The sale of the first of three parts of legendary Frank Goon Reference Collection of British Malayan Banknotes one of the greatest collections of all time - was sold for a hammer price of S$2,297,070 (more than £1.4 million) by Londons specialist auctioneers Noonans
in their first auction in Singapore on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
This part of the Frank Goon Collection, comprising some 250 lots, covered banknotes of Malaya, The Straits Settlements, Sarawak, British North Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Without doubt, this the finest collection of its type in existence today says Noonans Senior Specialist Barnaby Faull of the Banknotes Department, we are looking forward to selling the rest of the collection in the coming couple of years.
Among the highlights of the first auction was a replacement S$10,000 note from 1973, from the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore, which was described as one of the jewels of the Frank Goon collection. Decorated with an Aranda Majulah orchid at the centre, it sold for S$100,000 (£60,000) against an estimate of S$50,000-S$70,000 (£30,000-45,000) to an advanced collector of Singapore Banknotes. As the finest example known, as well as the lowest known serial number, it was justifiable one of the two star lots of the auction [lot 210].
An earlier banknote, issued by the Government of the Straits Settlements was an extremely rare specimen $1000 note dating from 8 December 1933 and depicting a tiger and crowned head of George V that also sold for its top estimate of S$100,000 (£60,000) to a major collector of early Straits Settlements currency [lot 41] and a colour trial $50 from 1916 featuring a red-brown tiger and a crowned head of George V realised S$46,000 (£28,000) [lot 37].
From Malaya & British Borneo, an exceptional $10 dated 1961 featuring a water buffalo, with the incredible serial number A/68 000001 sold for S$44,000 to a collector specialising in notes with the serial number 1. It is believed to be the only serial number one example of this note to survive, and far exceeded its estimate of S$5,000-S$7,000 (£3,000-4,500) [lot 151].