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Sleepers Come to Fore in AIA Sale
By Dr. Kerry Rodgers, Bank Note Reporter
May 16, 2013

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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Dr. Robert Schwartz must have been smiling happily after his New Jersey Archives International Auctions auction on April 16. It was a sale seeded with a wealth of sleepers. Certainly examples of rare world notes from the usual suspects yielded healthy prices, but so did notes of nations from out of left field. These included Nicaragua, Tannu Tuva and Uzbekistan.

Admittedly, it was one of the usual suspects that provided top price of the sale of $10,620: a Waterlow “color trial” of a Standard Bank of South Africa £20 similar to P-584.

Other serious prices were realized by:

• Australia, 10 shillings half sovereign o/p, c. 1918, P-3b, PMG VF-30: $7,080;
• Bahamas, 10 shillings, c. 1919, P-6a, PMG VF-35: $5,610;
• China, American-Oriental Bank Shanghai, $100 specimen, PS-100s, UNC: $3,540;
• Great Britain Treasury, 10 shillings with Arabic o/p, P-348b, PMG AU-55: $3,420;
• South Africa, Standard Bank, £10 proof, 18xx, PS-581, UNC: $3,400;
• Singapore, $10,000, (1999), P-44s, PMG UNC-66 EPQ: $3,300;
• Spain, 100 pesetas, (1884), P-26, PMG VF-25: $3,190;
• India, two rupees specimen, 1969 commemorative issue, P-67as, UNC: $2,360.

Among some of the sleepers were:

• Uzbekistan, 1,000 tengas, (1919), P-37, VF: $4,430 ($500-$1,000 estimate; on silk);
• Tannu Tuva, one aksha, 1940, P-15, VF: $4,130 ($600-$1,200 estimate);
• Nicaragua, 10 pesos, 1894, P-26a, PMG VG-8: $2,360 ($300-$600 estimate);
• British Guiana $5, P-14a, PMG VF-20: $1,480 ($250-$500 estimate).

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And the sale raised the question as to what extent a price may be affected by a lot being a Pick plate note. One on offer was the Seychelles 10 rupees of Jan. 1, 1967 illustrated in Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, P-12d. In UNC it is cataloged at $850. It went to the block with an estimate of $500-$1,000. It easily achieved $2,480.

The large series of Waterlow essays and artists’ proofs attracted considerable attention. Four lots of the Kingdom of Bulgaria essays with designs by Czech artist Alphons Maria Mucha fetched from $1,000 for a partial design/progressive proof to $2,950 for a uniface printing of a completed note. And a Mucha design of a 10 dinara for the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and “the first note for a new nation” c. 1919, P-, took a very comfortable $5,190.

Fourteen examples of spectacular original artwork by Hugo Fleury for Waterlow were on offer. They were mainly advertising pieces and fetched upward of $3,300.

Among the U.S. notes top price of $3,070 went to a Federal Reserve $2 of 1918, Fr. 757, in PCGS Very Choice New 64 PPQ.

At end of sale the clearance rate for world notes was 59 percent with 76.5 for U.S. items. The total realized was $341,002 including 18 percent commission.

Full details and prices can be found at www. For further information contact Dr. Robert Schwartz, Archives International Auctions, 1580 Lemoine Ave, Suite 7, Fort Lee, NJ 07024, or phone (201) 944-48, or email

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