Auction News

November 2005 - Ceylon 1000 Rupees 1929 Sold for US$38,000

An excessively rare Government of Ceylon 1000 Rupees banknote dated 1 July 1929 was sold at the opening price of US$38,000 in Mavin Auction 10. The note, with handwritten SPECIMEN and serial number F/2 10001 was the first of the reduced size 1000 Rupees according to official records published by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Another "number one" note, the MAS Lee Hsien Loong $10 serial number 1AA 000001 realized US$10,600 before Buyer's Premium. A Djibouti Banque de L'Indo-Chine 1000 Francs 1938 no. E.1 001 was sold for what must by comparison be a bargain US$480. A spectacular Singapore $1000 banknote error with the main reverse design omitted realized an equally spectacular US$9,800. Coins wise, notables include US$5,300 for a Cambodia 1860 Proof Piastre, US$7,500 for a French Indo-China Piastre Essai with incomplete date and US$3,000 for an uncirculated Straits Settlements 20 Cents 1872H. Last but not least, evidence that there are treasures even in humble postcards came in the form of a real photo postcard of the Opening of the Kallang Airport in Singapore from the 1930s that realized US$440. It was found amidst old "junk" by the delighted vendor (who does not even collect postcards) whose reaction was, "Ha ha ha, no joke?" The equally happy successful bidder on the other hand said simply, "I like planes."

July 2005 - Singapore $50 2AA 000001 Fetches US$8,600

The first number of the MAS Lee Hsien Loong $50 serial no. 2AA 000001 realized US$8,6000 before Buyer's Premium in Mavin Auction 9. Good prices were also achieved for the first prefix low numbers of the BCCS Hu Tsu Tau series in the general section - significantly higher than when they were sold by the then Board of Commissioners of Currency some fives years back. Other highlights include a British Trade Dollar 1898 full brockage in extremely fine that went for US$4,600 against an estimate of US$800-$1,000. A Mexican silver Dollar or 8 Reales with chopmarks in only good fine from the HMAS Sydney SMS Emden encounter with a 1918 Department of Navy letter went for US$360. No doubt the letter was worth much more than the coin! A Straits Settlements 1 Cent 1878 in very fine to good very fine hit a sizzling US$2,200 against an estimate of US$350-$450, a 20 Cents 1876H in extremely fine got US$2,300 against an estimate of US$1,200-$1,300 while a Penang VEIC Balemark Pice over-struck on an English shilling in fine was sold for US$1,100 against an estimate of US$520-$600. So, who says one should only buy UNC?

April 2005 - Mavin Auction 8 Realizes Over US$340,000

Strong bidding in Mavin's Auction 8 held on 19 and 20 March 2005 saw total sales exceeding US$340,000 before Buyer's Premium. Not surprisingly, the new MAS Lee Hsien Loong signature Golden Number banknotes attracted keen interest because of the limited size of the print. Choice coins and banknotes, including rare tokens from the K C Lim Collection continue to draw good prices. Results of plantation tokens of particular note include US$700 for an unrecorded Borneo Tobacco Estates Syndicate Lamag celluloid 10 Cents, US$920 and US$940 respectively for a Labuk British North Borneo silver proof 50 Cents and Dollar, US$1,050 for a Labuk Planting Company 50 Cents circulation piece in nickel plated brass, US$1,000 for a silver proof Dollar from the same company, US$1,050 for a Ramie Fibre Company Half Dollar and US$340 for a Sumatra Titian-Oerat 1 Mark.

November 2004 - US$18,000 for MAS 000001

Frenzied bidding saw the first note of the Monetary Authority of Singapore's first Commemorative issue hit a record US$18,000 before buyer's premium and GST in Mavin Auction 7 on 6 November 2004. This is the second time a new record price for a post independence Singapore banknote has been achieved in less than 4 months. MAS 000002 realized US$1,450. All in, the results show strong demand for Golden Number notes of the $10 Polymer and $50 BCCS Lee Hsien Loong series, no doubt reflecting their very limited issue. Other numimatic items also achieved good sales with a higher proportion of lots sold than in August and March. Notables include a Government of India 1,000 Rupees King George V Calcutta, which fetched US$3,900 and a Sarawak 1841 "Badger" Keping which realized US$2,200.

August 2004 - $10 Polymer 0AA 000001 Fetches US$12,000 in Mavin Auction

The first banknote of the new Polymer $10, serial no. 0AA 000001 realized US$12,000 in Mavin Auction 6 before buyer's premium and GST. This is believed to be a new record for a post independence Singapore $10 banknote. Then again, it is not surprising that a new record be set. After all, with the merger of the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the $10 Polymer was MAS' first currency issue. Being the first note of the first currency issue by MAS, it is really unique.

March 2004 - Mavin Auction 5 Realizes over US$200,000

Mavin Auction 5 held on 27 and 28 March 2004 realized over US$200,000 before buyer's premium. Highlights include a set of Malaya working specimens that fetched US$7,400. Straits Settlements and British North Borneo coins continue to experience strong bidding interest, as did the India proofs.

October 2003 - October 2003 Auction realizes over US$183,000

Mavin's October 2003 Auction saw sizzling results for British North Borneo and Straits Settlements coins. Bidding was especially strong on high grade items, which confirms what many seasoned collectors already know, and that is that top grade British North Borneo and Straits Settlements coins are rare! Certainly much rarer than what the catalogues suggest, because these coins were meant to circulate, and circulate they certainly did. Reflecting improving market and collector sentiments, lots that did not sell in the March Auction went for more in the October Auction. 1 such lot went for almost 50% more!

March 2003 - March 2003 Auction realizes over US$178,000

Despite the gloomy backdrop of the Iraq War, Mavin's March 2003 Auction managed to achieve respectable sales. Highlights include a Singapore $50 Orchid series Goh Keng Swee signature serial no. A/15 000001, believed to be the first note of the series, which fetched US$2,600. 2 recently discovered $50 Orchid series Hon Swee Sen signature without seal Specimens but without the Specimen overprint fetched US$650 and $1,200 respectively. The difference in prices realized says only 1 thing, and that is if there are 2 of a good thing in an auction, get the first one or risk serious competition on the second! Also sold was another "Number One" note, the Singapore $50 President series Lee Hsien Loong signature 1HL 000001, the first of the series, which went for US$3,000 before Buyer's Premium. Coins wise, a China Kirin Province silver Dragon with Flower Vase Dollar fetched US$3,600. A 1906S Philippines Peso went for US$2,200.

October 2002 - October 2002 Auction Results

Mavin's Auction on 26 October 2002 realized in excess of US$222,000 excluding Buyers' Premium. Highlights include the Singapore Portrait Series $2, $5 and $10 with serial nos. 0AA 000001 which sold for US$1,800, US$3,200 and US$3,400 respectively. The Michael Phua Collection of Straits Settlements coins attracted strong interest. A 50 Cents 1889 was knocked down at US$4,200 while an uncirculated 20 Cents 1874H fetched US$1,300.