Chinese 3-Taels issued banknote make $10,620 at auction

Archives International Auctions’ May 15 auction, featuring 1,069 lots of interesting and exciting U.S. and worldwide banknotes resulted in gross sales of $243,000 (including the buyer’s premium). The sale took place in the handsome new Fort Lee offices, where live gallery bidders competed with extremely active telephone and Internet bidding throughout the auction. More than 180 people registered to bid online at the sleek new website

Archives International Auctions has been chosen once again to serve as official auctioneer for the second annual Wall Street Collectors Bourse, to be held Oct. 18-20 at the Museum of American Finance, located at 48 Wall Street in New York City. The sale on Saturday, Oct. 20, will include American and Worldwide stocks and bonds, banknotes, autographs and interesting material from the American Bank Note Commemoratives production material and souvenir cards featured in the successful May 15 sale mentioned above.

All prices of highlights quoted include the 18% Buyer’s Premium.

Among the many highlights was a popular and rare 1855 Chinese Year 5 Board of Revenue 3-Taels issued banknote, graded very fine that was hammered down for $10,620. One surprise of the auction was a philatelic related item – an experimental uncut sheet of 64 specimen postage stamps (circa 1890-1910), with a Liberty portrait on gummed stamp paper in almost uncirculated condition that attracted $5,310; a 1933 National Bank, Ltd. of Dublin Currency Commission “Ploughman” 5-pound banknote, very rare and almost uncirculated, breezed to an impressive $4,720 after vigorous floor and phone action.

Three lots of New England Bank Note Company advertising vignette sample proof sheets, printed in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1830-40’s, fetched prices ranging from $3,422-$3,835. The sheets, all printed in black on india paper, featured various vignettes, such as Native Americans, George Washington, Christopher Columbus, allegorical men and women, nautical scenes and agricultural scenes; an 1889 issue Espanol de Puerto Rico (San Juan) 5 Peso unlisted specimen banknote showing a child on right and paschal lamb left, in about uncirculated condition, realized $4,425; a British South Sea Company power of attorney, authorizing the selling capital stock, dated Feb. 16, 1724, commanded $3,832.

Two lots attracted identical final bids of $2,478. One was a Compania de Obras Publicas y Fomento de Peru (Lima, Peru) 1874 Issue unlisted and punch cancelled interest-bearing banknote, showing a lovely reclining woman with trains and ships. The other was an 1853 issue stock certificate of Shawmut Mining Company (MI) with Native American vignette. Both were extremely rare and likely unique.

A Bank of Canada $50 1937 King George VI specimen banknote graded gem 66 topped out at $2,714; and an attractive 1915 Bank of Territorial Development, China, $5 banknote, with Russian text
on one side and Chinese on the other, graded uncirculated, knocked down at $2,596.

A scarce, sharp-looking 1860-era Banco de Panama issued 5 peso banknote with portrait of A. Planas at left and a locomotive and steamships at right, graded very good to fine, garnered $2,596.

Mercantile Bank (Waterloo, Ill.) uncut sheet of four notes ($1, $2, $3, $5), a 1960s or ’70s-era reprint of a sheet that was originally made in the 1850s or ‘60s, with graphics ranging from a sailor to a Screaming Eagle to Native Americans soared to $2,124; while an ornate American Banknote Company advertising note, circa 1865-1870, with Lincoln and Grant flanking a Russian military notable demanded $1,652.
A circa 1953-1954 Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam combined issue specimen or proof (French Indochina), printed on both sides with registration bars, one side showing King Sihanouk, in gem uncirculated condition, hammered for $1,888; and a British Caribbean Territories $5 Easter Group specimen banknote dated Nov. 28, 1950 changed hands for $1,357.
Rounding out the day’s top lots: a Tiffany-type Taylor & Wilson $4 commission scrip with a cigar advertisement on the back (Toronto, Canada, circa 1880-1890), graded Fine to VF, went for $1,062; and an unissued check/or draft from the Banque Russo-Chinoise circa 1900-1920 made $472.

Archives International Auctions is located close to the New Jersey entrance to the George Washington Bridge, at 1580 Lemoine Avenue, Suite 7, Fort Lee, N.J. 07024.

The firm is always looking for U.S. and worldwide banknotes, stocks, bonds, stamps, coins and postal history – from better individual items to large collections of all sorts for auction or outright purchase. To sell or consign a single piece or a collection, please call (201) 944-4800, or e-mail [email protected]

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