Paper Money

Stack’s Bowers Maastricht world paper money sale

A 100-dollar 1914 remainder note printed in Germany for use in China is expected to sell for at least $10,000 in the Maastricht auction.

Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Among the 712 lots of world currency offered by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in its May 9 Maastricht world paper money auction are the first of several items from the Al Kugel Collection of mostly European and Asian bank notes. 

Most of the notes in the collection were acquired from 25 to 50 years ago and include issues from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Danzig, Estonia, Fiume, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Tanna Tuva, and Ukraine. Non-European bank notes are from China, especially the Deutsch-Asiatische (German-Asiatic) Bank, German East Africa, Japan (especially after the 1905 war with Russia), New Caledonia and New Hebrides.

The May 9 session features notes from the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank. These were printed in Germany by Giesecke & Devrient, still one of the world’s premier bank note printers. Five branches of the bank issued notes: Most were from Qingdao (or Tsingtau, among various German spellings), followed by Shanghai, Tientsin, Hankou, and Beijing.

Their design was standardized across all denominations. On the face, Germania is seated at right and the Imperial Eagle and Chinese Dragon are at left. The reverses vary by denomination. The text is in three languages: German, Chinese and English.

Estimated to sell for a minimum of $10,000 is a 100-dollar, 1914 remainder note graded by Paper Money Guaranty as Choice Uncirculated 64. Other notes, all estimated in the $3,000 range, are a 1907 5-tael remainder note from Peking in PMG About Uncirculated 53, a 1907 1-dollar specimen note from Tsingtau (also Kiautschou in German) in PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 that is the finest graded, a 1907 10-dollar specimen note from Tsingtau in PMG Choice Uncirculated 63, and a 1907 5-tael remainder note from Peking in PMG AU-53.

The sale also offers more than 60 pieces from a collection of at least one example of all notes issued by the Central Bank of Curaçao (de Curaçaosche Bank) since its founding in 1827 (except for the 1930 100-gulden note). The highlight of the section, among many possible candidates, is a 250-gulden note of 1930 in PMG Very Fine 30. It is the only fully issued, uncanceled example in the PMG population report and is expected to realize $15,000 to $25,000.

A privately issued rarity is a 50-centen note of 1893 issued by S.E.L. Maduro & Sons, also in Very Fine 30. The company was founded in 1837 by Salomon Elias Levy Maduro and remains in business across the Dutch Caribbean today, with interests in real estate, travel and leisure, shipping, and transport. It was one of the local businesses that at the time issued its own scrip in response to a coin shortage. Most other notes were printed in New York by Hamilton & Company, but these were produced locally. It is estimated to sell for $10,000 or more.

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