Rare banknote from the British Mandate in Palestine raises £140K for Oxfam at auction

- Published:
- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/n686b2/

A rare banknote that was donated to Oxfam has raised £140,000 for the charity after going under the hammer in an auction.

The banknote, which was issued during the British Mandate in Palestine in 1927, was donated to the Oxfam shop in Brentwood, Essex. Less than ten are known to exist in the world.

Oxfam volunteer Paul Wyman spotted the unusual banknote and began delving into its history and soon realised that it could be valuable.

He said: “I realised that I was holding something in my hands that was incredibly rare.”

The manager of the Oxfam Brentwood shop contacted Spink auction house, who confirmed the note was genuine and agreed to auction it.

Paul and his wife, who watched the auction from home, were amazed when the banknote sold for £140,000.

“I couldn’t believe it when it went for £140,000. It’s brilliant to know I played a part in raising so much money for Oxfam’s work helping the world’s poorest,” said Paul, who has volunteered in the Brentwood shop for nearly four years.

Lorna Fallon, Retail Director for Oxfam, said: “We are so grateful to Paul and the Brentwood shop team for spotting this banknote, not to mention the generous member of the public who donated it to us. We are delighted that the banknote has raised so much money for Oxfam’s work around the world, which includes helping people in East Africa who are at risk of famine, and assisting refugees from Ukraine.”

Elaine Fung, a Banknote Specialist for Spink, said people from all over the world, including the US and Middle East, bid on the note: “Less than ten of these banknotes are known to exist, and this is the most we have ever auctioned a banknote from Palestine for. It would have been issued to a high ranking official at the time as a token of appreciation for their services.”


Notes to editors

For photos, click here

About Oxfam

Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal – an end to the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor.

Oxfam has more than 500 shops in the UK, run by thousands of volunteers, with more needed to raise vital funds for Oxfam’s work.

Volunteers are needed for a range of roles, such as manning the tills; window dressing; sorting donations; listing items online and updating social media.

All profits from sales from Oxfam shops and support the charity’s work to end the injustice of extreme poverty around the world.

To volunteer for Oxfam, go to: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/

About Spink

Spink is the world's leading auctioneer of Stamps, Coins, Banknotes, Medals, Bonds & Shares, Autographs, Wine & Spirits, Books and Handbags & Accessories. Since its foundation in 1666, the Spink name has become synonymous with tradition, experience and integrity. Holder of royal warrants and numerous records for prices achieved at auction, Spink offers an unparalleled range of services to collectors worldwide. Headquartered in London, with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Switzerland, Spink holds over 70 auctions a year. Catalogues can be accessed through the Spink website (www.spink.com), Spink Live online bidding platform (www.live.spink.com) or via the Spink App for mobile phones and tablets.

For more information on the notes for British Palestine, go to: https://www.spink.com/media/view?id=60

Press contact

For comments, interviews, or information please contact the Oxfam GB Media Team: