Results from Dix Noonan Webb’s sale of British notes in late March were dominated by Bank of England rarities. There is nothing remarkable in this. Certainly, collectors of Scottish and private banks’ issue expect their moment in the sun from time to time. On March 28, however, it was some classic historic BoE white notes that ruled the day.
Top-priced lot was an eminently collectable extremely rare £500 dated 30 September 1936, signed by Kenneth O. Peppiatt and issued at Liverpool (EPM B246e; cf. P-340). It came in fresh and original condition with well-defined embossing. Graded gVF it easily bid-up to its $15,720 [£12,000] upper estimate.
A little distance in the rear came a similarly extremely rare white fiver issued at London, signed by Thomas Rippon, dated 13 August 1833, and bearing serial number 82 (P-210; EPM B202a). Apart from some staining, pinholes, and a little graffiti, it suffered from no serious defects and readily graded gF. On an estimate of £7,000-£9,000 it realized $14,934 [£11,400].
Lot 125 attracted considerable pre-sale interest. Another white fiver but signed by Frank May. Drawn on Newcastle it came dated 16 July 1889 (P-286; EPM B206a).
BoE notes signed by May are scarce to rare. He is the only Chief Cashier of the BoE to have left the position in disgrace. This occurred in 1894 when a series of financial irregularities came to light.
Not only had May authorized large advances to some customers but had allowed an overdraft to one client without knowledge of the bank's governor. In all, May’s actions incurred some £250,000 in losses.
The Newcastle £5 on offer is one of just two in private hands known to EPM. In the event its $13,755 [£10,500] price-realized might be regarded as a bargain.
A third £5 took out $12,576 [£9,600] in gVF. Signed by Basil G. Catterns and dated February 1933 its rarity value - and price - are the result of having been issued at Bristol (EPM B228b; P-328i).
Full catalog details and prices-realized can be sourced at www.dnw.co.uk. Of note, the Bank of Scotland Pudsey Bear £5 with serial PUDSEY 05 failed to sell.
The prices shown here have been converted at a rate of GBP1.00 = UDS1.31.
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