Burma banknotes break house record

A set of six specimen banknotes from Burma has smashed the house record for coins and banknotes at a Yorkshire auction house.

Burmese banknotesTennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire saw the Burmese set of notes sell for a hammer price of £64,000 after competitive bidding from around the world. The eventual winner was a bidder in the room who had flown from the United States to be at the sale.

The rare set is in mint condition and the notes were issued during the war in 1943 and 1945 when the country was under military administration.

The notes are all stamped ‘SPECIMEN’ and four of them were re-issued Reserve Bank of India notes used by the Military Administration as emergency war-time currency with specimen serial numbers ‘000 000000’.

The set of notes is very rare indeed, especially as they are all in mint condition. The notes were issued during the war in 1943 and 1945 when the country was under military administration; all the notes are stamped ‘SPECIMEN’, and four of the notes were re-issued Reserve Bank of India notes used by the Military Administration as emergency war-time currency with the specimen serial numbers ‘000 000000’.

The notes were collected in Burma during the war by a British engineer and kept in pristine condition in an album. The notes were amongst his possessions inherited by a family member, who had little idea of their value when they were consigned to Tennants.

Elsewhere in the sale, early English coins sold strongly, with a Edward III Gold Noble from 1361-69 selling for £2,200 hammer, a James I Gold Unite from 1604-19 selling for £2,000 hammer, and an Elizabeth I Halfcrown from 1601-2 selling for £1,800 hammer.

 

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