Old banknote to fetch £800

ONE of Sheffield's rarest and most valuable banknotes is set to fetch up to £800 when it is auctioned in London on Monday.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2007, 7:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th October 2007, 9:55 am

The valuable black and white 100 note was produced - but never issued - sometime in the 1800s and features the words 'Bank of Sheffield' and 'Sheffield and Hallamshire Bank'.

What makes the note so rare and unusual is its value, an extraordinarily high denomination for a provincial bank. Experts at London auction house Spink say it is the only Sheffield 100 note they have seen.

The sum of 100 in the 1800s would be worth nearer 6,500 in today's money and, because the note was never issued, it is in "very fine" condition according to the experts.

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The Sheffield and Hallamshire Banking Company was founded in 1831. Sheffield - like other cities and towns throughout Britain in the 1800s - printed its own money because it was too difficult and dangerous to bring in large quantities of cash from London in the days before motorways and Securicor.

The Sheffield and Hallamshire was one of the strongest banks in the north and it flourished when hundreds of other provincial banks went bust.

In 1889 it became a limited company and continued in business until 1907, when it was taken over by the Midland Bank.

Notes from long-vanished provincial banks are becoming increasingly valuable and sought-after. An unissued Sheffield and Hallamshire 20 note was sold at Spink in June for 1,320, nearly double its 700 estimate.

On Monday Spink are also selling a 5 note in "very fine" condition, produced by the Sheffield Old Bank on December 13, 1841. The note is expected to sell for up to 240.

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