The first banknote with a portrait of the Queen was a five shilling issued in Bermuda and is dated October 20, 1952, the year of her accession. The note has an estimated value of £500, while a 10-shilling note from the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, now Zimbabwe and Botswana, dated 27 May 1957 carries an estimate of £700.
Among other lots, a prominent Belize $100 note from the 1980s is estimated at £1,800, and a specimen Australian $5 note from the 1990s is expected to fetch at least £1,000, while A British Caribbean Territories $5 note, dated 1959, should easily exceed its estimate of £1,000.
Thomasina Smith, Auction Manager, said: “We are delighted to hold this sale to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. No other monarch has featured on such a wide range of ratings from so many countries. Not only do they depict her throughout the 70 years of her reign, but stylistically they are wonderful works of art showing the progression and history of the banknote.
“The sale will feature banknotes from all corners of the Commonwealth and there will be examples from every country on which the Queen’s portrait has appeared. This includes New Zealand, Cyprus, Fiji and the Falklands to name but a few, and to commemorate this historic sale, each ticket will be issued with a bespoke commemorative sale tag,” she adds. .
The auction catalog will be a collector’s item in its own right, with full listings for every note, as well as full discussions of every engraved portrait of the Queen that has ever appeared on a banknote. This includes details of the jewelry worn and the original photographs that inspired the engravers. Many portraits are very famous, including the 1972 portrait of Annigoni and the 1952 photographs of Dorothy Wilding.
The auction will take place on May 31, 2022, with free online bidding available at www.dnw.co.uk.