency issue, P-6s, good EF: $8,874 [£5,280];

Bermuda specimen uniface one shilling of March 1, 1939, P-6s, that took $8,874. Paper emergency issues of one shilling and two shillings and sixpence were printed to alleviate an expected shortage of coinage in Bermuda during World War II. The notes arrived but were never issued and were subsequently destroyed. The one shilling is the rarer of the two.

Bermuda specimen uniface one shilling of March 1, 1939, P-6s, that took $8,874. Paper emergency issues of one shilling and two shillings and sixpence were printed to alleviate an expected shortage of coinage in Bermuda during World War II. The notes arrived but were never issued and were subsequently destroyed. The one shilling is the rarer of the two.

• Bank of China, $5 Shanghai, June 1, 1912, P-26u, good VF: $17,343 [£10,320]

• Columbia, El Banco Republicano, specimen 100 pesos, c.1899, cf. P-S811, good EF: $13,713 [£8,160];

• Columbia, El Banco de Sopetran, specimen five pesos, c. 1880, cf. P-S846, about UNC: $9,077 [£5,400];

• Cuba, El Banco Espanol de la Habana, specimen 25 pesos, P-21s, good EF: $6,858 [£4,080];

• Cuba, El Banco Espanol de la Isla de Cuba, specimen 1,000 pesos, P-51Bs, about UNC: $6,053 [£3,600];

• East African, specimen 1,000 shillings, Dec. 15, 1921, P-18s, good EF: $12,510 [£7,440];

• Egypt, 50 piastres, Jan. 1, 1899, P-1b, about VF: $20,177 [£12,000];

• Egypt, specimen £5, P-3s, good EF: $8,878 [£5,280];

•Egypt, specimen £100, Sept. 6, 1913, P-16s, good EF: $14,528 [£8,640];

• Egypt, specimen £100, Nov. 24, 1916, P-16s, VF: $10,896 [£6,480];

• France, Tresor Central specimen 5,000 francs, P-110s, good EF: $16,547 [£9,840];

The iconic World War II 5,000 francs of France Libre by Edmond Dulac, P-110s, that realized $16,547 as a specimen.

The iconic World War II 5,000 francs of France Libre by Edmond Dulac, P-110s, that realized $16,547 as a specimen.

• Iraq, 1/2 dinar, July 1, 1931, P-2a, about UNC: $10,896 [£6,480];

• Iraq, 5 dinars, July 1, 1931 , P-4a, VF: $16,546 [£9,840];

• Iraq, 100 dinars, (1935), P-12a, VF: $22,196 [£13,200];

• Iraq, 100 dinars, (1935), P-21a, good VF: $27,241 [£16,200];

• Lebanon, 25 piastres consecutive pair, P-1, UNC: $13,115 [£7,800];

• New Zealand, Bank of New Zealand specimen £100, P-S196s, UNC: $9,684 [£5,760];

• Palestine, die proof 500 mils, July 15, 1940, NIP, EF: $32,280 [£19,200];

• Palestine, false color specimen £1, Sept. 30, 1929, P-7bcs, good EF: $19,166 [£11,400];

• Palestine, uniface trial £50, NIP, UNC: $56,491 [£33,600];

• Palestine, die proof £100, cf. P-11c, good EF: $44,386 [£26,400];

• Philippines, specimen 50 pesos fuertes, Jan. 1, 1865 (Isabel II), P-A3s, EF: $10,491 [£6,240];

• Qatar & Dubai, 25 riyals, P-4, about VF: $26,229 [£15,600];

• Spain, specimen 4,000 reales, May 1, 1862, NIP, about EF: $15,132 [£9,000];

• Spain, specimen 50 pesetas, Jan. 1, 1875, P-7s, about UNC: $27,239 [£16,200].

Full catalog details and prices realized can be found at the Spink website: www.spink.com. A 20 percent commission has been added to the hammer prices and is included in the amounts cited here. An exchange rate of £1 = $1.68 has been used to convert the British pound amounts.

One of the rarest notes in the Norwegian series: the Norges Bank specimen 1,000 kroner, P-6s, that sold for $52,439.

One of the rarest notes in the Norwegian series: the Norges Bank specimen 1,000 kroner, P-6s, that sold for $52,439.

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