An Iraq specimen note that was printed in India during the Second World War is expected to fetch at least £70,000 when it is offered at Noonans
Mayfair on the first day of a two-day sale of World Banknotes on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.
Described by Andrew Pattison, Head of Banknote Department at Noonans: As most exciting banknote to come to market anywhere in the world this year, the Iraq 100 Fils specimen was printed by the Nasik Press in India during the Second World War and given to the Director- General of Finance, Abraham Elkabir.
He continues: It is an almost mythical banknote; it has never been offered at auction before and is unlikely to ever come up again. The note issued for a matter of weeks and only a single low-grade example is believed to have survived. For dedicated collectors of Iraq, this auction represents the only chance to complete the Iraq series once and for all.
The specimen 100 Fils dating from 1941 with the serial number O/00 000000 is decorated with a portrait of King Faisal II as a baby at right carries an estimate of £50,000-£70,000 [lot 499], while a specimen 50 Fils from 1944 with the serial number A000000 and a portrait of King Fasial II as a baby is expected to fetch £30,000-£40,000 [lot 500]. They are being sold by a descendant of the original recipient, who is still named Elkabir.
The sale will also include the first major part of the Peter Holland Collection, which is a superb group of world notes from China, Hyderabad, Ceylon, and Sweden, as well South Africa. Many of these notes have not appeared in auction anywhere for well over a decade.
Included will be the highest denomination Swedish note ever produced and only a handful survive. From the Sveriges Riksbank in Sweden, the 10,000 Kronor note dates from 1939 and carries an estimate of £10,000-£14,000 [lot 907].
As Andrew Pattison explains: When this note was issued, it was worth the equivalent of four kilograms of solid gold and would easily have purchased an average house. It is believed that only a single example of this note exists in private hands in uncancelled form, so this is likely the only way a collector will be able to acquire an example of this, possibly the rarest 20th- century Swedish banknote.
Also from the Holland Collection is a unique copy of a 5 Rupee note issued in 1881 in Ceylon (Sri-Lanka) by a British Bank, the Oriental Bank Corporation and is estimated to fetch £6,000-£8,000 [lot 247].
Mr Pattison notes: This note was issued in a very small mountainous region called Haldemulle (now Haldummulla) and is in a remarkable state of preservation. Notes like this were issued in tiny quantities and for only very short periods of time, so we believe this may be the only surviving example and will probably never appear on the market again.