Bowers and Merena to Present "The East Bay & Eduard Kann Collections of Chinese, Russian and World Banknotes"


October Auction Features Two Outstanding Collections, "The East Bay Collection of International Banknotes" and "The Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection"

IRVINE, Calif. – Bowers and Merena Auctions, America’s leading rare coin and currency auction house, will conduct an auction of exceptional international banknotes in New York City on October 27-28, 2008, with lot viewing at the auction site October 25-28.

Banknote example from “The East Bay Collection” and "The Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection"

The auction is compiled of two premier collections, "The East Bay Collection of International Banknotes" and "The Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection," consisting of more than 2,000 total lots.

It will be held at the Hilton Times Square, with live auction simulcasts at the John Bull Auctions offices in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, and the Heinrich Köhler Auktionshaus offices in Wiesbaden, Germany. Pre-auction lot viewing will be available in multiple locations around the world, including California, Germany and Hong Kong, as well as at the Maastricht Paper Money Show in the Netherlands, the PCDA Paper Money Convention in St. Louis, Mo., and prior to the auction in New York.

The auction will be spearheaded by Bowers and Merena in conjunction with sister companies John Bull Auctions, Ltd., of Hong Kong, and Heinrich Köhler Auktionshaus of Germany. Complete lot viewing and auction schedules are available at

"The East Bay Collection" is believed to be the largest collection of international banknotes ever to come to market. Assembled over the course of 40 years by a private collector in Northern California, it consists of more than 30,000 notes representative of over 150 countries.

The entire collection will be auctioned over the coming year in multiple auctions around the world, debuting in this October auction with Chinese and related Asian banknotes and Russian and European banknotes.

"The East Bay Collection" was secured by Ronald J. Gillio, numismatic acquisition coordinator for Bowers and Merena Auctions and world coin and banknote specialist.


"The scope of this collection is absolutely wonderful in both quantity and quality, and without question the most comprehensive collection I’ve ever known," said Gillio. "The Russia and China sections constitute by far the strongest groupings of the collection," he added.


There are approximately 2,800 Chinese banknotes and 2,500 Russian banknotes included in the collection.

Neil Shafer, internationally renowned world paper money expert and author, had the opportunity to view "The East Bay Collection" banknotes while in California cataloging the Kann Chinese banknotes for Bowers and Merena. He too marveled at the extent of "The East Bay Collection."


"This collection of world paper money is by all standards one of the best ever formed. There are a decent number of them that I had never seen before, and the Russian group is among the best collections ever formed of the earlier issues," Shafer said.


Notes in "The East Bay Collection" have been graded by PMG, a respected third party grader.

Gillio noted that the Russian selection is highlighted by a full set of "State Bank Metal Deposit Receipts" from 1895 Issue (Pick A71-A77) consisting of seven notes: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 Rubles.


"Less than 10 sets are known making this an extremely rare and desirable item," he said.


Also featured in "The East Bay Collection" is a large group of Korean and other Asian banknotes; a New Caledonia 1000 Francs World War II issue; and a rare early 19th century British Guiana 100 Dollar (Pick PS113), among other European notes too numerous to mention.

In addition to the October Chinese and Russian auction, these and other world notes, including those from Central America, South America and the United States, are to be offered in future auctions, including this November at Bowers and Merena’s Official Auction of the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention. Interested collectors should visit for the most up-to-date information and announcements, or call 800.458.4646 for more information.

 "The Eduard Kann Chinese Banknote Collection" is the exceptional collection of the world’s leading authority on Chinese coins and the Chinese monetary system, consisting of more than 500 bank notes and highlighted by a complete set of Russo-Asiatic Bank, Kuld’Sha Chuguchak & Kashgar Branch 1913-1917 Gold Fen Issues 1, 2, 10, 50 and 100 (Pick 479-483).

About Bowers and Merena Auctions

Bowers and Merena Auctions was founded in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s preeminent numismatic auctioneer with more than half a billion dollars in rare coin and currency sales. Bowers and Merena has handled four of the five most valuable United States coin collections ever sold, including the Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. Collection, the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection, the Garrett Collection for The Johns Hopkins University, and the Norweb Collection.

For more information about Bowers and Merena Auctions and "The East Bay Collection" and "The Eduard Kann Collection," call 800.458.4646. For media inquiries, ask for president Steve Deeds. Complete prices realized for all past auctions are available at

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