Bank of England note from Leeds in Noonans auction
- Published: Mar 26, 2023, 9 AM
An extremely rare £500 note from the Bank of England branch in Leeds dated 1936 was sold for £24,000 ($28,560) plus the 24% buyer’s fee by Noonans in its 1,111-lot March 1 bank note sale.
The note was expected to realize from £18,000 to £22,000. It is now the first one ever sold at auction and only the second known to exist.
Andrew Pattison, head of the bank note department for Noonans, said, “It is indeed a fantastic note. £500 notes are very rare, and in fact only available from three Bank of England branches — London, Liverpool and Leeds — although some were issued in Birmingham and Manchester none have ever come to light. Of those available, Leeds branch, like this one, are the rarest. It came from a long-term collector and is only the second example ever to come to the open market.”
Two lots followed at £20,000 each.
One lot was a set of Bradbury Wilkinson face and back uniface color trials for an Imperial Bank of Persia 500-toman note (1890 to 1923). They are undated with no signatures or serial numbers and perforated SPECIMEN. Paper Money Guaranty graded one Choice About Uncirculated 58 and the other Choice Uncirculated 63. There was evidence of mounting traces, and small tears were on the reverse.
The other was an undated (1917) Government of India 2-rupee 8-anna note with serial number A/1 158185. The rare A prefix in the serial number indicates the government’s Cawnpore/Kanpur branch. The other prefixes known are for B (Bombay), C (Calcutta), K (Karachi), L (Lahore), M (Madras) and R (Rangoon). A Times of India feature on these notes says this was a vestige of earlier years when currency notes were legal for use only in their designated areas.
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