1 Pound BMA overprinted "Bulgaria"

A very rare copy for sale at Stack's Bowers!

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On January 22, the American sales company Stack's Bowers is organizing a "Live auction" only on the internet of 1154 world banknotes: "January 2020 NYINC - Session F - Internet Only - World Paper Money - Lots 31001-31689". The sale will start from 9 a.m.

We have selected in this sale, a very rare banknote of 1 Pound BMA (British Military Authority) Type 1944 overprinted "BULGARIA".

As we indicate in another news concerning this note (The "Treasures" of the Live auction cgb.fr), the origin of the 1 Pound BMA (British Military Authority) Type 1944 banknote remains quite mysterious. We believe that the British Military Authority decided in 1944 to print a series of 100 One Pound banknotes overprinted in black letters for Bulgaria, Greece and France, probably in order to deceive the German enemy on the imminent Allied landing in southern Europe. The distribution of this hundred banknotes for the three countries remains to be confirmed but according to the bills already listed, we obtain the following classification: Bulgaria with 25 copies (39Z 000001 to 39Z 000025), Greece with 25 copies (39Z 000026 to 39Z 000050) and France with 50 copies (39Z 000051 to 39Z 000100).

The note offered for sale at Stack's Bowers is overprinted "BULGARIA", numbered "39Z 000011" and graded "PCGS Choice About New 58 PPQ". The starting price of this lot was set at $ 4,200 for a sale estimate between $ 7,000 and $ 10,000!


> The Numizon inventory: we currently only know 4 other copies!

  • 39Z 000001. This first graded copy “PCGS 53 About Uncirculated” confirms the distribution announced for the 100 issued notes. Bill sold in October 2018 at £ 11,000 by Spink, Auction # 18032 (Lot # 1350),
  • 39Z 000006. This copy illustrates page 362 of the catalog "British Military Authority Occupation Currency 1942-1956" by T.F.A Van Elmpt, Elran Press 2003 editions,
  • 39Z 000008. This graded copy "PMG 53 About Uncirculated", is offered for sale in October 2013 ... at € 500 (but not graded) by Sincona, Auction # 15 (lot # 4215), then the note is sold in April 2018 at $ 9600 by Heritage Auctions, World Coin Auctions CSNS Signature Currency Sale Chicago (lot #28180).
  • 39Z 000021. This copy is first graded "ICG 58 AU +" and is seen on sale in April 2014 at 8000 € at Corné Akkermans Auctions, Auction # 29 in Valkenburg (lot # 545). Then the bill remains unsold in 2016 at £ 3,500 at Spink, Auction # 16008 (lot # 380). We then find it graded "PCGS 58 PPQ Choice About New" in 2017 and the note is sold for $ 11,000 by Heritage Auctions, Sale # 3554 (lot #28338).

> About the item for sale: 39Z 000011!

The route of this note is quite special. In August 2018, the bill is offered for sale for the first time but remains unsold at Heritage Auctions (lot #28099). Then, in August 2019, the bill is offered for the first time at Stack's Bowers (lot # 30211). Estimated between $ 7,000 and $ 10,000 ... But despite its rarity, the banknote remains unsold once again.

> Known references:

  • Schwan-Boling: # 306c (1995 quoted price: $ 1,000 in UNC grade),
  • T.F.A Van Elmpt: # EB97 (2003 quoted price: € 1,500 in XF grade and € 2,100 in UNC grade),
  • Pick (WPM): # M6b (2008 quoted price: $ 1,500 in UNC grade),
  • Dessal-Fayette: # VF.15 (2019 quoted price: € 8,000 in AU grade and € 12,000 in UNC grade).

> The Numizon notice: an essential note not to be missed under any pretext for any collector specializing in war and Bulgarian banknotes! The fairly low starting price of $ 4,200 is a real opportunity to acquire this bill at a very attractive price ...

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