Paper Money

Rare Iraq note beats estimates in Noonans World Banknotes sale

A specimen 50-fil note from 1944 with serial number A000000 and a portrait of King Faisal II as a child reached £50,000.

Image courtesy of Noonans.

An Iraq specimen 100-fil note of 1941 printed in India during World War II sold for a hammer price of £100,000 ($126,400) at Noonans Mayfair World Banknotes sale of 1,000 lots on Nov. 29 and 30. It had been expected to reach £50,000 to £70,000.

The note has serial number O/00 000000 and features a portrait of King Faisal II as a child in a frame on the right side. It was printed by the Nasik Press in India and given to Iraq’s first Director-General of Finance, Abraham Elkabir. The consignor was one of his descendants, also named Elkabir.

Noonans’ Andrew Pattison said, “It is an almost mythical banknote; it had never been offered at auction before and is unlikely to ever come up again. The note was issued for a matter of weeks, and only a single low-grade example is believed to have survived. This auction represented the only chance to complete the Iraq series once and for all.”

Also in the sale, and from the same consignor, was a specimen 50-fil note from 1944 with serial number A000000 and a similar portrait of King Faisal II as a child, but on the left. It reached £50,000 against an estimate of £30,000 to £40,000.

Another featured lot was the highest denomination and rarest Swedish note ever made, a 10,000-kronor note dated 1939 from the Sveriges Riksbank. It sold for £17,000.

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