1 pound BMA which circulated!

The Ruth Waldron Hill collection sold at HA.com in April

For the great history, the origin of banknote 1 pound BMA (British Military Authority ) remains rather mysterious. But one might think that the British Military authority decided in 1944, the printing of a batch of 100 notes One Pound overprinted black letters "Bulgaria", "Greece" and "France", in order to deceive the German enemy on impending allied landing in North Africa (see breakdown by country in Table #1 below).

The amount of banknotes printed was very low, i thought with resignation, that they had never been in circulation since 10 notes known to date in perfect grade with overprint "France", were the subject a chance find in an archive in England (see Table # 2 below).

It was not until 2008 that offers Numiscollection No. 39 Z 000063 overprinted "France" in UNC grade for sale for € 8,500 (# 46092). Then in 2010, when the sale of the Tom Warburton collection at Spink, No. 39 Z 000054 overprinted "France" in UNC is sold for more than 8000 euros. See the note into the catalog: here

Finally, in September 2013, No. 39 Z 000061 in UNC grade which is sold for € 13,000 at Corné Akkermans, Auction # 28 (Lot # 409), but the reserve price has not been reached, the note is proposed again by Corné Akkermans, Sale Auction No. 29 in April 2014 (Lot # 546).



April 24 in Chicago, part of the great collection of Ruth Waldron Hill was offered at auction by Heritage Auctions. In the lots offered for sale, Lot # 21462 representing a rare 1 pound notes BMA overprinted "France" in grade "F", torn vertically with a strip of tape having restorative unfortunately yellowed note. Go to the sale: here.


But this Note No. 39 Z 000075 of the Ruth W. Hill collection is the first note referenced in small grade. It is therefore quite arguably some notes were finally distributed at the time to officers who have put into circulation.


In conclusion, we can keep the great hope of finding, other than an old English archive at least 17 ​​banknotes between No. 39 Z 000055 and No. 39 Z 000084. Regarding the exact amount of notes printed with overprint "France", the No. 39 Z 000076 and 39 Z 000084 show that manufacturing is well above 25 copies Greek and Bulgarian, but how many in total: 50, 40, 35 copies? Many surprises await us in this fabulous adventure... very soon in an upcoming article.


Yann-Noël Hénon.



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