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Rare “Devil’s Face” 1954 Specimen Set Part of Upcoming January NYINC World Banknote Auction

By Matt Quinn, Assistant Director of Currency

Author: Matt Quinn / Thursday, January 02, 2014 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week
We are pleased to present one of the most important Canadian Banknote offerings we have handled, and a set that is likely missing from even advanced collections. This short-lived 1954 "Devil's Face"

series displays the portrait vignette of Queen Elizabeth II at right with a hair styling that creates an easily discernible and sinister face. This engraving error quickly became controversial after its release and new plates were prepared. The series is always heavily collected, and the higher denominations are quite scarce in Uncirculated grades. These specimens are seldom available, save for the more available $5 and $10 denominations. With only seven $1,000 specimens of this Devil’s Face type known, only that many sets can be compiled.


Each note in the group is graded by PMG in Choice Uncirculated 64 Net grades, with all showing the comment "Previously Mounted." All feature sharp impressions of the design and nicely embossed inks throughout. The set is seen with two differing imprints: the $1 and $20 to $1,000 notes from the Canadian Banknote Company, and the $2 to $10 notes from the British American Banknote Company. The set is also found with back set numbers in red, all from the former printing company, showing "0045" at the upper left, and the later with A0145, B0145, and C0145 on the $2, $5 and $10 respectively. This set surely will be a corner stone in any collection of small size Canadian Banknotes.