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India note tops Hong Kong sale

The paper money section of Spink Hong Kong’s Numismatic Collector’s Series sale in April sizzled from beginning to end. There were effectively six bank note sections and these were spread throughout the two-day sale.

At sale’s end, three lots had realized in excess of $20,000 [HKD130,000] and seven more had taken between $10,000 and $19,999 [HKD65,000 and HKD129,999]. As was to be expected, Chinese paper money ruled the roost.

Top of the sale, with a price of $41,699 [HKD324,000], was a rare Mercantile Bank of India $25, false color specimen of 1912, P-237cs. An uncommon denomination for Hong Kong, it came graded PMG About Uncirculated 55.

India Note

The rare Mercantile Bank of India $25, false color specimen of 1912, P-237cs, that sold for $41,699 in PMG 55 About Uncirculated. (Image courtesy & © Spink 2017)

Not too far behind was a Hupeh Government Cash Bank 10 taels remainder of 1904 with vertical format, P-S2092r. This is a classic Qing-era note and its price of $40,154 [HKD312,000] was undoubtedly helped by its PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 grade.

Any auction with Chinese notes has to expect at least one Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp. issue will figure among the top prices. In the Spink sale it was a $50 dated Jan. 1, 1934, P-175d. And it was one of a consecutive pair, both graded PMG 64 EPQ. The first fetched $18,701 [HKD144,000], the second $24,710 [HKD192,000.]

Among issues of the People’s Republic of China the 10,000 yuan “Camel Train” was the sole example of the “Four Rarities” to put in an appearance, P-858a. From the 1st series renminbi of 1948-1949, it came in a highly collectible PMG Very Fine 30 NET and had no trouble in attracting $20,077 [HKD156,000].

Back a little bit in the top field was a high-grade, rare Kiangnan Yu Ning Government Bank dollar of 1907. P-S1180g. It sold above upper estimate for $15,444 [HKD120,000] in PCGSBG About Uncirculated 53.

All prices cited included buyer’s premium and have been converted at 1.00USD = 7.77HKD. Full catalog details and prices realized are available from

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter. >> Subscribe today.

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