Auction Results

£100 banknote auctions for £38,000


The Birmingham branch of the Bank of England.

A £100 bank note from 1894 has been sold at auction for £38,000. 

The sale price far exceeded the estimate of £24,000 to £30,000. The buyer is said to be a “passionate collector”. 

The note was sold in London on March 14, 2024 by Noonans Mayfair.  

The £100 note was printed in Birmingham in May 1894 by the Bank of England; it carries the signature of Horace G Bowen, the then cashier of the bank. A serial number allows precise dating. 

Horace G. Bowen’s signature was on notes from 1893 to 1902 and can be seen clearly here.

In 1894 £100 was a very large sum of money, worth somewhere around £16,000 in 2024 purchasing power. 

Demand, and print runs, for such notes would not be large. A £500 note from 1929 was the second most valuable item at the sale, making £36,000.  

According to the sellers, the £100 note is one of only two of its type.

They described it as “a remarkable and highly desirable item.”

It was in very good condition for its age, with just an ink stain on one side and some scribbled notes on the reverse (bank notes were single-sided until well into the 20th century).

The £100 note is a “Branch note”, issued from one of the regional offices the Bank of England used to put out currency.

They can be highly sought after. A £5 from Bristol made £19,000 in the same sale. 

While coins may last thousands of years bank notes from before 1914 are extremely scarce and more likely to be valuable. 

More recently, notes have been designed to last. But they may become collectible for other reasons.

Interesting serial numbers have made at least one £20 note worth nearly £300. “AK47” serial numbers on notes can be worth money. Low serial numbers also attract buyers. 

Just five notes from the first batch of plastic notes printed by the Bank of England featured a miniature portrait of Jane Austen on the hologram. Although they’re commonly valued at £50,000 online, the best one has achieved at auction is £5,000. 

Just Collecting