Rare British note estimated at $20K

Described by auctioneers as “extremely rare,” a 1936 £500 note from the Bank of England branch in Leeds is expected to bring at least £18,000 in early March.

The U.K.-based firm Noonans will offer the note, signed by Kenneth Peppiatt, then the Bank of England’s chief cashier. The first example ever sold at auction, it’s just the second one known to exist.

It is indeed a fantastic note,” said Andrew Pattison, the banknote department head at Noonans, who added £500 notes are only known from three branches, London, Liverpool and Leeds. “Although some were issued in Birmingham and Manchester, none have ever come to light. Of those available, Leeds branch – like this one – are the rarest. It comes from a long-term collector and is only the second example ever to come to the open market.”

It’s estimated at £18,000-£22,000.

The March 1-2 sale will also feature the Bruce Smart Collection, centring on notes from India, Britain and Ireland, with the proceeds to be donated to a U.S.-based animal welfare organization, Humane Animal Partners.

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