Stack’s Bowers Galleries
is pleased to present a historic World War II Emergency Note in our August
auction in conjunction with the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Anaheim,
California. This classic and highly sought after piece was issued on Fanning
Island, which is the closest landmass to Hawaii. Captain Edmund Fanning of the
American ship Betsy first discovered the area in 1798. At the time, this atoll
was uninhabited like the other Line Islands. After it became a known island, it
was visited by other seamen. It was formally annexed to Great Britain in 1888.
By 1902, it was used as part of the All Red Line, a system of electrical
telegraphs that linked much of the British Empire. It became a relay station
for the Trans-Pacific Cable between Canada and Australia.
In 1914 the station was attacked
by the Germans posing as the French. By the time employees noticed, it was too
late. The cable station was ruined and was rendered inoperable. However, a
connection was re-established two weeks later thanks to Hugh Greig, who dove
for the severed ends of the cable.
Then in 1942, United
States soldiers were stationed on the island. The influx of soldiers depleted
the supply of Australian Currency causing a shortage. R.G. Garrett, who managed
the area, ordered 3,000 banknotes from Honolulu to fulfill the demand. His
signature is printed on the bottom right of all the banknotes. However, many of
those notes were never actually issued. Most of these scarce examples that
exist today are cut in half, because they were once used as admission tickets
for movie theaters. Those halves eventually became 1 and 2 Shilling notes and
were recirculated. Very few of these notes are known to be fully intact. The
example we will offer in our August ANA auction, however, is one of the very few
survivors. It is in immaculate condition, and far nicer than any that have appeared
in public auctions.
The note will be offered
in the live session of our World Paper Money auction in August at the Anaheim
Convention Center. We are currently accepting consignments for our 2016-2017
auction season. If you are interested in consigning or if you have a currency
related question, please call 1-800-458-4646 or email Currency Specialist Aris
Maragoudakis at [email protected] or Director of Currency Peter
Treglia at [email protected].