Every so often a note
comes out of a collection that stops collectors in their tracks. Such is the
case with the upcoming Pick 4c Straits Settlements note to be offered in our
April 2018 Hong Kong Paper Money sale. This note is extremely elusive and is
the first issued example that we have seen. It is in a PCGS GSG Fine 12 Holder.
The Population Report at PMG shows no pieces certified, specimen or issued. We
have yet to handle either prior to this lot.
We have found only one
record of a Specimen, an example that sold recently for over $50,000. However,
that note was in worse condition, and had a printed date of 1909, not the early
1901 date that is found on this ISSUED piece. The 1901 date is the earliest
known date for the type.
This TDLR design belongs
to the first series of notes from the Straits Settlements. The entire design is
visible, including the tiger that is shown on the reverse. Three printed
signatures are found above the lower right serial number. The design is
completely red with the exception of the green "HUNDRED" printed at
lower center. Four languages are seen on the front of the note: English,
Chinese, Malay, and Jawi.
The condition of the note
is typical for the grade. Some spots, and splits are visible as would be
expected on a note this old, and of this size. Even with the circulation, the
note maintains excellent eye appeal. In this case opportunity is the crucial
word, as such a piece is certainly missing from even the most advanced, and
heavily invested collections.