There is a superb selection of British notes in our May 6th auction.  It features a great selection of black and white notes and other Bank of England prefixes and low numbers.  Of great interest is a group of Scottish notes from the Clydesdale Bank. These are all low or interesting numbers from the new £5 Polymer issue, including the numbers 000001-000010!

Bank of England, a trio of remarkable number 1 serial numbered notes

With any country, banknotes with low serial numbers attract a premium.  If you are lucky enough to own a note with the serial number 1, that premium will invariably be very large.  However, Bank of England notes may well be the best of all in this regard. This is because, since the late 1950s, all first issue notes with serial number 1 have gone straight to the Queen and are kept in the Royal Collection. 

As such, these three notes, bearing the signature of L.K.O'Brien, the Chief Cashier in 1955, are likely the latest dated true number 1s that will ever be available on the open market.  This is quite probably a once in a life time opportunity for collectors.  


Lots 3147, 3148, 3150 - Combined Estimate £15,500-£22,500 

Bank of England, an ultra-rare £500 of 1925

The highlight of the British sale must be the Bank of England, C.P.Mahon £500, London issue, dated 15 December 1925. In 2012, Spink sold The David Kirch Collection of Bank of England, which was undoubtedly the most extensive collection of Black and White notes ever put together, but it did not feature a Mahon £500. 

£500 notes of this period are excessively rare and were probably, along with their big brother, the £1000 note, exclusively used for interbank transactions and property deals (this could have represented enough to buy a semi detached house in Balham!). The note is indeed a rare find. 


Lot 3082 - Estimate £22,000-£25,000

 For more information please contact:

Barnaby Faull: 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7563 4031 | Email:  [email protected]


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Spink is the world's leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wine.  Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide.  Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year.  Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website ( or via the Spink App for iPhone and iPad.