On January 23 2010, Spink is holding a sale of bonds, banknotes and coins of Hong Kong and China. Amongst the top lots for the banknotes are three notes, all released in 1860, immediately after more land was ceded to the British region after the Second Opium War.
The three notes are for 50, 100 and 500 Taels. The former two are black printing on a lilac and white background, whilst the third is similar, but with a dark yellow in place of the lilac. The lettering and numerals are primarily in English with some Chinese characters.
All three pieces are graded as extremely fine, and all are specimen Shanghai notes from the Asian Banking Corporation.
The 50 Taels note is expected to sell for HK$80,000-120,000 (up to US$15,500), the 100 Taels note is estimated at HK$100,000-150,000 (up to US$19,400) and the 500 HK$120,000-180,000 (up to US$23,200).
However, the sale is rendered somewhat unpredictable, as Asian collectibles are tending to exceed their estimates at auction. Also, Spink's last banknote auction a week ago was hugely successful, suggesting notaphily is a growing interest at the moment.
The sale takes place in London, and may be expected to be lively.
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