Noonans first auction in Singapore will feature the Frank Goon Reference Collection of British Malayan Banknotes. Here's the press release.
Lot 105 - Board of Commissioners of Currency Proof
London's specialist auctioneers' Noonans will be holding their first auction in Singapore on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 6pm local time (10am GMT). The sale of the legendary Frank Goon Reference Collection of British Malayan Banknotes – one of the greatest collections of all time - will take place at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956. The Goon Collection covers banknotes of Malaya, The Straits Settlements, Sarawak, British North Borneo, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. A third of the collection, comprising some 250 lots, will form the inaugural Noonans Singapore auction and is expected to fetch in the region of S$2,200,000 to S$3,000,000 (£1,400,000 – 1,900,000).
Without doubt, this the finest collection of its type in existence today says Noonans' Senior Specialist Barnaby Faull of the Banknotes Department. He continues to explain:
The earliest notes in the collection are all from the private banks operating within the Straits Settlements in the 19th Century. Private notes from British Malaya are extremely rare, and if you do find them, they are in appalling condition generally. Frank has managed to accumulate some 40 beautiful examples of the private banks. To find one is difficult, but to see even as many as the 15 of them present in the first auction is virtually unprecedented.
Lot 160 - Bank Negara Malaysia Trial 1000 Ringgit
Among the many highlights in the first auction is a trio of notes that is thought to be unique in private hands: a set of the British Malaya notes of George VI dated 1939 that never saw the light of day due to the outbreak of the Second World War which is estimated at S$200,000–S$260,000(£125,000-160,000). The proof set dated 1 January 1939 consists of 1, 5 and 10 dollars in green, blue, and purple respectively, with the signature of Hyman Weisberg, Financial Secretary of the Straits Settlements and Chairman of the Commission of Currency, Malaya. The notes were held up due to the outbreak of war and were eventually issued several years later with the colours switched around.
As with so many of the finest collections, the Frank Goon Collection contains large quantities of the rarest non-issued notes such as colour trials, die-proofs, printers' designs, and one-offs, as well as partially printed proofs and specimens. From the Government of the Straits Settlements is an extremely rare specimen $1000 note dating from 8 December 1933 and depicting a tiger and crowned head of George V which is expected to fetch S$80,000-S$100,000 (£50,000-60,000), while from the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya, a tremendously rare colour trial $10,000 note from 1942 with a portrait of George VI in an oval frame carries an estimate of S$60,000-S$80,000 (£40,000-£50,000). Described as one of the jewels of the Frank Goon collection is a replacement $10,000 note from 1973, from the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore, that is decorated with an Aranda Majulah orchid at the centre and estimated at S$50,000-S$70,000 (£30,000-45,000). From the Bank Negara Malaysia is colour trial 1000 Ringgit from circa 1968 which is estimated at S$24,000-S$32,000 (£15,000-20,000).
Lot 135 - Archival Photograph
Banknote printers took photographs of beautiful hand painted designs sent out to banks for approval. Most of these designs were destroyed, meaning that the photographs are all that remain. The Frank Goon collection has an excellent selection of these, most of which have never been seen by the market before. From the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya, and British Borneo, are three De La Rue archival photographs showing designs for a proposed issue of $1000 from 1 March 1952 with a portrait of Elizabeth II. (est: S$5,000-S$6,000/ £3,000 – 4,000).
Lot 245 - Government of Brunei, Specimen 10000 Ringgit
The collection also includes a specimen for what is thought to be the highest face value note in the world, the colloquially termed ‘titan' 10,000 Ringgit note from the Government of Brunei. Dating from 1989, the multicoloured note depicts Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and is estimated at S$6,000-S$8,000 (£4,000-5,000).
For collectors of numismatic ephemera, it's interesting to see that a grading company has slabbed photographs. Why not other ephemera? Perhaps it's only a matter of time until other ephemeral items become valuable enough in the marketplace to make slabbing worth the cost.
For more information, see:
THE FRANK GOON REFERENCE COLLECTION OF BRITISH MALAYAN BANKNOTES - PART ONE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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