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Sensational Issued 25 New Drachmai Featured in Maastricht Auction

Our May 2023 Maastricht sale is available on our website for viewing and bidding, and catalogs have been mailed. We are offering a variety of rarities from a multitude of countries, including lot 50446, a P-S141 1877 25 New Drachmai of Greece, from the Ionian Bank and graded Fine 12 Net Restoration by PMG. Pitidis 231b. Printed by PBC. 1877.

The Ionian Bank was founded in 1839 to conduct business in the Ionian Isles, at the time a British Protectorate. The Ionian Bank served as the central bank of the United States of the Ionian Islands, and later expanded to Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Ionian Islands were transferred to Greece in 1864; the British intended the transfer to be a gesture of support for the new king. The reunification took place on May 21, 1864.

This note was issued at the island of Kefalonia in 1877. At upper left are the arms of King George, with the bank’s arms at top center flanked by draped flags of Great Britain and Greece. There is a large green under printed “25” at bottom center and “25” counters are found in three of the four corners. The penned signatures can still be seen, a real treat considering the age and circulation. On the back is a dark blue design consisting of geometric shapes, with the bank name at center, and three “25” counters. The 1876 series were the first to be issued in Drachmai by the bank; previous series were denominated in pounds.

This note is an anomaly of survival, believed to be unique with a printed date. It is the first example we have handled in our auction history, and it is likely missing from even the most advanced collections of Greek paper money. This note should also appeal to collectors of British Protectorate currency.

It is the only example listed on PMG’s population report, and a quick glance at Greek reference books such as Greek Paper Money Early Banks and Notes, 1822-1927 by Theodore Pitidis-Poutous list no examples recorded in their census, or even an estimate for possible survivors. PMG comments “Restoration”. PMG Pop 1/No Others Graded.

We are currently taking consignments for our August 2023 Global Showcase Auction as well as our monthly CCO events. To consign your U.S. paper money and world paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit StacksBowers.com. For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to: Info@stacksbowers.com​.

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