Auction review: Canadian notes among top highlights of recent NYINC sale

Three Canadian banknotes drew strong attention and high realizations during a paper money auction held in conjunction with the New York International Coin Convention (NYINC) this January.

Each of the three Canadian notes sold above estimate during the 481-lot sale held by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on Jan. 12. Among the highlights was Lot 30096, a 1935 Series French-language Banque du Canada $5 note in Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) Gem Uncirculated-65 EPQ (exceptional paper quality). Printed by the British American Bank Note Co., the note features a serial number reading “F000009” and the Osborne-Towers signature combination.

The obverse depicts Prince Edward of Wales while the reverse shows an allegorical man seated at centre to represent electric power with a mountain scene in the background.

According to auctioneers, this piece is one of only four gems on the PMG census with no finer examples known to exist. This lot realized $24,000 after a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

Lot 30093 was a 1935 Series French-language Banque du Canada note that realized $20,400.

‘SERIAL No. 9’

Another 1935 Series French-language Banque du Canada banknote with a serial number reading “F000009” and the same pre-sale estimate was offered as Lot 30093. This note features lathework throughout the design and a soft blue hue. Queen Mary is pictured at left alongside plated signatures of Osborne-Towers in the signature panels. The reverse shows an entirely blue design with Mercury at centre as well as trains and boats in the background representing transportation.

This example is one of only seven gems on the PMG population report for the type in issued form and offered a “rare opportunity for seasoned collectors,” according to auctioneers. In PMG Gem Uncirculated-65, this lot sold for $20,400.


Lot 30115, a Union Bank of Canada $50 note (CH #7301808), sold for $21,600.

Rounding out the Canadian highlights was Lot 30115, a Union Bank of Canada $50 note (CH #7301808) issued at Winnipeg on July 1, 1912. In PMG Very Fine-20, this lot shows “Juanita”—a “desirable vignette,” according to auctioneers—holding a feather over her head. The right side pictures a vignette of the Quebec Citadel.

“Outside of some minimal handling that accounts for the grade, there are no issues to report,” added auctioneers. “We cannot locate this note on the PMG population report, leading us to believe it is the only example known, and by proxy, the finest for the type.”

This example sold for $21,600 after a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000.

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