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Essays, trials, proofs top sale

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By Kerry Rodgers

Spink’s final paper money sale of 2015 is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 8 and has much to excite the collector. Apart from the usual large selection of issued notes from across the globe, the supply of essays, trials, proofs, and specimens Spink placed on the market in recent years continues unabated. Most of these are one-of-a-kind and for the serious collector this sale could be the one and only chance to secure these historically important items. This time around some the more desirable examples come from the Middle East and Asian subcontinents.

These rare progressive die proofs of Malaya 1944 George VI $50 (cf. P-14) are offered in Spink’s December sale.

These rare progressive die proofs of Malaya 1944 George VI $50 (cf. P-14) are offered in Spink’s December sale.

In the light of recent sales it would seem likely that one of the more popular could prove to be an exceptionally rare group of progressive die proofs from Malaya for the 1944 George VI 50 rupee, cf. P-14. They comprise three sheets, two obverse and one reverse. Despite several folds and pinholes they are a highly collectible VF.

Price-wise, however, these items may face competition from an exquisitely hand-painted 10 dinar essay for the Central Bank of Iraq. A truly spectacular and delightful piece, the face comes decorated with a Lamassu or Assyrian winged bull, the back with an Assyrian’s head.


This hand-painted 10 dinar from Iraq features a Lamassu, an Assyrian winged bull.

Other specimens and essays on offer include:

• Bank Negara Malaysia specimen $100 (1976), P-17;

• National Bank of Egypt, color trial £50 (1949), P-26cs;

• National Bank of Egypt, color trial £100 (1949), P-27cs;

• Kuwait printer’s obverse composite essay on card for one dinar (ca 1960), NIP;

• Qatar Monetary Agency, color trial 10 riyals (1973), cf. P-3cs;

• Qatar Monetary Agency, color trial 50 riyals (1973), cf. P-4cs.

Of note among circulation issues are three rare National Bank of Iraq specimen certificates for 1,000 dinars, 10,000 dinars, and 100,000 dinars, ca. 1951. All are on watermarked paper with vignette of King Faisal II.

For those into grade, from Seychelles comes a 100 rupees of Jan. 1, 1972, P-18c that is unusual in being in original uncirculated condition.


A rare, uncirculated Seychelles 100 rupees bank note will cross the auction block.

And for collectors of British colonial history, how about a British Guiana $2 dated Oct. 1, 1925 in good F, P-2A? It has been a long time since one of these turned up at auction.

Full details of the sale, including the catalog, are available at the Spink website:

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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