The Sovereign Bank of Canada is one of those Canadian banks that weren’t around long enough to produce many banknotes, but their importance puts them on any serious collector’s want list. Geoffrey Bell Auctions Ltd. is very pleased to be able to offer a superb trophy note at the Toronto Coin Expo 2017 Fall Sale to some lucky bidder.
The bank was established in 1901 in Montreal with two iconic names at the helm. American financier J. P. Morgan and Irish-born civil engineer and businessman Sir Herbert Holt joined forces to create a bank that would act aggressively, grow rapidly, and fail grandly. Its innovations included quarterly interest payments on savings accounts, a Canadian first, but bad loans weakened confidence and the Sovereign Bank was closed for good in 1908.
Both Morgan and Holt were quite the characters. Morgan, who collected books, paintings, and clocks himself, possessed a larger-than-life personality, yet hated having his photograph taken due to a chronic case of rosacea that had disfigured his nose. It was Morgan that helped resolve the financial crisis referred to as the Panic of 1907 or the Knickerbocker Crisis, although the Sovereign Bank wouldn’t recover.
Holt achieved a great many things in his life, with his business exploits heralded. He served as president of the Royal Bank of Canada after the closing of the Sovereign Bank in 1908 until 1934 and was knighted in 1915 by King George V. One of Montreal’s richest people, when his death was announced at a baseball game, it’s said the crowd cheered.
The available note, CH 685-10-08, is graded by PMG as Fine 12. There are only two known, with one of those in an institutional collection, thus this is an amazing opportunity to own such a rarity.
The Toronto Coin Expo Fall Sale will be another historic offering, so plan to attend either in person or online and keep following our blog for more highlights.