Lyn Knight’s Jun. 7 sale at the International Paper Money Show in Kansas City was a tour de force for George VI. Issues bearing the portrait of the last Emperor of India were strong across the board, with estimates of the rarer notes proving to be more than somewhat conservative.
Leading the George VI charge was a somewhat battered Burmese Reserve Bank of India 1,000 rupees of 1939 (P-7). This is a rare note in any condition, and the example on offer was the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money plate note (serial number 004881).
That aside, the description reads, “Few areas of writing; small holes; nicks/small tears; and other signs of circulation.” The best the cataloger could achieve was a VG/Fine grade, with the qualification “Sold as is; no returns.” Nonetheless, there was no shortage of eager bidders. When the note arrived on the block it quickly raced past the upper estimate of $10,000 to eventually realize $38,400. That price is believed to be a record for a Burmese 1,000 rupees.
It was then the turn of a couple of ever-popular British Guiana toucan issues dated 1 January 1942. The 20 dollars was a specimen but colored maroon rather than violet, suggesting it might be a false color commercial specimen (P-16cs). It was a stunning example of this WWII rarity and came graded PMG “Ch. UNC 64 minor ink.” Only five examples are known of the issued note, and if that on offer is a commercial specimen, it could be unique. On an estimate of $7,500-$12,500, it was bid up to a comfortable $27,600.
The British Guiana $10 (P-15) was an issued note graded WBG “Ch. Fine 15.” With less than ten examples currently known, that on offer sidled past upper estimate to take $13,200.
Recent auctions have demonstrated there are insufficient National Bank of Egypt pound notes of 5 January 1899 showing two camels apiece to satisfy demand (P-2b). The Knight sale proved the point. That in the catalog came with a PMG “VF 25 ink stamps” grading. Nonetheless, its price of $26,400 lay squarely in the middle of its $15,000-$30,000 estimate.
A desirable Den Kongelige Gronlandske Handel 50 øre of 1911 (P-8a) with serial number 5 proved to be something of an anti-sleeper. Graded AU, it could make just $11,520 on a $16,000-20,000 estimate.
Other serious prices included a Saudi Arabian 10 riyals AH1372 (1953) pilgrim receipt (P-1) ex William Pheatt Collection that managed $9,600 in PMG “Ch. AU 58 EPQ;” a Russian Government Credit Note specimen for 250 rubles of 1919 (P-40As), which took $9,000 in WBG “Ch. AU 58 TOP;” and a Honduran Vale al Portador Billete del Tesoro of 10 pesos dated 1 January 1889 (P-10) that went for $8,400 in PMG “UNC 63 annotation.”
The total realized was $1,354,422. Full details of the lots offered and prices realized can be found at https://www.lynknight.com/. A buyers’ premium of 20% has been added to the prices cited above but is not included in the hammer prices given on the Knight website.
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More Collecting Resources
• Order the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues to learn about circulating paper money from 14th century China to the mid 20th century.
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