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25 Riyals Stars in Recent Auction
By Kerry Rodgers, Bank Note Reporter
December 26, 2013

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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The first week of December last saw Spink enjoy a successful end to its 2013 bank note auctions. Many of the 1,250 lots sold for well above estimate.

Top of the notaphillic pops was a rare example of an issued Qatar & Dubai 25 riyals, P-4a. Spink’s post-sale media release is quite elegant in understating the pre-sale attention this note received, noting that it “garnered significant interest.”

Graded EF, it had no problem in realizing $51,254 [£31,200] – contrasting with the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money current cataloged price of $10,000 in uncirculated.

Second place was taken by a Banco de Espana specimen 5,000 pesetas drawn on Barcelona, June 11, 1938, P-92. This note is one of the great rarities of the Spanish series and it easily made $23,654 [£14,400] in good EF, falling just short of three times its estimate of £5,000-6,000.

As a Kiwi, I was delighted to see a New Zealand note doing exceedingly well. An Oct. 1, 1929, Bank of New Zealand specimen £100, P-S240s, in about UNC did treble its estimate by fetching $13,799 [£8,400].

Tucked away at the back of the catalog was an exceptional group of early Scottish bank notes. They were headed by a Royal Bank of Scotland 20 shillings dated Feb. 9, 1750, and bearing an engraved profile portrait of George III at the upper left. The bill had been made payable to “Archb. Cope.” The grading of about F was better than average given the age of the note and, as such, the double estimate price of $11,828 [£7,200] was not unexpected.

Two Australian pre-Federation specimen bank notes stood out. A London Chartered Bank, £50 dated July 1, 1885, PS-, in about UNC took $6,699 [£4,080] And a Bank of South Australia, £20 of July 1, 1889, PS-, also in about UNC realized $6,946 [£4,230].

From Norway, a 1605 Thor Møhlen 25 rixdaler complete with both counterfoils and all seals intact realized $8,670 [£5,280] in EF, while two high-grade Norges Bank 1865-1877 specimens, a five specidaler P48s, and a 10 specidaler P49s, made $7,486 [£4,560] and $8,276 [£5,040], respectively.

Among prices paid in excess of $6,500, all but one came from the Middle East:

• Iran Bank Melli, 10,000 rials specimen, AH1317, P-38Cct, about UNC: $8,276 [£5,040];
• Iran Bank Melli, 10,000 rials specimen, AH1317, P-38Cct, about UNC: $10,246 [£6,240];
• Iran Bank Melli, 100 rials false color specimen, AH1316, P35B, UNC: $8,079 [£4,920];
• Iraq, one dinar specimen, July 1, 1931, P-3as, about UNC: $9,064 [£5,520];
• Iraq, five dinars false color specimen, no date, P-30ct, about UNC: $6,699 [£4,080];
• Iraq, 10 dinars false color specimen ND, P-36ct, about UNC: $7,487 [£4,560];
• Israel Anglo-Palestine Bank, 500 mils to £10 set of four essays, Not in Pick, UNC: $12,808 [£7,800];
• Israel Anglo-Palestine Bank, £50 essay, cf. P-5, good EF: $6,896 [£4,200];
• Lebanon, 25 piastres, 1925, P-1, about UNC: $12,151 [£7,440];
• Lebanon, 10 livres specimen, April 1, 1939, P17s, UNC: $7,488 [£4,560];
• Straits Settlement, one dollar false color specimen, Jan. 1, 1925, P-9act, about UNC: $13,793 [£8,400];
• Syria, 50 livres, Aug. 1, 1942, P-47, good VF: $7,488 [£4,560];
• Syria, 100 livres, Aug. 1, 1942, P-48, F: $9,458 [£5,760];

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An important aspect of the this and earlier sales in 2013 is the continued growth in the market for printers’ archival essays and trials. Most offered in the present sale went for well above estimate.

Among several sleepers was an issued Bank of Libya 10 livres of Feb. 5, 1963, P-32. In good VF it galloped to $7,882 [£4,800] on a mere £600-800 estimate, in keeping with its SCWPM valuation. (Question: Has any reader seen an UNC example of the issued note?)

Full catalog details and prices realized can be found at the Spink website: A 20 percent commission has been added to the hammer prices and is included in the amounts cited here. An exchange rate of 1GBP = 1.642USD has been used to convert the British pound amounts.





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