£5 banknote presented to Harold Macmillan sells for £22,000

A £5 banknote which was originally presented to former prime minister Harold Macmillan in 1957 has sold for £22,000 at auction.

The note, in a blue leather presentation wallet, has the serial number A01 000003.

It achieved the top end of its estimate, which was put at £18,000 to £22,000.

Including buyer’s premium, the total price was £27,280.

Banknote
The banknote sold for the top end of its estimate (Dix Noonan Webb/PA)

The banknote went under the hammer at Dix Noonan Webb’s auction of British, Irish and world banknotes in Mayfair, London.

Thomasina Smith, head of numismatics (associate director) at Dix Noonan Webb, said previously: “This important note is the lowest serial number note available to commerce and arguably the finest post-war Bank of England note in the public domain.

“Serial numbers one and two are held in the Royal Collection, having been presented to the Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh.”

She added: “This spectacular and timeless design, known by many collectors as either the lion and key fiver or the Britannia fiver, was the first significant change of design for the £5 note since the introduction of the denomination in the late 1700s.”

Another £5 Bank of England note, which was presented to Macmillan in 1963, sold for £13,000, or £16,120 including buyer’s premium.

It also has the serial number A01 000003 and it sold for within its estimate of £12,000 to £16,000.

Both banknotes were sold to internet bidders.

Conservative Macmillan, also known as Supermac, held office between 1957 and 1963, and claimed Britons had “never had it so good”.