The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 27, July 4, 2010, Article 8


Pam West recently published a new book on the paper money of Ireland. It won the book of the year award from the International Bank Note Society (IBNS). Congratulations! I had the pleasure of meeting Pam at the Bloomsbury coin show in London, just before I returned to the states in 2007. She kindly forwarded a copy of the press release and a review of the book. Thanks! -Editor


The definitive guide to Irish banknotes from the
origins of banking in Ireland to the present day

Paper Money of Ireland First Edition Published 2009 © Bob Blake and Jonathan Callaway
Authors: Bob Blake and Jonathan Callaway
Publisher: Pam West
ISBN: 978-0-9543457-2-3

This book took well over 10 years' research by the authors to complete. It is by far the most comprehensive book on Irish banknotes covering all of Ireland and detailing every note issued by every bank since the 17th century. The book contains a vast amount of historical background information as well as exhaustive details of the notes themselves.

An easy to follow cataloguing system enables the amateur/specialist to seek information on any specific Bank/banknote.

The book contains 500 pages with over 750 full colour illustrations. Realistic valuations throughout.

The book also covers related areas such as the early Tradesman issues, Prisoner of War issues, Republican bonds and other items broadly falling under the definition of paper numismatics.

For future editions the publisher and authors ask readers to submit details of new discoveries.

Sadly, Bob Blake passed away in January 2009 and did not live to see the project's final completion. He is hugely missed.

PRICE: £40
Available from: Pam West, PO Box 257 Sutton Surrey SM3 9WW.
Tel:020 8641 3224

Here is a review by Roger Outing:

Just reading the contents page of this superb catalogue will lift the spirits of any knowledgeable banknote collectors. The catalogue contains full details of the banknote issues of Bank of Ireland since 1783; Belfast Banking Co 1827 – 1968; National Bank of Ireland 1835 – 1964; Northern Banking Co since 1825; Provincial Bank of Ireland 1825 to 1981; Allied Irish Banks 1982 – 1993; First Trust Bank since 1994; Ulster Banking Co since 1836; the ‘Lady Lavery' series issued by The Currency Commission and then the Central Bank of Ireland 1928 – 1977, Central Bank of Ireland 1976 to 2001 and the iconic ‘Ploughman' series from 1929 to 1941.

This represents a lot of banknotes and a great deal of marvelous detail for the collector and it is all as close to definitive as anyone might reasonably expect.

If this catalogue only contained the above mentioned details then you would feel obliged to describe it as being very good indeed. However, it contains much more. Also listed are the Private Bankers 1700 -1836; Tradesmen & Sundry Issuers since 1750 and miscellaneous Joint Stock Banks 1825 – 1839.

These sections represent the catalogue's significant and innovative contribution to Irish banknote collecting in particular and Irish banking history in general. This information, which lists all the relevant banks and their known issues, is not readily available from any other single source. For example, the Irish private banks exceed 200 in number and their private issues of banknotes have never before been so comprehensively listed and described.

This is a treasure trove of new information for the banknote collector and researcher. Mention is also given to such disperate elements as Irish Republican Bonds, early cheques, skit notes, lottery tickets, circular notes and travellers' cheques.

The catalogue entries are clearly and precisely laid out with each note fully described with details of signatures, dates and prefix + serial number ranges when appropriate. Pricing estimates are given for each note in a range of conditions that are appropriate to the age of each separate issue. Colour Trial, Proof, Specimen and Replacement notes are included whenever these are known.

The 600+ full colour illustrations are excellent and the early and rarely seen notes, especially, are a joy to behold. With all this information any collector should be able to readily identify, catalogue and value their Irish banknotes.

Irish paper money is a complex topic and this catalogue, quite correctly, makes no attempt to simplify. Instead it does a wonderful job of providing the essential detailed information, in an easy to follow format, that the collector needs in order to fully comprehend the full range of material that is available. This is a great banknote catalogue and an essential buy for anyone with an interest in Irish paper money.

To read about my conversation with Pam West, see: WAYNE'S LONDON DIARY 8 SEPTEMBER, 2007: JURY'S COIN FAIR (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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