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Stack’s Bowers January 15 World Paper Money Auction: Lots You Need to Know

By CoinWeek …..
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is hosting two world paper money auctions on January 15 and 18 that include a number of remarkable pieces of world paper money at different price tiers. The first auction of 354 lots, Session B, will begin on Jan. 15 at 4 PM PST in the Quarter Deck Room at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, California. The second, Session F, will begin on Jan. 18 at 9 AM PST and will be conducted entirely online. 735 lots will be up for auction during that session.

Lot viewing took place in New York City last week on Jan. 4-8 and is ongoing in California this week through Jan. 16.

CoinWeek reviewed the offerings and has compiled this list of Lots You Need to Know. We focus on rarities in the first section and a few affordable and interesting notes from the second section.

1941 Panama 10 Balboas

Lot Number: 30269

A 10-balboa note issued by the Central Bank of the Republic of Panama is one of Session B’s marquee notes.

Printed by Hamilton Banknote Company (HBNC), the note’s face features the ruins of a 17th-century cathedral in the Archaeological Site of Panama Viejo, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1] The tower is flanked by the denomination.

Panama’s coat of arms appears on the back.

The example for sale on Jan. 15 is certified Very Fine 25 by PMG; its listing explains that the notes are. Ten examples are in PMG’s population report, according to the Stack’s Bowers listing.

Dr. Arnfulo Arias Madrid was born in 1901 in Penonome, a Colombian city in the region that would eventually become Panama. Educated at both the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School, Arias helped his older brother overthrow the regime of Florencio Arosemena in 1931. Arias served as ambassador to France and England, and while in Europe he “became enamored of Mussolini’s fascism” and wanted to create a similar regime in Panama.[2] He took power in June 1940.

Arias reformed Panama’s banking system, passing Decreto Numero 6 de 1941 on September 30, 1941, authorizing the Central Bank to issue notes.[3] Four denominations were printed: one-, five-, 10-, and 20-balboas.

Concerned about his affinity for the Axis powers, as well as his opposition to U.S. military installations, the United States likely helped foment the coup against Arias that removed him from power on October 9, 1941.

This coup created a numismatic rarity.

The notes were issued on Oct. 2, 1941; Arias was deposed on Oct. 9, and withdrawal of the notes began.[4] All withdrawn/redeemed notes were destroyed, and the survivors command high auction prices today. One balboa notes are the most common, and circulated examples routinely sell for thousands.[5]

The notes’ association with Arias’ monetary reforms earned them the moniker “The Arias Issue”, and they are sought-after by collectors because of their rarity and short life in circulation.[6]

Stack’s Bowers estimates that this note will sell for between $10,000 and $20,000 USD. An example certified VF-25 sold on Jan. 2, 2020, for $12,000. The current bid is $9,000.

1865 Canada 2 Dollars

Lot Number: 30071

Almost 40 years before he appeared on the coins of England and its colonies, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, appeared on an 1865 note from The Royal Canadian Bank. Printed by the American Banknote Company (ABNCo.), features Edward VII’s portrait at left and a woman lounging at right with a basket of produce. A lion and a unicorn flank Canada’s Coat of Arms in the center of the note. It is unique in PMG’s Population Report, and according to the Charlton Standard Catalog of Canadian Bank Notes , there were “No Known Issued Notes” of the type.[7]

Prince Albert visited Canada and the United States in 1860, which “brought lasting diplomatic benefits for Britain, set the stage for the maturing relationship between Canada and Britain and within seven years the colonies would become a country,” according to a 2017 article in the Toronto Sun.[8] Massive crowds greeted him in Toronto, and he laid the cornerstone for Parliament Hill in Ottawa.[9][10]

He visited again in 1901, shortly before becoming king.

The bank’s name appears on the back, with handwritten notes that read “Taken from Mr. Thomas Dupree, 1 April 1866, The First in Pembroke”. Another handwritten note read “Pembroke April 6, 1866”.[11]

The Royal Canadian Bank was formed in Toronto in 1864.[12] In 1876, it merged with The City Bank of Montreal, forming the Consolidated Bank of Canada.[13]

Stack’s Bowers estimates that this note will sell for between $17,500 and $24,000 USD. The current bid is $15,000.

Portuguese India 100 Rupiah

Stack's Bowers January 15 World Paper Money Auction: Lots You Need to Know

Lot Number: 30311

Another of the rarer, higher-end notes in Session B is a 100-rupiah specimen note issued by the “Banco Nacional Ultramarino em Nova Goa” for use in Portuguese India. Printed by Thomas De La Rue, the note has the serial number “000000”. The face features an Indian elephant in the center and a steamship in the lower left. The back a vignette of a sailing ship, the same designs as the 50- and 500-rupiah notes. Text in Portuguese, Arabic, and Hindi

The note is graded Uncirculated 62, Previously Mounted, Small Internal Tear.

Another specimen note, also certified Uncirculated 62 Damage From Mounting, sold at auction in September 2012 for $11,162.50 Current Bid: $6,750.

Cameroon 100 Francs 1962

Stack's Bowers January 15 World Paper Money Auction: Lots You Need to Know

Lot Number: 31100

Session F, the second paper money auction session, offers a Cameroonian 100 Francs note. Though undated, the note was first issued in 1962.

President Ahmadou Ahidjo appears at left on the note’s face. Ahidjo became premier in 1958 and was elected president after Cameroon achieved independence in 1960.[14] He served as president from 1960 to 1982, uniting the northern part of Cameroon, which had been under French control with the southern region, which had been controlled by the British, in 1961. He was accused of complicity in a plot against his successor, sentenced to death in absentia in 1983, and lived in exile until his death in 1989.

A landscape scene appears at right and the note has an antelope’s head watermark. The note is certified Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG.

Two ships at a bustling port appear on the note’s back, along with a warning in English and French at the bottom-left corner: “THE COUNTERFEITER WILL BE PUNISHED ACCORDING TO THE LAW”.

Current Bid: $240.

Iraq 10 Dinars 1947 (1950)

Stack's Bowers January 15 World Paper Money Auction: Lots You Need to Know

Lot Number: 30210

Legislation authorizing the National Bank of Iraq passed in 1939, though World War II delayed its creation. The National Bank of Iraq was formally established on July 20, 1947. It commenced operation on July 1, 1949, and its first notes, the Fifth Issue, were released in 1950.[15]

Like the other notes of the Fifth Issue, King Faisal II’s portrait appears on the right side of the note’s face; a watermark depicting him appears at left. The colors on the note’s face transitions from salmon on the edge, to green, to purple in the center.

His reign and life ended in a bloody coup on July 14, 1958.

The figures on the back, a four-legged winged creature and “a bas-relief image of an Assyrian priest” were discovered by the French archaeologist Paul-Emile Botta at Khorsabad, the palace of the Assyrian King Sargon II, in 1843.[16]

Fifth Issue 10-Dinar notes were issued November 2, 1950.[17] Printed by Bradbury Wilkinson and Company.

Current Bid: $575.

* * *


[1] https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/790/

[2] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Arnulfo-Arias

[3] https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-NKLND/panama-el-banco-central-de-emision-de-la-republica-de-panama-5-balboa-1941-p-23a-pmg-choice-uncirculated-63-epq

[4] https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n20a18.html

[5] Ibid.

[6] https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v18n20a18.html

[7] https://www.pmgnotes.com/news/article/8770/PMG-certified-Canadian-Banknote-Among-Highlights-of-January-Sale/

[8] https://torontosun.com/2017/07/02/prince-albert-was-first-british-royal-to-visit-canada-in-1860

[9] Ibid.

[10] https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-PLYV6/canada-royal-canadian-bank-2-dollars-1865-ch-635-10-04-06-pmg-very-fine-25

[14] [14] http://www.pjsymes.com.au/

[15] Ibid.

[16] http://www.pjsymes.com.au/

[17] Ibid.

Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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