1916 Zanzibar 100-rupee note tops Spink auction
- Published: May 16, 2021, 8 AM
Spink is claiming a world record of £90,000, or $125,833, for its sale of a Zanzibar Government 100-rupee note dated Aug. 1, 1916, at its April 28 auction in London.
The note has never before appeared at auction, and ranks as the rarest in a series of notes where all issues are elusive at best. Barnaby Faull, Spink’s director of bank notes, described it as “definitely one of the World’s great banknote rarities.”
The blue and pale tan-orange issue with a red serial number has the standard face design of a dhow at left and farmers harvesting cloves on the right. It is perforated with the world CANCELLED.
The back is blank. Spink said that it is likely that about 100 years ago it was backed on paper, which became brittle with age. That paper was removed, and the remaining note was graded Very Fine 30 Net by Paper Money Guaranty.
The estimated selling price was £40,000 to £60,000.
Spink says it was found in the Zanzibar region.
The firm notes six other world records in the sale: a Palestine Currency Board uniface proof for a proposed but not adopted 500-mil issue, no date (March 18, 1939) or serial number, for £24,000; a Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya and British Borneo, £10,000 printer’s archival specimen note, March 21, 1953, serial number A/1 00000, £32,400; a Board of Commissioners of Currency Malaya and British Borneo $1,000 archival specimen note, March 21, 1953, serial numbers blacked out, £22,800; a Malaya and British Borneo blue and pale yellow proof by Harrisons for a proposed issue of $1, no date (circa 1962), £27,600; a Commercial Bank of India unissued 10-rupee note, 18- (circa 1845), black and white, value in rectangle top left and right, £30,000; a Government of India 10-rupee note, no date (circa 1923), serial number B/6 1000000, £25,200; and a Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland £5 specimen color trial, no date (circa 1956), serial number Y/1 000000, red-brown on blue underprint, £5,400.
A separate auction conducted on the same day offered the 35 notes in the Drs. Joanne and Edward Dauer Collection of English Banknotes. The top seller, at £38,400 ($53,662), was a Bank of England £1,000 note, London, dated Oct. 15, 1935, signed by Kenneth Oswald Peppiatt, and graded About Uncirculated 50 Exceptional Paper Quality by PMG. Only four of these £1,000 notes are graded by PMG, only two of which are signed by Peppiatt. This is the only example designated Exceptional Paper Quality.
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