This week World Banknote Auctions has listed Live Sale 23, which closes in two different segments. The first segment, the traditional live sale, closes on March 24th, 2022, with live bidding that day at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific. The following day, on March 25th at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific an additional segment closes in a timed auction (no live bidding, although lots may be extended if a bid is received 10 minutes before closing). Live Sale 23 offers 804 lots from around the world, with select highlights including key notes from around the world, classic type notes and modern issues in high grade. Some highlights are selected below, the entire catalog can be viewed on the company’s website, www.worldbanknoteauctions.com
Lot 23056 is a 1922 dated 5 Dollar from British North Borneo (Pick-4b). This piece, which has been graded Very Good 10 NET by PMG (with comments for edge damage and rust) is part of a banknote series that has become much in demand in recent years. While this piece shows signs of circulation it is still complete and intact, something that cannot be said of many pieces of this era and British protectorate, which today is part of Malaysia. Like many pieces from this region this series has seen a sharp uptick in demand in recent years, and offerings such as this one have become increasingly more infrequent. This piece carries an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Lot 23065 is a PCGS Gem Uncirculated 66 PPQ graded example of a Canadian $1000 banknote from the 1954 (modified) series with Lawson – Bouey signature combination identified as BC-44d. Canadian $1000 notes were issued until the end of the 20th century and remain popular with collectors. This example is perfect as a high-grade type example and carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,000-$2,500.
Lot 23138 is an iconic 10,000 Francs specimen from the Equatorial African States (Pick-7s), undated (circa 1968) and graded Choice Extremely Fine 45 by PMG. This iconic issue is the highest denomination of this series and is rare in any format. It features the portrait of Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Republic and scenes from that country’s capital, Bangui. An unusual note not only for its high face value but also for the fact that it was printed in France for one of the world’s poorest countries at the time, this may have been intended solely for the purpose of boosting Bokassa’s image. This classic post-colonial African note carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,000-$2,500.
Lot 23124 is an iconic specimen issue from Honduras printed by the American Banknote Company. This 100 Pesos from the 1889 series (Pick-24s) is graded Choice Uncirculated 63 by PMG with a comment for pinholes. Virtually unobtainable in issued format, specimens such as this showcase the design and are perfect representatives for the series. A survey of recent auction results has revealed no fully printed specimen examples of this type selling at public auction in the past decade or so (a few one-sided proofs have been offered but are typically more available). This bright and colorful note features a pre-auction estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Lot 23232 is a Law of 1931 (issued 1941-42) 1/4 Dinar from Iraq (Pick-12), graded Fine 12 by PMG (with a “repaired” comment). While most notes for the Kingdom of Iraq were printed by the British firm of Bradbury & Wilkinson, Co. the outbreak of World War II meant that newly printed banknotes could not always be delivered safely to Iraq. As a result, a supplemental order was placed for four denominations (100 Fils, 1/4 Dinar, 1/2 Dinar and 1 Dinar) at the Nasik Security Printing Press in India. While the same basic design was used, there are some small differences, particularly in the font of the serial numbers. Issued in relatively small quantities, all four denominations are scarce to virtually unobtainable (the 100 Fils is believed to be unique in issued form, and very few of the 1/2 Dinar are known to exist), these “India Print” notes are among the most desirable of all Iraqi banknotes. This 1/4 Dinar carries a pre-auction estimate $3,500-$4,000.
Lot 23261 is a 100 Pound from the Ulster Bank Ltd. in Northern Ireland (Pick-330a) dated 1st March 1977 and graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG. While this might appear like a relatively common modern banknote, this issue is deceptively scarce in high grade. 100 Pounds represented a huge sum of money in Northern Ireland at the time of issue and very few were put aside at the time of issue for today’s collectors to enjoy. Within the series there are some very scarce dates and denominations, including this one, which carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,000-$1,200.
Lot 23266 is a ND (1948-51) 1 Pound from the Anglo-Palestine Bank in Israel (Pick-15a) graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG. Issued shortly after the creation of Israel, this is the same basic design as the type later issued by the Bank-Leumi (National Bank), but is much scarcer, especially in such a lofty grade. Tied for the finest in the PMG population report, examples at this grade level are very seldom offered for sale. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $3,000-$4,000.
Lot 23397 is a 1920 dated 100 Pesos from the Philippines (Pick-50) graded Fine 12 by PMG. A very scarce high denomination from the Philippine National Bank, this is a type that is very seldom offered for sale in any grade. In our opinion banknotes printed for the U.S. Philippines are truly part of the American series and should be collected by every serious collector of American banknotes and as such deserve a spot in the Friedberg catalog of U.S. Paper Money. Until now, however, that has not happened and knowledge of these historic pieces remains primarily limited to world banknote collectors. This rarity carries a pre-auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000.
Lot 23476 is an 1876 10 Dinara from Serbia (Pick-3), graded Extremely Fine 40 by PMG (with “stained, discoloration” comments). The PMG comments might be a bit harsh on this one, as the notes were originally printed on yellowish paper and we see little signs of discoloration. Regardless, this denomination that was part of the first series for Serbia was printed in France, and appears to have never been issued. Like all early Serbian notes it is difficult to find in higher grades, and this offering carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,500-$2,000.
Lot 23508 is an 1894 specimen 50 Kronor from the Kalmar Enskilda Bank in Sweden (Pick-S290s) graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG (with a comment for “printer’s annotation”). Part of a series of private banknote issues, the Swedish Enskilda banknotes are a fascinating series worthy of further research. They were issued in many cities in Sweden, and the designs (as seen here) are well-executed and classic. In many instances issued notes are extremely rare to unknown (we have not been able to find any of this particular type and denomination, for example) but specimens are sometimes available. This 19th century Swedish banknote carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,500-$3,000.