Important Italian Somaliland Notes Offered in Spring Maastricht Sale

In our Spring Maastricht Auction we will be individually featuring a pair of incredible Italian Somaliland notes. They are a 1 Somali Leopard note, and a 100 Somali Lion’s Head note, are graded Superb Gem 67 EPQ by PMG.

Italian Somaliland was gained through treaties, unlike other territories Italy would conquer in the 1930s. Benito Mussolini viewed Somalia as “the crown jewel of Italy’s colonial empire,” and viewed himself as a liberator, not an invader, of these territories. Italian Somaliland was merged in 1936 to form Italian East Africa, after Ethiopia was conquered. Later in 1940, Italian troops invaded British Somaliland, pushing the British out of the region.

However, the tables turned against the Italians in Spring 1941 when the Allies started making headway through Africa and the holdings were lost to the British. From 1941 until 1950, the colony was placed under British Military Administration. Italian administration would not return until 1950, when the United Nations granted Italy the area under a trust, which would last until 1960 when Somalia was granted its independence.

The 1 Somali note comes from the 1950 series of currency, from when Italy regained control of the area after nearly a decade. The center vignette is of a Leopard, which offers intricate details right down to the whiskers. The primary design is comprised of gold and dark purple colors, which contrasts nicely against the bright white paper. Broad margins with a beautiful wavy chop at right. This condition anomaly is tied for Top Pop at PMG with a single other note.

The 100 Somali denomination was the highest issued during the 1950 series, and it is equally an anomaly of survival in this condition. A lion is depicted at left, gazing prideful off to the distance. A watermark of a lion is also at right, and both designs are surrounded by intricate regal borders. Out of a dozen graded by PMG for the catalog number, this note is tied with two others at ther very top of the population.

Given their historic importance, and astonishing condition, any collectors of Italian Colonial currency should recognize the significance of this opportunity to take these treasure home when they cross the block in our Spring Maastricht sale.

We are currently taking consignments for our upcoming Maastricht sale, and future Collectors Choice Online auctions. 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 For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to: [email protected]​.

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