Leeds: Rare £5 note dating back to 1900 sells at auction for more than £30k

A rare £5 note, issued in Leeds and dating from 1900, which sold at auction for £32,000.
A rare £5 note, issued in Leeds and dating back to 1900, has sold at auction for £32,000. Credit: Noonans of Mayfair

An "exceptionally rare" £5 note issued in Leeds more than a century ago has sold at auction for more than £30,000.

Dated 12 July 1900, it was signed by Horace G. Bowen who was Chief Cashier at the Bank of England from 1893 to 1902.

The fantastic fiver went for a hammer price of £32,000 – more than double its pre-sale estimate of £12,000 to £16,000 - in a sale of British and Irish banknotes at London-based auction house Noonans of Mayfair.

The auction catalogue informed collectors - known as notaphilists - that its serial number was U/65 37229 and described it as a "beautiful, very fine" example.

It advised that there are "very few Bowen notes in private hands especially from this exceptionally rare Leeds branch".

The sale also included another "very rare" £5 note from Leeds dated 28 July 1862 and signed by Matthew Marshall, who was Chief Cashier of the Bank of England between 1835 and 1864.

It sold for a hammer price of £20,000 against an estimate of £10,000 to £15,000.

After the sale, Andrew Pattison, head of banknote department at Noonans, said: "Bidding was extremely fierce, with the notes going to two different buyers, both of whom are advanced collectors of English banknotes.

"There were multiple bidders on each note right to the top, which just shows that interest in rare and unique collectable banknotes is extremely strong."

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