FORT LEE, N.J. – A 1973-1976 specimen set of five banknotes from the United Arab Emirates sold for $16,520 at an auction of rare and highly collectible U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily and security printing ephemera held May 20th by Archives International Auctions, in the firm’s Fort Lee offices and online, at www.archivesinternational.com.
More than 630 lots came up for bid, of which 433 sold, for an overall sell-through rate of 68.5 percent in an auction that grossed $219,188. The worldwide banknotes session (376 lots) was led by a small but desirable section featuring the Tasmanian Devil Collection – 31 lots of Australian banknotes, including numerous rare specimens and replacement/star notes, with 25 lots selling.
Highlights from the Australian section included a 10-Shilling replacement/star note (circa 1961-1965) in gem 65 condition ($6,000) and a $50 Commonwealth of Australia non-denominational specimen note from 1974 in choice AU condition ($8,000). The worldwide banknotes session was the busiest of the auction, with 279 lots out of 376 offered selling (for a 68 percent sell-through).
Following are additional highlights from the auction, the 19th for AIA. All prices quoted include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.
Staying with worldwide banknotes, lots 39-42 (Austrian Prisoner of War notes and scrip lots of between 6 to 14 notes each) realized $132-$531 per lot; a Bank of Upper Canada, $1 (5/Shilling) proof note, originally from the Silver City Collection, hammered for $560, and a 1949 Central Bank of China, 50,000 gold Yuan essay specimen brought $1,593 (10 of 12 Chinese lots sold).
Highlights from Haiti included a rare uncut block of four proofs from the 1988 series, featuring two 500-Gourdes on the left and two 250-Gourdes on the right, with a large gutter in between. From Martinique, a 1941 1,000 Francs P-22C banknote gaveled for $1,298; while a Mexican 1899 500 Pesos unlisted specimen Bono de Caja from Banco Central Mexicano fetched $1,711.
An amazing, unlisted (and possibly earliest known date) Banco de Portugal specimen changed hands for $2,832; a 1909 $10 Bank of Porto Rico issued and canceled example earned $2,596; an attractive 1914 Salvador 5 Pesos issued banknote went to a determined bidder for $2,360; and a quartet of Spain unlisted 1885 Compania de Los Ferros-Carriles de Mallorca notes hit $4,425.
A Venezuelan Banco de Maracaibo 1929 banknote, 10 Bolivares issue, previously known only as a specimen, not issued, rose to $2,478; and a Banque de France consecutive pair (1941-1943) realized $1,007. Turning to the U.S., a $50 1918 Fourth Liberty Loan achieved $944; a $1,000 1934A (Fr#2212-G) made $2,596; and a $20 WWII “Hawaii” emergency issue note sold for $3,835.
Autographs proved to be popular with bidders, as 18 lots of 21 lots offered sold. Highlights included an 1843 full-page letter in poet William Wordsworth’s hand, discussing the loss of principle of repudiated Mississippi bonds by his family ($3,422); an 1816 Samuel F. Morse handwritten letter discussing a sketching trip ($2,360); and a historic “Short Snorter” signed by notable WWII military luminaries such as Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and President Truman ($4,425).
Top lots from the U.S. and worldwide scripophily session (60 of 97 lots sold, for a 62 percent sell-through), included an 1891 specimen bond from the West Feliciana Planting Company (of Louisiana, $283); and an 1880 proof Constitutional Bond of the State of Louisiana ($561). A Chinese Shanghai Power Company specimen brought $767, and an 1852 Accelerating Steam Navigation Co., obsolete look-alike certificate with vignette of a zeppelin-like craft made $708.
The May 20th event was the 19th auction for Archives International Auctions since its founding in 2006. AIA has become synonymous with quality auctions dedicated to U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily, security printing ephemera, coins, historic documents and numismatic ephemera.“Records are broken nearly every auction,” Dr. Schwartz said of the burgeoning genre.
Archives International Auctions was chosen three years in a row to be the official auctioneer for the annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectibles Show held at the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street in New York City. The 2013 event was held in October. The firm is already planning for a fourth consecutive Wall Street Show auction, scheduled for October 25th.
AIA is always looking for U.S. and worldwide banknotes, stocks, bonds, stamps, coins, autographs and postal history, from better individual items to large estate collections. To sell or consign an item or a collection, you may write to them at 1580 Lemoine Ave., Suite #7, Fort Lee, NJ 07024; e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org; or call them at (201) 944-4800.
To learn more about Archives International Auctions and the firm’s upcoming slate of auctions for Fall and Winter 2014-2015, please log on to www.archivesinternational.com.
Archives International Auctions
1580 Lemoine Avenue
Fort Lee, New Jersey
Dr. Robert Schwartz
Archives International Auctions
P: (201) 944-4800