Rare Money Blog

irish shillings being sold at stacks bowers galleries

January 2022 NYINC Auction to Feature Limerick Soviet 1919 1, 5 & 10 Shillings from Ireland

By Christopher Dahncke, Paper Money Researcher & Cataloger

Author: Chris Dahncke / Thursday, October 21, 2021 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week

Our January 2022 Official Auction of the New York International Numismatic Convention is shaping up to be another fantastic sale, with offerings of rarities from a multitude of countries. One such treasure we are pleased to offer is this set of 1, 5 & 10 Shillings from the civil disobedience period in Ireland. 

This is an astonishing offering for those seeking to collect the trio of Limerick Soviet notes. The front of the notes reads "General Strike Against British Militarism" in the top and bottom margins, and "The Workers of Limerick Promise to Pay the Bearer (Denomination)" at center. The notes are dated April 1919 in the left and right end designs. All are hand signed and display neat, bold signatures of John Cronin and James Casey. The one shilling displays the written denomination and counters in gray ink, while the 5 Shilling is in green ink and the 10 Shilling is in red.

The Limerick Soviet existed for a two-week period from April 15 to April 27, 1919. The Soviet was formed as a response to the British Army's declaration of a "Special Military Area," as a result of events from the Irish War of Independence. Limerick organized a General Strike, refusing to use British passes to enter the city, and instead issued their own passes, currency, fuel and food. After two weeks, martial law was finally lifted by the British Army and the strike was over. The Soviet ceased to exist after the strike ended, and the currency was quickly confiscated and destroyed by the British Military. The notes that were not confiscated were promptly destroyed by the Irish to avoid being caught with contraband and sent to jail. The survival of this set of notes is a miracle, and we expect them to attract spirited bidding from Irish or British collectors seeking the rarest of the rare.

PMG comments "Small Tear" on the 5 and 10 Shilling notes. All are in Choice Uncirculated 63 grades.

We are still accepting consignments for our January 2022 NYINC sale. To consign your U.S. paper money and world paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit StacksBowers.com. For more information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to [email protected] .