Russo-Chinese Bank soars past estimate in Noonans auction
- Published: Jun 20, 2022, 8 AM
A superb 1903 Russo-Chinese Bank $5 bank note sold for £32,000 ($39,500) against an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000 at the Noonans (previously Dix Noonan Webb) sale of world bank notes on May 26 and 27 in London.
The firm says that, of maybe a handful of these in existence, this is the finest example ever to come on the market. The note, printed in red on green with a multicolor underprint, has English text on one side and Russian on the other with a different manuscript signature on each side. It was described as Extremely Fine.
Other featured lots included a possibly unique 1899 French Indochina 100-piastre note that realized £10,000 against an estimate of £6,000 to £8,000. All other known examples of this note are specimens or notes officially canceled by the bank. The specimen is missing a corner and is made of brittle paper. The note was issued in Saigon on Feb. 16, 1899, and is printed in three languages — French and English on the face and Chinese on the back. It was bought by an American collector.
A 5-riyal note from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency dating from 1961 sold for £8,500 after an estimate of £2,800 to £3,400 to a specialized collector of Saudi Arabian notes. This note was issued with two different signature varieties, of which this example, signed by Ali and Rahman, is the scarcer. Its Paper Money Guaranty Gem Uncirculated 66 grade places it at the top of the census.
A Chinese Ch’ing Dynasty very fine, scarce and large 3-taels note from 1854 with an estimate of £2,000 to £2,600 sold to a Chinese Collector for £7,500. Also selling for £7,500 was a Choice About Uncirculated 58 1973 1,000-dirham note from the United Arab Emirates Currency Board. This is a key note for the entire UAE bank note series, and seldom appears in such attractive condition. It went to an American collector of Middle Eastern notes.
Two lots from Portuguese India each brought £4,600. The first was face and back archival photographs showing original design for a 5-rupia note from 1905, with the serial number 00000. Expected to bring just £300 to £400, it attracted enormous interest and sold to a collector of world bank notes. The second, from the Banco Nacional Ultramarino, was an Uncirculated printer’s archival 5-rupia specimen note dated Jan. 1, 1906. It was estimated at £2,000 to £2,600. Both were from the Laurence Pope Collection.
An unusual National Bank of Ireland £3 note of 1913, one of only about four survivors sold for £16,000. Another featured Irish note was a very rare Bank of Ireland color trial £100 note with the fictitious date of Sept. 5, 1978, that sold for £10,000.
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