A RARE £5 banknote issued from a North Yorkshire bank 120 years ago exceeded expectations when it sold for nearly £2,000 at auction.

Part of the David Muscott Collection of Northern County Provincial Banknotes, the fine £5 note from the York City & County Banking Company Limited, Leyburn Bank, is dated April 26, 1899, and features an image of York Minster at the top.

It sold for £1,984, against an estimate of £700-900, when it went under the hammer at the Mayfair showroom of Dix Noonan Webb last week.

It was bought by an avid collector of banknotes printed by Waterlow & Sons, one of the finest security printers in British history.

Meanwhile, a note from Pease’s Old Bank in Hull, an extremely rare early example of a £10 dating from January 23, 1772, sold to a collector for £1,240 – against an estimate of £800-1,000.

Andrew Pattison of Dix Noonan Webb said: “This beautiful note, issued in Leyburn in 1899, is one of the latest dates possible for an English provincial banknote.

“It featured a stunning vignette of York Minster in the upper centre, while the £10 note was issued in Hull in 1772 is one of the earliest dated notes in the sale.

“It was a huge sum of money at the time, and in today’s money, was the equivalent of having a £1,500 note in your pocket.”

The star lot in the auction was a £5 banknote with serial number A01 000003 that was originally presented to Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, in 1957.

It sold for £27,280 against an estimate of £18,000-22,000.

This was the first time that a serial number three note, for a new design, had ever been offered on the open market.

The Bank of England £5 note was housed in a blue leather presentation wallet dated February 21, 1957 and showed Britannia at left, Saint George slaying the dragon at low centre, reverse blue, lion and key at centre. It was bought by an anonymous buyer.

Thomasina Smith, Head of Numismatics (Associate Director) at Dix Noonan Webb, said: “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.”