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Rare banknotes at Wellington auction

Press Release – Mowbray’s
Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May will see the largest auction of New Zealand
banknotes ever held in New Zealand by Mowbray Collectables.

Nearly 500 banknote and related lots will go under the hammer in Wellington, starting with cheques from the New Zealand Banking Company from the earliest days of settlement at Kororarika of 1840 to 1845, a cheque signed by E Wakefield in Wellington in 1841 and rare private currency notes used in in 1845 when change was scarce.

There are 85 notes issued by trading banks from the 1850s until 1934 before Reserve Bank notes started. Many are scarce and only available as printer’s proofs or specimens – little wonder when an 1873 National Bank of New Zealand 50 pounds ($100) would buy what $6750 buys today. There are intriguing designs such as on the Bank of New Zealand 1903 One-Pound featuring Maori, the Lion and the Unicorn, an idyllic pastoral scene, kiwis, and sheep all on one note, estimated at $12,000.

The scarcest Reserve Bank Note on offer is a 1934 50-pounds, with around 80 known, estimated at $15,000. It would have bought $6000 of goods in today’s money when first issued.

The auction also features a rare Bank in Aberdeen Scottish Five Shilling Note of 1799 and other World Banknotes. New Zealand coins include the rare 1935 Waitangi Crown and nineteenth century private traders’ half penny and penny copper and bronze tokens, now estimated at up to $1200.

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