‘Extremely rare’ £500 note from Bank of England Leeds branch which dates back to 1936 will be on auction and is expected to fetch between £18,000 and £22,000

A very rare Bank of England £500 note in Leeds will be up for auction at Noonans and is valued at £18,000 to £22,000.

The £500 note is dated 1936 and will be on sale at Noonans on Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2, 2023. It will be signed by Kenneth O. Peppiatt who was chief cashier at the Bank of England and is thought to be worth £18,000-£22,000.

The rare banknote is the first one to ever be sold at an auction and only the second one known to exist.

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Head of the banknote department at Noonans, Andrew Pattison, said: “It is indeed a fantastic note. £500 notes are very rare, and in fact only available from three Bank of England branches - London, Liverpool and Leeds, although some were issued in Birmingham and Manchester none have ever come to light.

Rare £500 note from the Bank of England branch in Leeds. (Pic credit: Noonans)Rare £500 note from the Bank of England branch in Leeds. (Pic credit: Noonans)
Rare £500 note from the Bank of England branch in Leeds. (Pic credit: Noonans)

“Of those available, Leeds branch, like this one, are the rarest. It comes from a long-term collector and is only the second example ever to come to the open market.”

The sale will also include the Bruce Smart Collections of notes from India, and also of Britain and Ireland. The proceeds will be donated to an animal welfare organisation in the US by the name of Humane Animal Partners, which was recently created by the merger of the Delaware SPCA with the Delaware Humane Association.

The India section, which consists of 62 exceptional notes, is a great example for the unusual value of two Rupees and eight Annas. This was issued in Cawnpore (now Kanpur) in 1917, and bears the portrait of King George V. Due to its rarity and stellar condition, it is estimated at £20,000 to £26,000.

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Elsewhere in the auction there is a large and diverse group of South African material, including an extremely rare £5 issued in the town of Koffyfontein during the Boer War, while the town was under siege. This is estimated at £8,000 to £10,000 and is arguably the most difficult and certainly desirable Boer War note to find with only four other examples in private hands.

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