Rare bank notes printed in Leicester set to fetch thousands
Rare bank notes printed in Leicester during the 18th and 19th centuries are expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction.
Some of the 18 black and white notes, issued between 1790 and 1893, are each expected to fetch between about £100 to £400, with others possibly reaching up to £1,000.
They are being sold at Spink auctioneers, in London, on December 14, as a single lot.
However, Barnaby Faull, director of bank notes at Spink, said he expected enthusiasts to snap them up in bundles.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
He also said there was a likelihood that the rare notes could return to Leicestershire.
Mr Faull said: "I was on the phone to a Leicester collector who said he was well aware of the notes and said there were quite a few which he hoped to bring back to Leicester.
"This really is the be all and end all of provincial collections – there aren't any others out there which are as complete as this.
"Because it's a specialist market, these should be worth a lot more than they are likely to go for."
The collection is part of the David Kirch Collection of English Provincial Banknotes, the largest collection of its kind. It is made up of thousands of 18th, 19th and 20th century examples of provincial notes from around the country.
It is being sold by millionaire property tycoon David Kirch, who is planning to donate all of the money made from the sales to charity.
It is thought altogether, the Leicestershire notes alone will fetch between £6,000 and £6,500.
One of the items, a rare £20 bank note printed by Leicester and Leicestershire Bank in 1842, is expected to sell for about £700.
The oldest note in the Leicester collection is a five guineas note (£5.25 in modern money) issued by Leicester Bank in 1790, during the reign of King George III, could sell for between £250 and £350. Mr Faull said: "The Bank of England was the only official issuing authority but only produced notes of about £5, which would have been more money than you could dream about at the time.
"So the provincial banks started to emerge, which were set up by local merchants, and began issuing small denominations, which were technically IOUs and all but worthless outside of the area they were printed.
"Most banks had disappeared by the 1820s, so we're in the rare situation where later items are worth more than earlier ones."
There were a number of Leicester banks in operation either side of 1800, but most went bust by about 1820.
One was founded in about 1776 by two local businessmen named Mansfield and Oliver, flourished and was taken over by the London City and Midland Bank in 1898.
In 1918, it became the London Joint City and Midland Bank, which became Midland Bank.