Walter Scott banknotes lead auction at Spink

Notaphily - the study and collection of rare banknotes - is a growing area in collectibles. For anyone who doubts this, there is an excellent auction shortly to take place at Spink demonstrating how far the hobby has come.

Over 400 lots of paper money are on offer, but the auction is based on a single collection: the Marischal Collection of Scottish Banknotes.

Sunburst £100 1947 Union Bank of Scotland banknote
'Sunburst' £100 1947 Scottish banknote

The bulk of the collection offers some spectacular examples of 20th century classics, such as the 1947 'red sunburst' £100 note issued by the Union Bank of Scotland. However the most valuable lot is not from the 20th century at all, but actually from the 21st.

This is a set of banknotes featuring Sir Walter Scott, the 18th-19th century writer of Waverley and The Heart of Midlothian.  

The notes comprise a blue and multicoloured £5 note, with the Brig o'Doon on the reverse, a brown and multicoloured £10 note with the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the back, a purple and multicoloured £20 with the Forth Bridge on the reverse, a green and multicoloured £50 with the Falkirk wheel  on the other side and finally a red and multicoloured £100 note with the Kessock Bridge on the back.

Bank Of Scotland 2007 £5 collectible banknote
Bank Of Scotland 2007 £5 collectible banknote (£14,000-15,000)

Despite being issued in just 2007 the uncirculated notes are valuable and collectible because they all share serial number AA000001 - the very first in the series. Together they carry an estimate of £14,000-15,000.

Spink set a record in January for a Chinese banknote when a Taiwanese collector paid HK$990,000 for a Kwangsi banknote featuring two black dragons. They will be hoping to continue their success in the Edinburgh sale on June 14.


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