Paper Money

Pudsey Bear note from 2015 in upcoming auction

A Bank of Scotland £5 note issued July 17, 2015, with the serial number PUDSEY05 is expected to bring £12,000 to £16,000 ($15,575 to $20,900) when it is offered for sale in an auction of British and Irish bank notes at Dix Noonan Webb in London on March 28.

The sale will be DNW’s first devoted exclusively to British and Irish bank notes .

The Pudsey note is one of only 50 notes, all hand produced with a special design to celebrate the introduction of polymer and the bank’s partnership with BBC Children in Need. It is in its original presentation wallet and has its certificate of authenticity.

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Andrew Pattison, head of DNW’s bank note department, explained, “The Pudsey Bear notes were sold a few years ago for charity and a lot of people thought they were a bit of a gimmick, but since they are technically legal tender (despite there only being 50 of them in existence), anyone who collects polymer plastic banknotes wants to own one. As a result, prices have absolutely rocketed since the first auction. This one, serial number 5, originally sold for only around £1,500.”

Among the auction’s more traditional notes is a £100 note from the Bank of England, stamped “Manchester, 14 September, 1925,” estimated at £6,000 to £8,000 ($7,838 to $10,450) in a grade of Very Fine. Most Bank of England notes were issued at its London main office. Any £100 issues from other branches, even in cities as large as Manchester, and with this early a date, are considered rare. 

The top left of the face has the stamp of Manchester and County Bank in Rawtenstall, indicating where it had been. The bank was one of the last surviving provincial banks in the United Kingdom, staying in business until 1935.

The auction also has a £50 note from Manchester, dating from 1927. It is estimated at £2,400 to £3,000. 

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