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Rare WWI French emergency small change issue tops Knight session

Knight Sale-1

Top selling and rare World War I Haut-Senegal & Niger 0.50 franc, P-1, which realized $7,050 in Knight’s PCDA Spring Sale.

Lyn Knight’s spring auctions at PCDA were underway at the time of writing. When editorial deadlines closed just Session 1 of world paper had been completed. The results left Joel Shafer smiling benignly.

Four Afghani lots started the auction strongly. A lone Colombian peso hammered for several times estimate. French colonial African pieces were more than a little robust. Middle East, particularly Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Kuwait, did well. A selection from early Serbia got bidders overexcited. And much of the Philippines performed admirably with replacements leading the charge.

As ever cherrypickers were out in force. Top price of $7,050 was paid for what is perhaps the rarest of all World War I French emergency small change issues: an issued 0.50 franc of Gouvernement General de l’Afrique Occidentale Francaise Haut-Senegal & Niger, P-1.

Until recently just five to six examples were believed to exist. The Knight catalog considers that “number may be a little higher now.” The example on offer came graded PMG Ch. UNC 64 tying it with two others among a PMG population of four. Its price-realized exceeded that of two recent sales as well as the lower estimate of $6,000.

Knight Sale-2

The one pataca of Macao dated Sept. 4, 1905 and with serial 3456, P-1a, that fetched $4,994 in Fine/VF.

Another low denomination managed $4,994, a price that was just $6 short of its upper estimate: a one pataca of Macao dated Sept. 4, 1905, P-1a. Graded Fine/VF it was the first example Knight had ever offered, the price perhaps helped by the serial of 3456.

Knight Sale-3

Costa Rican sleeper: two colones dated Dec. 22, 1930, P-159b, that sold for $4,406 or over 14 times lower estimate.

From slightly out of left field came a Banco Internacional de Costa Rica two colones, P-159b, dated Dec. 22, 1930. This was not a date Knight had previously offered and maybe one unfamiliar to collectors. Graded VF and with an estimate of $300-500 it raced away to realize $4,406. Perhaps a reader can write and clarify your reporter’s ignorance as to why this was the case.

In the same league and also selling for well above the $750-1,250 estimate was a consecutive pair of Iraq 1/4 dinar (L.1947) that showed a young King Faisal II at right. Both came graded UNC 62. Rarely seen as a consecutive pair the lot sold for a comfortable $4,113.

Knight Sale-4

High grade Afrique Francaise Libre 100 francs of 1941, P-8, that realized $2,115 in PMG Ch. UNC 64.

French Africa also contributed a choice World War II item, an undated 100 francs c. 1941 of Afrique Francaise Libre, P-8. the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money shows no prices for this denomination above VF and that on offer came graded PMG Ch. UNC 64 placing it head and shoulders above five others in the population report. Not unexpectedly it sold for $2,115 on a $650-1,000 estimate.

Full details of the sale lots and prices-realized can be found

A buyers’ premium of 17.5 percent has been added to the prices cited above, but is not included in the hammer prices given on the Knight website.

Knights will have live world paper auctions in April and May before the Kansas City show in June.

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