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World rarities crown April Spink sale

A major treat awaits collectors of world paper come mid-April. The contents of four major collections provide the focus of Spink London’s Apr. 17-18 sale.

Leading the charge is yet another tranche from the remarkable Ibrahim Salem Collection. This time around, Part I of his holdings of the British Commonwealth is on offer. This segment of the sale will occupy the entire morning of Apr. 17 commencing at 10 a.m. It has its own catalog.

One note stands out here. How do low serial number collectors feel about a Bermuda George VI £5 carrying serial A000001 (P-12)?

Ultimate rarity: Bermuda £5 of George VI with serial A000001. In PMG-58 Choice About Unc, the estimate is an eye-watering £40,000-60,000. (Image courtesy and © Spink, London)

This is the brown issue, by the way, not the orange. It comes in PMG-58 Choice About Unc with an estimate of £40,000-60,000 [1GBP = 1.3USD].

And that’s just for starters.

Seldom seen, let alone offered: Burmese George V 100 rupees overprint of 1937 (P-3a). Graded PMG-25 Very Fine, it has an estimate of £20,000-25,000. (Image courtesy and © Spink, London)

The auction of the “General World” catalog follows in the afternoon of Apr. 17, with the main body on Apr. 18. This portion of the sale includes the Drs. Dauer Collection of Burma, Ceylon, and India. Among items cataloged to date is a rare Burmese George V 100 rupees overprint of 1937 (P-3a). In a highly collectible PMG-25 Very Fine, it has an estimate of £20,000-25,000.

Kingdom of Poland first issue 1000 zlotych of 1794 ex-Pflummer collection (P-A7). In aEF, the estimate is £6,000-6,500. (Image courtesy and © Spink, London)

The long-anticipated Alan Cole Collection of Poland is also a significant feature of the main catalog. It includes some classic Kingdom of Poland rarities such as a 1 zloty of 1794 (P-A10) and 500 (P-A6) and 1000 zlotych (P-A7) assignats also of 1794. The 1000 zlotych is from the first issue plate A and ex-Pflummer collection. It grades aEF with a conservative £6,000-6,500 estimate.

Of particular interest from the Muszynski Collection of Sub-Saharan Africa is the wide range of French colonial-related currencies.

WWII pearl of great price: extremely rare Gouvernement General de l’Afrique Équatoriale Française 1000 francs of 25 October 1940 (P-4). It carries an estimate of £12,000-16,000 in PMG-55 About Unc. (Image courtesy and © Spink, London)

These include WWII emergency issues such as a choice example of an extremely rare Gouvernement General de l’Afrique Équatoriale Française Bon de Caisse 1000 francs dated 25 October 1940 (P-4). Unpriced in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, it carries an estimate of £12,000-16,000 in PMG-55 About Unc.

These collections apart, the general catalog well deserves a careful reading by any world collector. Spink’s Master Hunter-Gatherer, Barnaby Faull, has outdone himself.

For example, South African collectors may wish to check out the specimen of an unrecorded 5 shillings from the Standard Bank dated 1 January 1912. Unlisted in either SCWPM or Hearn, its estimate is £3,500-4,500.

And for those lacking a Zanzibar 20 rupees dated 1928, there is a false color specimen. However, prospective bidders should note that the estimate stands at £60,000-80,000 commensurate with recent sales of the few Zanzibar rarities still extant.

Full details of both catalogs are available at www.spink.com. Those wishing to participate in any of these sales via the Spink Live bidding facility should ensure they are registered on the company’s website well in advance.

And in case any collector of British notes feels they may have been overlooked, given the welter of world rarities on offer in April, they need have no concern. Two of the finest English collections extant are scheduled for the block in May: those of Lou Manzi and A.J. Simms.


This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.


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