Paper Money

Libyan note demolishes its estimated price tag

Libyan half-pound note estimated at £150 to £200 realized £9,000 in April 27 auction by Dix Noonan Webb.

Image Courtesy of Dix Noonan Webb

Dix Noonan Webb’s 728-lot auction of world paper money in London on April 27 resulted in a gross sales total of £239,406 ($363,897 in U.S. funds) including buyer’s fees. The auction drew 138 successful bidders for lots submitted by 60 consignors.

The most surprising result was the £9,000 ($13,659 U.S.) with the buyer’s fee that a bidder paid for a Libyan half-pound note estimated at £150 to £200 ($228 to $304 U.S.). It was cataloged as “Libya. United Kingdom, Half Pound, Law of 24 October 1951, signature of Mahmoud Bey Muntaser (Pick 8). Condition: creased, a few pinholes and a small date stamp on back, otherwise about very fine.” It was part of a collection of world paper money “the property of a gentleman” which totaled £84,828 ($128,940).

Other notable lots were a Paisley Commercial Banking Company £1 note dated April 18, 1839, that sold for £6,000 ($9,106) in Fine condition against an estimate of £2,500 to £3,000 ($3,794 to $4,553); a 1929 £10 note of the Royal Bank of Ireland at £5,520 ($8,377) graded Very Fine with a tear that was estimated at £4,000 to £5,000 ($6,071 to $7,588); and a rare Nov. 11, 1868, £5 note from the collapsed City of Glasgow Bank, which realized £4,080 ($6,192) in badly worn Very Good condition, close to four times its £900 to £1,200 ($1,366 to $1,821) estimate.

Finally, an extremely fine Pakistani 10-rupee note of 1951 with “For Haj pilgrims from Pakistan for use in Saudi Arabia only” overprinted in black ink brought £4,800 ($7,285) on an estimate of £1,200 to £1,500 ($1,821 to $2,276). Haj notes were issued because of export restrictions on Pakistani currency. These notes were not legal tender in Pakistan, but could be used by pilgrims to buy Saudi riyals, which could then be remitted to Pakistan through the usual Saudi Arabian banking channels.

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