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Essays among attractions at Spink auction

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By Kerry Rodgers

Spink London’s sale in early December provided collectors with a pleasant interlude in the lead up to Christmas. As expected, the substantial number of essays, trials, proofs, and specimens on offer provoked considerable auction room activity. Of these, items from the Middle East and Asia led the field by a long chalk. And then came Pudsey Bear.

Somewhat unexpectedly the star of the sale proved to be a Kuwaiti essay one dinar c. 1960 sporting a portrait of Abdullah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, 1st Emir of Kuwait. The issuing authority is given as “Government of Kuwait,” which alone would make this one-off item unique. In the event it had no problem racing to $47,112 [£31,200] on what proved to be its highly conservative estimate of £2,000-3,000.

A Government of Kuwait printer’s obverse composite essay one dinar on card that realized $47,112.

A Government of Kuwait printer’s obverse composite essay one dinar on card that realized $47,112.

In contrast the highly attractive obverse and reverse composite essay 10 dinars from Iraq that had appeared a likely contender for top-billing pre-sale managed a mere $15,402 [£10,200].

Shooting for top-lot but missing out was this

Shooting for top-lot but missing out was this composite essay Iraq 10 dinars.

Other high flyers included:

• India, 500 rupees obverse and reverse die proofs for P-87, EF: $15,402 [£10,200];

This India 500 rupees

This India 500 rupees proof netted $15,402.

• Iraq, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 dinar specimen certificates, Not in Pick, EF: $9,060 [£6,000];

• Malaya, $50 progressive die proofs for P-14, VF: $8,151 [£5,400];

• Qatar, 50 riyals false color specimen, cf. P-4, about UNC: $10,872 [£7,200];

• Saudi Arabia, 20 riyals specimen, P-27s, UNC: $9,060 [£6,000];

• Seychelles, 100 rupees Jan. 1, 1972, P-18c, UNC: $7,248 [£4,800].

Lots 637-672 consisted of special £5 polymer issue of the Bank of Scotland produced to raise money for the BBC’s “Children in Need” charity. The back design by 12-year-old Kayla Robson from Dundee features Pudsey Bear, the charity’s mascot. Kayla’s work was chosen from some 4,000 entries.

As part of a charity lot,

As part of a charity lot, this Bank of Scotland £5 polymer featuring Pudsey Bear brought in $9,851.

Just 50 of these notes have been produced with 36 on offer at the Spink auction. Of these, 25 notes bear serial numbers PUDSEY01 to PUDSEY25. The next five notes in the sequence have been matched with those of the general issue polymer £5, which will be released in 2016. There is also a PUDSEY88 and XX888888 where the XX is chosen by the successful bidder. The remaining four notes will have eight character alphanumerical serial numbers chosen by the successful bidder subject to the bank’s approval.

Bidding for PUDSEY01 proved somewhat heated. At hammer fall the charity had profited by $9,851 [£6,500].

Full details of the sale, including the catalog and prices realized, are available at the Spink website: A 20 percent buyer’s premium has been added to the prices cited where 1GBP = 1.51USD.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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