Queen Elizabeth's Rare, 1963 Bank Note Portraits Are Up for Auction

  • A set of iconic portraits of Queen Elizabeth are being auctioned off in England by William George auctioneers.
    • The set up for auction were taken by photographer Anthony Buckley in 1963 and were part of the photo shoot for the Queen's official Bank of Canada portrait used on Canadian currency from 1969 to 1979.
      • An image from the shoot (which isn't included in the lot up for auction) was used as the basis for the image of the Queen that appeared on Canadian $1, $2 and $20 notes for an entire decade.

        If you've ever wanted to own a piece of true royal history, now is your chance—if you also have a few thousand dollars to invest in that history, that is.

        William George auctioneers is auctioning off a set of rare vintage portraits of Queen Elizabeth that go beyond your usual royal memorabilia. These pictures, by photographer Anthony Buckley in 1963, were originally taken for the Bank of Canada and are from the set used as the basis of the image of the Queen that appeared on the country's currency for a full decade.

        The portrait that was eventually used as the official basis for the Queen's Canadian bank note image on Canadian $1, $2 and $20 notes from 1969 to 1979 (which is not included in the auction lot) was part of this set of images.

        Here are a couple of examples of the currency in question:

        1 dollar banknote
        DEA / A. DAGLI ORTIGetty Images
        2 dollars banknote
        DEA / A. DAGLI ORTIGetty Images

        "It’s rare for ones used for official purposes to come onto the market," Alex McCormick of William George auctioneers, explained. "They were taken in a single photoshoot and these examples were the best that were kept and saved once the Queen had approved this final group of images."

        Some changes were made to the final image of the Queen that appeared on Canadian money—notably, her tiara was removed and the neckline of her dress was altered—but the images still served as the basis for the currency portrait, which is undeniably cool (not to mention historically significant).

        Photograph, Facial expression, Retro style, Hairstyle, Collection, Vintage clothing, Art,
        WILLIAM GEORGE AUCTION

        The portraits are being sold in an online auction, which closes on April 23. The reserve price for the prints is $3,750, so be prepared to pay at least that if you're interested in bidding.


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