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Rarities abound in upcoming sales

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Named “The Philadelphia Collection,” William M. Rosenblum is preparing to auction what he considers to be “one of the best, most impressive and varied collections of major rarities of Israeli, Palestine, Egyptian and WWII materials” his firm has ever offered.

A Palestine Currency Board 1927 five pound color trial note is featured in the upcoming sales.

A Palestine Currency Board 1927 five pound color trial note is featured in the upcoming sales.

Rosenblum will be presenting “The Philadelphia Collection” over the course of several auctions, the first scheduled to open in mid-October and close Nov. 13.

“This truly is the best overall collection I’ve ever offered via auction in my 44-year career,” Rosenblum said. “Many of the items have passed through my hands before. It’s also quite a sentimental collection. Not only did I help procure many of these pieces for the collector, several were sold to him by my father.”

Palestine highlights include a 1927 Palestine double proof set in the original case. It was part of the Sidney Olson collection sold by NASCA in August 1978.

This uncolored proof Palastine Currency Board five pounds is slated for sale.

This uncolored proof Palastine Currency Board five pounds is slated for sale.

Palestine Currency Board notes in high grade are featured in this collection, including examples of the 500 mils, and the one-, five- and 10-pound notes. Also being offered is a five-pound 1927 color trial note in blue, not the issued orange; an uncolored five pound proof; and a set of six Thomas de La Rue & Co. specimens from their archives, which include all six denominations with 000000 serial numbers (four of the notes, including the 50 pound note, are dated 1927 while the 100 pound note is in green).

Among the Egyptian notes being auctioned are a 1918 50 piastres with a sphinx at left; a uniface 50 pound proof depicting a caravan of camels with tombs in the background; a large and high grade 100 pound note featuring the citadel at Cairo, a mosque and a sail boat; and a choice five piastres note of 1917.

Israeli coins, paper and medals are the crux of the collection and include the famous provisional issues of 1948, the rare inverted signature of the 100 pruta Neeman-Eshkol fractional of 1952 and “perhaps the most important and inclusive offering ever of Israel specimens, trials, proofs, progress notes and errors.”

An Israel 1948 provisional issue 10 Palestine pounds.

An Israel 1948 provisional issue 10 Palestine pounds.

A group of five early Israeli fractional notes, all with the exact same low serial number, are being tendered. According to Rosenblum, occasionally two fractional notes with the same serial number are seen but not five. Rosenblum’s father sold the set to the Philadelphia collector almost 30 years ago.

The Philadelphia collector, who has since passed, also collected tokens and paper issues of concentration camps, ghettos, displaced persons camps, transit camps and other issues associated with World War II and later. Among seldom-seen items being sold are lead patterns from the Lodz Ghetto, two different issues of Cyprus Canteen chits, and a note from Gross-Rosen.

The collection features an “error or test” 50 mark Lodz Ghetto, which was printed on a note with an extra wide margin and without a serial number. Rosenblum says he first offered this note for sale in the November 1982 NICE III sale, later repurchasing it, sold it in a subsequent auction prior to 1995 and is now offering it again via this auction. It is the plate note in Silent Witnesses: Civilian Camp Money of World War II, by Ray and Steve Feller.

The sales will also contain “a large and varied offering of ‘Kollel’ notes.” Kollel notes, Rosenblum said, “are basically promissory notes issued to support students studying in the Holy Land during the last years of the Ottoman Empire. The notes were usually backed by either communities in Europe or notables living in the Holy Land.”

A one shekel trial note.

A one shekel trial note.

A few other areas that are strong in the collection are emergency small change tokens used in both the British Palestine Mandate as well as the young state of Israel from the early 1940s through the early 1950s, stock certificates and other large financial instruments used in the Holy Land during Ottoman and British rule and a number of letters, documents and signed photographs.

Most of the auction lots are slated to be available for viewing at Rosenblum’s table at the Denver Coin Expo, Oct. 23-26, at the National Western Complex in Denver.

A printed catalog will be sent free to Rosenblum’s regular clients. Others can reserve the catalog (with prices realized to follow) for $15 for U.S. delivery or $25 elsewhere. An online version will also be available.

For more information, email, telephone 720-981-0785 or visit The firm’s mailing address is William M. Rosenblum LLC, P.O. Box 785, Littleton CO 80160-0785.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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