The price, a record for an Asian banknote, also represents a remarkable coup for a British antiquarian bookseller who discovered the note between the pages of a book purchased in a small provincial auction house in the Midlands.
The note, numbered 00001 and dated 17 March 1911, was found by the vendor in an envelope titled Specimen - On His Majesty's Service that also listed the serial number of the note in ink.
It was fairly common practice at the time to use the number one note as a specimen, which would have been kept by the government for reference purposes. However the 'defacing' of a bill of this magnitude was a costly endeavour.
Spink's estimate was Sin$200,000-$400,000. The buyer was a Singapore businessman.