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    Currency Commission, Bank of Ireland, specimen £20, 5 September 1978 (fictitious date), serial number 00ZK 000000, Brennan and Gargan signatures, three cancellation holes and black SPECIMEN overprint

    An extremely rare Bank of Ireland specimen £20 ‘Ploughman’ banknote made £52,800 -16 times its pre-sale estimate – at the latest auction of British, Irish and World Banknotes at Dix Noonan Webb in London. From the collection of the late Gus MacAmhlaigh, Dublin, it had been estimated at £2,600-£3,200.

    Andrew Pattison, Head of Banknote Department at Dix Noonan Webb, explained: “This beautiful ‘Ploughman’ specimen £20 is the first to appear at auction in many years, and attracted a huge amount of interest. Bank records show beyond doubt that all issued £20 notes were redeemed and destroyed, which means specimens like this one are the only way collectors are able to acquire one. Two very serious Irish collectors, both based abroad, evidently felt that this was going to be very difficult to acquire another example, and despite a modest estimate of £2,600-£3,200, the hammer came down at £42,000″. The hammer price attracted a buyers premium of 24%.

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