An extremely rare £500 note from the Bank of England branch in Leeds dated 1936 will be offered by Noonans
in their sale of Banknotes on Wednesday & Thursday, March 1 & 2, 2023. Signed by Kenneth O. Peppiatt who was Chief Cashier at the Bank of England, it is expected to fetch £18,000-22,000. It is the first one to ever be sold at auction and only the second one known to exist.
As Andrew Pattison, Head of Banknote Department at Noonans commented: It is indeed a fantastic note. £500 notes are very rare, and in fact only available from three Bank of England branches - London, Liverpool and Leeds, although some were issued in Birmingham and Manchester none have ever come to light. Of those available, Leeds branch, like this one, are the rarest. It comes from a long-term collector and is only the second example ever to come to the open market.
The sale will also include the Bruce Smart Collections of notes from India, and also of Britain and Ireland. The proceeds will be donated to an animal welfare organisation in the Unites States by the name of Humane Animal Partners, which was recently created by the merger of the Delaware SPCA with the Delaware Humane Association.
The India section, which consists of 62 exceptional notes, is a wonderful example for the unusual value of 2 Rupees and 8 Annas. This was issued in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) in 1917, and bears the portrait of King George V. Due to its rarity and wonderful condition, it is estimated at £20,000-26,000.
Elsewhere in the auction there is a large and diverse group of South African material, including an astonishingly rare £5 issued in the town of Koffyfontein during the Boer War, while the town was under siege. This is estimated at £8,000-10,000 and is arguably the most difficult and certainly desirable Boer War note to find with only four other examples in private hands.