Lot of 1970s-Era United Arab Emirates Banknotes Gavels for $29,500 at AIA Sale

The top lot of a live and Internet auction held by Archives International Auctions on June 4 was this set of five 1970s-era banknotes from the United Arab Emirates with Serial Number “000002.” It realized $29,500.

FORT LEE, N.J. – One lot consisting of five 1970s-era banknotes from the United Arab Emirates, with Serial Number “000002” in denominations ranging from 1-to-100 Dirhams, sold for $29,500 at a live and Internet auction held by Archives International Auctions in the firm’s gallery on June 4. The set was easily the sale’s top lot.

All the notes were fresh and brightly colored with excellent embossing and sharp corners. Each banknote featured a camel caravan, palm tree and derrick on the face, with landmarks and historical designs on the back.

“This set would be the centerpiece of any advanced U.A.E. collection and nearly impossible to duplicate,” said Dr. Robert Schwartz of Archives International Auctions.

The auction, only the 15th for Archives International Auctions, had a little more than 900 lots of U.S. and worldwide banknotes, coins, scripophily (the collecting of stocks and bonds), and autographs. Around a dozen dedicated collectors attended the event live, while an estimated 70 others bid via the Internet. Phone and absentee bids were also taken. The sale grossed $242,579.

“Online bidding has been on the increase over the last three years, I’m sure not just for us but for the auction industry overall,” Schwartz said. “People are happy being able to bid on multiple auctions at once, from the comfort of home. As for the sale itself, it was strong, with the strongest sectors being foreign banknotes, U.S. Federal bonds and a few other lesser categories.”

Following are additional highlights from the auction (all prices quoted include an 18-percent buyer’s premium):

One other lot was able to crack the $20,000 mark. It was a large-size Fourth Liberty Loan “star” replacement gold bond (4 ¼ percent), issued on Oct. 24, 1918, and the only one known. Graded extra fine by Pass-Co, the bond hit $22,420.

A circa-1845 Commercial Bank of India unlisted Bombay denomination rarity in the amount of 5 Rupees, in choice fine to very fine condition but, unfortunately, torn in half vertically with both halves intact, went for $5,900. The note, rare and desirable and with no serial numbers, had commerce, ships, a harbor scene and buildings on the front and “Five Rupees” on the back.

This large-size Fourth Liberty Loan “Star” replacement gold bond (4 ¼ percent), issued on Oct. 24, 1918, is thought to be the only one in existence and gaveled for $22,420.

This one-page holograph letter written in 1720 and hand-signed by John Law, the Scottish financier and speculator who founded Banque Generale in 1716, brought $5,020.

A one-page holograph letter written in France on Aug. 25, 1720, by John Law, the Scottish financier and speculator, rose to $5,020. The letter, in very fine condition with just some minor toning at the margins, was regarding the exchange of 200,000 Livres for 10,000 Livres banknotes. Law founded Banque Generale in 1716, the first bank in France that issued paper currency. It was set up to help develop and colonize Louisiana, called the “Mississippi Scheme.”

An extremely rare and historic Series A proof banknote for Banco Espanol de Puerto Rico (circa 1889), in the amount of 50 Pesos, unlisted face and back proofs printed on India paper with archival notations, realized $2,480. The banknote had “00000” serial numbers and was graded in choice to gem uncirculated condition.

Brazil was well-represented in the auction. A Banco Do Brasil 1923 issue proof banknote (Estampa 1A), in the amount of 200 Mil Reis, fetched $1,770; an Imperial Do Brasil 1874 issue proof banknote (Estampa 7A), for 5 Mil Reis, breezed to $1,530; and an Imperial Do Brasil 1882 issue color trial essay proof banknote, 2 Mil Reis, made $1,480.

This Commercial Bank of India denomination rarity (circa 1845) for 5 Rupees, with no serial numbers, sole for $5,900 despite its being torn in half.

A pair of $2 issued banknotes from the Commonwealth of Australia, both from 1966, brought $1,300 and $1,240.

A pair of Commonwealth of Australia replacement star issued banknotes, each in the amount of $2 and both from 1966, brought $1,300 and $1,240. Also, a Brooklyn, Bushwick & Queens County Railroad 1886 1st Mortgage specimen bond in the amount of $1,000 (6 percent), showing a dog bottom center and a ship at dock top left, commanded $530.

Archives International Auctions’ next big auction will be held on Saturday, Oct. 19, on the final day of the third annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectibles Show, to be held Oct. 17-19 at the Museum of American Finance, at 48 Wall Street in New York City. Offered will be hundreds of U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily and historic artifacts and documents.

Quality consignments are being sought. Already consigned, and expected to attract great attention, is a 1792 Federal Bond signed by George Washington, one of only two known (the other one is in a museum).

Archives International Auctions is always looking for quality U.S. and worldwide banknotes, stocks, bonds, stamps, coins and postal history, from better individual items to large collections (for auction or purchase). For more information about this auction, to sell or consign a single item or a collection, call 201.944.4800, e-mail to info@archivesinternational.com or visit the Archives International Auctions website.


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