Recently World Banknote Auctions listed Live Sale 25 on its website, which closes in two different segments. The first segment, the traditional live sale, closes on May 5th, 2022, with live bidding that day at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific. The following day, on May 6th 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 25 offers a total of 1043 lots from around the world, with highlights including a wide variety of items, from classic British Commonwealth to modern notes that are the finest in the PMG population report. Some highlights are selected below but the entire catalog can be viewed on the company’s website, www.worldbanknoteauctions.com
Lot 25033 comes from Belgium, and is an extremely scarce type 100 Francs (Pick-64e) dated 1904 graded Very Fine 30 by PMG, a denomination and type that is seldom offered for sale in any grade. This one has some pinholes, but it is fully original otherwise, and certainly can lay claim to being one of the nicest pieces in existence well over a century after it was first issued. This European rarity carries a pre-auction estimate of $4,000-$5,000.
Lot 25107 is a 1 Yuan dated 1904 (Pick-S2090) from the Hupeh Government Bank in China, graded Very Fine 30 by PMG. A very scarce and popular type, the front features a fantastic engraving of Chinese dragons. The first offered in quite some time, it carries a pre-auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000.
Lot 25113 is a 1000 Francs from the Congo Democratic Republic (Pick-2a) dated 1962 and graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG. A type that features the same basic design introduced during colonial times when the country was known as Belgium Congo, this was issued after the country gained its independence in the early 1960s. A very difficult type at this grade level, it carries a modest estimate of $800-$1,000.
Lot 25132 is part of a small but advanced collection from Danzig, a free-city state that today is in Poland but issued its own currency prior to World War II. This lot is a scarce, fully issued 50 Gulden dated 1937 (Pick-65) graded Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ by PMG. Very scarce at this grade level in issued form, it is surely missing from many advanced collections, and carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,000-$2,500.
Lot 25143 is one of the true rarities in this auction and a very special note indeed. It is a 100 Shillings or 5 Pounds from East Africa dated 1951 (Pick-31b) graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG. The single finest example in the PMG population report, this is the first public offering in uncirculated grade in many years. It is an iconic African Colonial and Commonwealth type that is surely missing from many advanced collections and was issued at a time that this note represented a large sum of money. It is also a large-format banknote, making the survival of this note in this grade nothing but a miracle. This rarity destined for an advanced collection carries a pre-auction estimate of $8,000-$10,000.
Lot 25189 comes from France, and is a classic 20 Francs note from the 19th century (Pick-55). Dated 1871 and graded Extremely Fine 40 by PMG (with a comment for pinholes) this is one of the brightest and nicest examples of this type to have been seen by us. While it does have the pinholes typical for French notes of this period, it is fully original otherwise, and is a great representative for this scarce type. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,500-$3,000.
Lot 25311 is an iconic Queen Elizabeth type from Jamaica dated 1960. This 5 Pound (Pick-52a) is graded Choice About Uncirculated 58 by PMG. Not previously offered by us, this is a scarce denomination that appears less frequently than the large-size type issued just prior to this one. At first glance it has the appearance of an uncirculated note, but some hardly-discernible evidence from circulation limits the grade. Regardless, it is still a rare banknote and it carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,500-$3,000.
Lot 25521 is an iconic French Colonial and Thai Rarity that is seldom offered for sale in any form. A proof for a 5 Ticals from the Banque de L’Indochine (Pick-S101p), what makes this particular note (which dates back to the final years of the 19th century) so special is that it is a “mule” or “pattern” piece printed with the back meant for the banknotes (of the same type) of French Indo-China. Printed in Paris either on purpose or by accident, the auction description details the full history of this piece, which is a fascinating read. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000.