The white-glove sale of more than 330 lots took a hammer total of £784,485 (or £972,761 including fees) in Newbury on October 24.
This sale is just the first part: a second auction of the collection is scheduled for May 2024.
The collection came from the family of banknote designer Derek Friday who worked in the design department of banknote printer Bradbury Wilkinson.
Some of the lots in the sale were designed by Friday while the remainder are from his own personal collection.
SAS director Neil Shuttleworth said: “When Derek started working on the designs in the 1950s there were obviously no computers and all notes were hand drawn and painted. It is rare to see such fine examples.”
Top lot of the day was a c.1931 100 dinars specimen bank note from the Government of Iraq, taking £52,000 hammer (estimate of £500-800).
A scrapbook containing hundreds of reference images stuck in to the leaves, including many 19th and 20th century specimen banknotes, share certificates and debentures, took £38,000 against a guide of just £30-50.
Shuttleworth added: “We have been preparing this auction for two years and knew how important these amazing design essays and specimen bank notes are but, even so, we were amazed by the reaction of the collectors.”
SAS is now considering further sales of bank notes following the planned May 2024 sale.