Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rare banknotes' owner hopes to coin £11,000

This is Cornwall
Thursday, October 04, 2012

RARE black and white Cornish banknotes produced 200 years ago when Truro, Falmouth, Helston and Redruth printed their own money are set to fetch up to £11,000 at auction.

Of the 28 banknotes, four could sell for up to £600 each when they go under the hammer at Spinkin Bloomsbury, London, on Tuesday.

The banknotes have been put up for sale by Jersey-based property tycoon David Kirch, 75, who is said to be Britain's joint 75lst richest man, alongside Robbie Williams, David Bowie and George Michael, each said to be worth an estimated £100 million.

Mr Kirch's collection of English provincial banknotes, worth about £1 million, will be sold in four parts.

It is described by Barnaby Faull, head of the banknotes department at Spink, as "the best collection of English provincial banknotes by miles".

Mr Faull added: "All towns and cities used to issue their own banknotes. Merchants would set up their own banks. But their notes could only be used locally."

Among the Cornish notes in the Spink auction are:

a proof of a Miners Bank;

five guineas note (£5.25) undated but produced between 1796 and 1803 (as a proof, it was never issued) expected to sell for between £400 and £600. The Truro-based Miners Bank was founded in 1759 and in business for 131 years until 1890, when it became part of Bolitho, Williams, Foster, Coode, Grylls and Co Ltd, the Consolidated Bank of Cornwall, which was taken over in 1905 by Barclay and Co Ltd, which became Barclays Bank Ltd in 1917;

a Falmouth Bank £1 note issued on April 10, 1811, described by Spink as "rare" is set to fetch between £500 and £600. This bank was founded in 1809, but what happened to it is a mystery;

two Helston notes are expected to sell for between £500 and £600 each. They were both produced by the Helston-based Union Bank of Cornwall, which was founded in 1788 and also later became part of Barclays Bank;

an unissued West Cornwall Bank £5 note, featuring on engraving of a tin mine, could sell for between £300 and £400. The short-lived Redruth-based West Cornwall Bank was founded in 1812 and ceased trading in 1820.

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