PMG-certified Guatemala Rarities Part of Sedwick Auction

Posted on 11/12/2020

The November 17-19 sale features other valuable banknotes from Latin America certified by PMG.

Some of the rarest Guatemalan banknotes known are starring in Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC’s Treasure Auction 28. The live online auction will be held November 17 to November 19, 2020.

The top note in the sale is lot 1298 is a 500 Pesos note issued by the Banco Agricola Hipotecario and dated to June 1st, 1917. Certified by Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®), it is graded PMG 20 Very Fine and has an estimate of $10,000 and up.

Guatemala 1917 Banco Agricola Hipotecario 500 Pesos graded PMG 20 Very Fine.
Click images to enlarge.

This rarity is one of just two known surviving examples and is the only one graded by PMG. It has been off the market for over 38 years since it last appeared in Almanzar’s Auction 31 on May 25, 1982 as part of the Odis Clark Jr. Collection. It also has the distinction of being the plate note for the type in Clark’s Paper Money of Guatemala (1971) and the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Specialized Issues (various editions).

The main vignette on this large size note (210 mm by 130 mm) by Waterlow & Sons is a dramatic representation of a triumphant Neptune, trident in hand, rising above the ocean waves in a clamshell chariot pulled by sea-horses (hippocamps). A smaller vignette of a woman in a winged chariot pulled by lions in the lower right corner further adds to the allegorical theme. The reverse shows a red-orange-colored geometric design with a woman’s portrait in the center.

Another key Guatemalan banknote rarity in the auction from the Odis Clark Jr. Collection is lot 1299, an elusive Banco Nacional de Guatemala 1 Peso issued in 1874 graded PMG 25 Very Fine, with a Previously Mounted comment. Like the 500 Pesos, it is also a plate note for the type in Clark’s Paper Money of Guatemala (1971). The note is tied with one other example as finest known in the PMG Population Report. Its estimate in the auction is $6,000 and up.

Guatemala ND (1874) Banco Nacional 1 Peso graded PMG 25 Very Fine.
Click images to enlarge.

The undated note features twin portraits of Guatemalan Presidents J. Rufino Barrios at left and J.M. Samayoa at right, flanked by two allegorical female vignettes. The dark green reverse design is an intricate arrangement of denominators and the bank title along with a large red Banco Nacional seal. It was designed and printed by the Washington, D.C.-based Columbian Bank Note Company.

Beyond Guatemala rarities, several other countries are represented in the sale. The finest graded Honduras 5 Pesos dated to January 1, 1889 appears as lot 1301. The note, graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated EPQ, is a type that is listed yet unpriced in the Standard Catalog reference. The estimate on the note is $1,250 to $2,000.

Honduras 1889 Billete del Tesoro 5 Pesos graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated EPQ.
Click images to enlarge.

Other PMG-graded banknotes in the auction include:

Bidder registration and absentee bidding for the auction is available at

This is a guest article. All estimates are provided by the auction house.

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