‘Trophy note’ snatched up at auction, but P.E.I. collection steals the show

By Mike Walsh

While the “superb rarity” 1935 Bank of Canada banknote took the spotlight at Geoffrey Bell Auctions’ sale held at the Toronto Coin Expo, it was Ralph Dickieson’s Prince Edward Island collection that generated the most intense bidding among collectors.

“I am really, really pleased,” auctioneer Brian Bell said when asked about Lot 530 featuring the $500 “trophy note” that made its auction debut. “It met our expectations,” the auctioneer added, noting the PCGS-graded AU-53 PPQ hammered at $432,000.

All price realizations include the buyer’s premium.

The historic $500 note was among 702 lots offered Sept. 29 in conjunction with the Toronto Coin Expo, held at the Toronto Reference Library. Earlier in the week, the auction house offered another 764 lots of numismatic material as part of its “warm-up” sale. In between these two sales, on Sept. 28, Alliance Coin Auctions presented a “diverse offering of 550 lots” of Canadian and worldwide material as part of the expo.

“The warm-up sale was very successful, it beat our expectations,” said auctioneer Bell. “The main sale was really strong. A little bit spotty in the chartered banknotes, but outside of that, the special serial numbers and Bank of Canada notes were very strong. Coins were strong as well.”

Bell, in particular, was ecstatic with the sale of Dickieson’s P.E.I. collection, which the late collector amassed over several decades.

“The P.E.I. product really exceeded our expectations. It made a lot of people happy,” Bell said. “We are really, really happy for our P.E.I. consignor. Mr. Dickieson bought the material and he really preserved it. He and the family did a great job with the presentations.”

Dickieson, who died in March 2016 at age 88, loved anything relating to the Maritime province of P.E.I.

“He did not collect or try to acquire coins or paper money based on their value or rarity,” stated a description in the auction catalogue. “Rather, he wanted to have a ‘complete’ collection, which told a story of the history of P.E.I. in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

The collection generated massive interest and bidding from collectors worldwide.

Lot 444, in particular, generated hot bidding. The Wickham Specimen of a Prince Edward Island Holey Dollar, a Canadian rarity, sold for …

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