Serial Number 1 Merchants Bank of Canada 5 Dollar
By Christopher Dahncke – Currency Auction Associate, Stack’s Bowers Galleries ……
The upcoming Stack’s Bowers August 2020 World Paper Money auction offers an exciting and vast array of notes from a variety of countries.
One is a 5 Dollar Merchants Bank of Canada issued note, CH #460-22-02. It bears the coveted serial number “000001” and plate letter “A”. It is graded Extremely Fine 40 EPQ by PMG. This 5 Dollar note retains plenty of appeal, including intricate designs and dark green ink on the face and ornate lathe work on the back. The reverse of the note displays the bank name at bottom, with a seal at center and “FI5VE” counters at left and right, and the “5” denomination adorning the four corners.
Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales, visited Canada in 1919 after the end of the First World War. The Prince of Wales’ informal dress and mannerisms struck the right chord with Canadians and his tour was very popular. During this trip, he would meet with the League of Canadian Indians and would also lay the foundation stone of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. His tour began in St. John’s, Newfoundland and ended at Victoria, where the Prince laid the foundation stone of a statue of Queen Victoria.
Included with the note is a period envelope that reads: “First 5 Dollar Note of ‘a’ series issued by the Merchants Bank of Canada: to coincide with the Prince of Wales visit November 1919.” Also included is a vignette by the American Bank Note Company of the Prince of Wales.
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August paper money sale will take place August 4-7, and will be posted online for viewing, bidding, and bidder registration at StacksBowers.com on July 10.
For more information on viewing lots or assistance in registering to bid, contact Info@stacksbowers.com.
Rare 1916 Zanzibar 10 Rupees
By Aris Maragoudakis – Director of World Currency Auctions, Stack’s Bowers Galleries ……
In our upcoming August 2020 World Paper Money Auction, lot 30360 features a very rare Zanzibar 10 Rupees dated 1916, which in our opinion is the rarest date for the denomination.
Tiny Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous archipelago off the coast of Tanzania that has been home to humans for over 20,000 years. It was under control of the Portuguese Empire during the exploration age, then the Sultanate of Oman, later the British Empire, then ruled as a constitutional monarchy under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah before the Zanzibar Revolution. It currently governs itself through the Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives.
You do not need to know the entire history of Zanzibar to know how rare and special banknotes from the region are. The country was a trading point between the surrounding continents for many imports and exports ranging from spices to slave trafficking. Zanzibar did not print its own paper money until 1908, and the denominations released were 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 Rupees. Of the notes printed from 1908 to 1928, only around 500 are known to have survived. Nearly 100 years later, we are fortunate to offer a very rare, 1916 10 Rupees banknote.
The majority of known and previously offered notes have featured dates of 1908 or 1928, both of which, relative to 1916, are common. This date is certainly missing from most of the few Zanzibar collections that exist. While we have encountered a few 1928 notes, and an equal number of 1908 examples, we know of only one other 1916.
The note offered in our August 2020 World Paper Money Auction has certainly seen some use with “Foreign Substance, Rust, Writing in Pencil” noted on the PCGS holder. However, bright inks are seen through the holder and all pertinent detail required to please a collector remains. We believe this is the nicest 1916 date known, but due to the absence of data regarding the date-varieties, we cannot be certain.
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