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Monday, August 30, 2010

WWII banknotes issued for other countries by the British military go under the hammer

With a somewhat military theme, the Tom Warburton collection of rare currency is to sell

In a month's time, Spink will be carrying out an auction of rare currency which is likely to excite notaphilists everywhere. A fantastic selection of banknotes from the Tom Warburton collection is to go under the hammer with nearly 900 lots on offer.

There is something of a military theme to the collection with many of the pieces dating from the early 1940s and relating to countries involved in WWII.

In fact that final few lots of the sale include an Isle of Man a prisoner of war camp medal and related tokens.

The star lots of the sale illustrate this very clearly: three lots of £1 banknotes issued in 1943-45 by the British Military Authority. All three are violet and multicoloured and display a lion and crown at the right with the value at the centre and at each corner on the obverse.

British Military Authority rare Banknote
British Military Authority rare banknote

If you're not familiar with the design, the reverse is a bit of a surprise, as it's a completely different colour: green at the ends flowing into a bright orange in the centre with '£1'reprinted in an almost exuberant style.

The obverse has the country in which it was issued in black block capital text in the centre: Bulgaria (serial number 39Z 000020), Greece (39Z 000041) and France (39Z 000054). All are uncirculated and very rare.

Only 25 of the Bulgarian and Greek notes are believed to have been produced, whilst 50 French banknotes were created, so they are an obvious choice for an investment in a growing area of collectibles. Each is expected to sell for £5,000-7,000.

Spink's auction takes place in London on October 3.