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The Al Kugel Collection of World Bank Notes

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to announce their first offering of world bank notes from the Al Kugel Collection, as part of our May 9 Maastricht Auction. This robust collection of European and Asian properties will be offered over several sales held on multiple continents. Lot viewing will be available at the MIF Maastricht World Paper Money Show, May 2-4 for the notes that will be sold in that auction.

Alfred Kugel, of Hinsdale, Illinois, was one of philately’s preeminent military postal historians. His great interest was in the envelopes that carried mail to and from battlefields, “actions,” and their aftermaths, particularly in Europe between 1900 and 1950. His scholarship and his ability to acquire outstanding material were brilliantly displayed in over 50 multi-frame and 100 single-frame exhibits, many of which won gold medals at various levels, including national and international stamp shows. He was also a prolific philatelic author, was a nationally accredited exhibits judge, and was deeply involved with many of the hobby’s top organizations.

The same focus is seen in the banknotes in his collection, mainly acquired by Mr. Kugel between 25 and 50 years ago. Principally from European countries, the banknotes are from areas and periods of political and military turmoil: wars, occupations, the emergence of new political entities, etc. Included is material from Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Danzig, Estonia, Fiume, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Tanna Tuva and Ukraine. Non-European material includes banknotes from China (especially the German-Asiatic Bank), German East Africa, Japan (especially after the 1905 war with Russia: occupation of Siberia, etc.), New Caledonia and New Hebrides.

The items include early ad-hoc notes and beautifully engraved notes (both issued and in proof and specimen form). Many are scarce or rare, and some appear to be unique. Many complete sets are included. The condition of the items is noteworthy; most appear to be XF or uncirculated. Those of lesser condition are probably scarcer banknotes, for which these are the “best available.”

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