Rare Indian 10-Rupee Notes from 106 Years Ago Up for Auction in London

Rare Indian Note Found in London Auction

A 10 rupee Indian note, recovered from a double-decker ship that sank 106 years ago, will be auctioned off in London. This note could fetch up to Rs. 2.6 lakh. The auction is set for May 29. In reality, the SS Shirala ship sunk while traveling from London to Mumbai in 1918.

The ship was attacked by a German U-boat. At the time, there were 213 people on board, with 8 fatalities, including 7 Indians. On May 25, 1918, the note recovered from the SS Shirala will be auctioned at the London-based auction house Nunn’s Mayfair Auctions.

These notes were issued by the Bank of England at the time. The ship was carrying 5,000 tons of cargo, including original Indian documents.

Discovery of Indian Notes from Sunken Ship

According to PTI, after the ship sank, notes were washed ashore and reached the British coast, including 1, 5, and 10 rupee notes. Authorities there confiscated the notes after a few days. Some were saved by individuals and the remaining notes were destroyed. New notes were printed in place of the damaged ones.

Attention was drawn to these notes when the Bank of England shared the incident of the sinking ship through a post in 1918. Later, the serial numbers of the notes were verified with the bank. This confirmed the entire incident.

Following this, a 100 rupee Indian note from the British colonial era will also be auctioned off. It is expected to fetch between 4-5 lakh rupees. This note bears the seal and stamp from Kolkata. The stamp usage dates between 1917 and 1930. The note is inscribed in Hindi and Bengali languages.

There is also a 5 rupee note in the auction, dating from 1957-62. It features the Ashoka Chakra and can fetch between 2 lakh 32 thousand to 2 lakh 96 thousand rupees.

S.S. Shirala: The Sinking and Rescue

The S.S. Shirala was a modern passenger and cargo ferry used for travel from England to India. On June 29, 1918, the ship embarked on its final journey. It carried 213 passengers along with war supplies, ivory tusks, alcohol, lorry parts, spare parts for Model T cars, and diamonds.

On the evening of July 2, 1918, a German ship attacked the Shirala with a torpedo. The torpedo hit the vessel’s side, causing a powerful explosion. This led to a massive blast near the torpedo bay. Subsequently, Captain E.J. Murry Dickenson ordered the evacuation of the ship, resulting in the rescue of all 200 passengers aboard. However, eight crew members lost their lives in the attack.

Niyati Rao

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