A high-profile collection of United Kingdom banknotes — some dating to the 18th century and most of them certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG) — sold briskly last Thursday in an auction presented by the venerable London firm Spink.
The £610,990 (nearly $800,000 USD) realized was almost £20,000 over the presale high estimate, said Barnaby Faull, Director of Banknotes for Spink, the 350-year-old global auction house.
Lou Manzi, a renowned collector active in the UK entertainment industry, assembled the collection over 40 years. Many of the notes in the collection were iconic "White Notes" issued by the Bank of England. They are called that because they are simple white paper with black print.
PMG certified highlights from the collection at recent London on-site grading events, which it held at the office of NGC International UK Limited (NGC UK), the London-based affiliate of PMG. They can be viewed in an online image gallery at http://www.pmgnotes.uk/manzi.
"The Lou Manzi Collection probably is the best collection of Bank of England notes extant today," Faull said. "The prices were remarkable and I feel the decision to use PMG holders for the collection was completely vindicated. I look forward to Part II in the autumn."
The top-selling 10 lots from the first auction of the Manzi collection all were certified by PMG. Spink is to offer the rest of the collection of banknotes Oct. 10.
PMG has authenticated more than 4 million notes since it was founded in 2005. But the Manzi collection stood out, according to PMG Finalizer Chad Hawk.
"It was a true privilege to grade and be part of the Lou Manzi Collection," Hawk said. "We have never seen such a comprehensive group of rare and high-quality notes from the Bank of England. It’s a collection that put a spotlight on the world of British paper money."
The note in the collection that realized the highest bid, £54,000 (about $70,000 USD), was an 1829-35 £100 – Manchester graded PMG 20 Very Fine.
Other top-priced notes sold in Thursday’s auction included a 1925-29 £1,000 – London graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine, which realized the next-highest amount, £40,000 (about $52,000 USD).
A 1934-43 £1,000 – London graded PMG 50 About Uncirculated realized £36,000 (about $47,000 USD) and a 1902-18 £100 – Portsmouth specimen graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ realized £35,000 (about $46,000 USD).
One of the oldest notes in the auction, a 1778-1807 £10 – London graded PMG 10 Very Good NET, realized £15,000 (about $20,000 USD).
Among the other top-selling notes:
An undated (1914) 10/- Shillings Treasury Note, Serial Number 1, graded PMG 53 About Uncirculated. Realized: £25,000 (about $33,000 USD)
A lot consisting of an undated (1928-29) 10/- Shillings and a £1, both with Serial Number A01 000087, graded PMG 66 Gem Uncirculated EPQ and PMG 67 Superb Gem Uncirculated EPQ★, respectively. Realized: £18,000 (about $23,000 USD)
A 1955-56 £5 – London, Serial Number 1, graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated EPQ. Realized: £16,000 (about $21,000 USD)
A 1835-53 £10 – London, graded PMG 25 Very Fine. Realized: £16,000 (about $21,000 USD)
An undated (1924) £1 Printer’s Design, graded PMG 63 Choice Uncirculated EPQ. Realized: £10,000 (about $13,000 USD)
NGC UK hosts PMG on-site grading events periodically in London; the next will be this fall. Spink will feature the remainder of the Manzi Collection in another sale later this year
PMG also certified highlights from several other significant collections during its recent London on-site grading events. Among these are notes from the Ibrahim Salem Collection of British Commonwealth Banknotes — Part I and the Michel Muszynski Collection of Sub-Saharan African Notes, which Spink sold in April. Image galleries can be viewed at PMGnotes.com/salem and PMGnotes.com/africa.
For more information about NGC UK and PMG services in the UK, visit PMGnotes.uk.
For more information about Spink and to bid in upcoming auctions, visit spink.com.
Founded in 2005, PMG is the world’s most comprehensive third-party paper money grading and encapsulation service. To learn more about the company and its services, visit PMG.