World paper money aficionados need to mark Sept. 27-29 in their diary. Spink London will be conducting three sales over that period: The Medici Collection of Italian Banknotes, The Bruce Smart Collection of The British Commonwealth Part 2, and their general early fall world bank note sale that includes The Shamshir and Lion Collection of Persian Banknotes. This main sale will run from the late afternoon of the 27th through the 29th.
Most readers should be familiar with the superb Bruce Smart Collection. The September catalog will feature Commonwealth countries H-Z. As such it includes strong sections from Southeast Asia and British Africa. Like the notes in the A-G Part 1 sale those on offer are characterized by Quality—with a capital Q.
Among the rarities is a Southern Rhodesia £5 of Dec. 15, 1939 (P-11a). It is ex. Warburton Collection and grades PMG 35 Choice Very Fine. This is the rarer type without the white £5 underprint at center and is likely one of the finest extant. Hence the £4,000-5,000 estimate.
A Malaya and British Borneo $100 of March 21, 1953 (P-5a) comes in a superb original about UNC condition. This is a rare Elizabeth II issue at the best of times and is seldom offered in high grade. Estimate is £6,000-8,000.
The Medici Collection of Italian notes consists of some 300 lots split equally between state and private issues. It is fairly comprehensive and includes some exceptional rarities.
Among these is an attractive issued Il Banco di Napoli 50 lire dated Nov. 1, 1869 (P-S834) in VF. This note is seldom seen in issued form. It carries a £1,000-1,500 estimate.
From Banca d’Italia comes a 500 lire of Nov. 14, 1950 (P-90) in about VF. It is an extremely rare issue, even more so in this grade explaining the £2,000-3,000 estimate.
The world notes will be of particular interest to Middle Eastern collectors. For starters there is superb Banque de Syrie et du Grand Liban false color specimen 100 livres of 1935 (P-38cs). This is an exceptionally rare note enhanced by its PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ rating. Interested collectors will need to start thinking in the £10,000-15,000 range.
And for those who don’t have an Iraq one dinar showing King Faisal II as a child (P-15) and printed on the Nasik security press in India Spink will be offering one. It comes graded PCGS 64 Very Choice New and carries a £6,000-7,000 estimate. The cataloger regards it as “possibly the finest known example of this rare note extant.”
The Shamshir and Lion Collection of Persian Banknotes represent the first Persian material Spink have offered for several years. Along with issued notes, proofs and specimens there are a series of photographs of entirely unknown designs.
There is room for but one example here, an issued Imperial Bank of Persia 100 tomans payable at Yezd and dated June 18, 1918 (P-8). It has repairs but still shows good body and carries a grade of PCGS 20 Very Fine. The issue is of the greatest rarity with only some 100 examples unredeemed in the first half of the 20th century. In the circumstances the estimate of £15,000-20,000 seems not unreasonable.
But the sale is not all Middle Eastern by a long chalk. How does a large format Spanish Philippines, El Banco Espanol Filipino de Isabel 10 pesos (P-A1) of Jan. 1, 1865 appeal? It is an astonishing piece, described as having, “few small foxing spots, no pinholes, original paper still retaining some body, Fine.” And the estimate seems a modest £8,000-12,000.
There is more, much much more.
The details given here need to be checked out when the catalog is posted at www.spink.com some three weeks before the sale. For additional information contact Andrew Pattison (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone +44 (0)20 7563 4000 or fax +44 (0)20 7563 4066.
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