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Category Archives: Paper Money

Paper Money issued by Government or Banks

The Pontine Press Sherlock Holmes One Hound Banknote

The Pontine Press Sherlock Holmes One Hound Banknote

“A printing press – a counterfeiter’s outfit …”

– The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR)

The above pictured fantasy banknote was created during the 1970’s by Luther Norris’s Pontine Press and was based on the actual Bank of England 1 pound notes circulating at the time, pictured below. The note is a faithful recreation of the current circulating note, with four changes. On the front of the note, Queen Elizabeth’s portrait was replaced with Sherlock Holmes and the two serial numbers were replaced with “SH221B” and “Sherlock Holmes”. On the reverse, the central mention of ONE POUND has been modified to read ONE HOUND. The fantasy notes measures 70 millimeters by 152 millimeters and is printed with a lime green ink coloring.

This British Pound Banknote was in circulation from 1969 – 1978, at which time this design was discontinued & replaced.

We can learn a little bit about Luther Norris with this entry from the 13th Garrideb, Peter E.Blau in his Black Peter’s Logbook entry of February 4, 2013 – Debonair and Splendid:

Luther “Doc” Norris, born in 1920, served in Alaska during World War II and then was a newspaperman and as a writer for Alaskan magazines. Sourdough Tales, a collection of his stories, was published by [James A.] Decker in 1947. But it was after Luther moved to southern California that he found the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and Solar Pons.

He was and still is much better known to Sherlockians as a devoted admirer of the Solar Pons stories. Luther published The Pontine Dossier from 1967 to 1977, and he founded and (as Lord Warden of the Pontine Marshes) presided over The Praed Street Irregulars, his whimsical homage to The Baker Street Irregulars. When he found that the phone company charged extra for unlisted numbers, he listed himself in the phone book for many years as “Pons, Solar”, knowing that friends would easily be able to find him. Luther also published Canonical apocrypha and Sherlockian poetry and scholarship from his Pontine Press, and commissioned and sold imaginative Sherlockian figurines (his Investiture in the BSI was appropriately “Monsieur Oscar Meunier, of Grenoble”).

Luther died in 1978, mourned by friends and correspondents. Julian Wolff in his Baker Street Journal obituary for Luther, wrote that “it does not seem likely that there is a Sherlockian collection of any importance that does not contain examples of Luther’s work.”

Blau also shared that “he also used obverse-only prints for note-paper (I have one, with a written note on the back).”

Thanks to the 13th Garrideb, Peter E. Blau, for the scans and the background information on this fantasy note.

The Numismatic Sigmund Freud

The Numismatic Sigmund Freud

“… this purely mental analysis …” – The Adventure of the Three Gables (3GAB) Alan Arkin, as Sigmund Freud, attempting to hypnotize Nicol Williamson’s Sherlock Holmes character in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution Nicholas Meyer’s 1974 novel, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, and the subsequent film in 1976 helped spark a Sherlock Holmes “renaissance” in the mid 1970s. For your editor, if flipping through television… Continue Reading

Three Varieties of Benedict Cumberbatch Personality Dollars

Three Varieties of Benedict Cumberbatch Personality Dollars

“It might be his portrait.” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) Last month, we posted a Holmework Assignment regarding the Personality Dollar Bills of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce and were rewarded with examples in a follow-up post a week later. We now turn our attention to Personality Dollar Bills of Benedict Cumberbatch of… Continue Reading

The Rathbone & Bruce Personality Dollar Bills

The Rathbone & Bruce Personality Dollar Bills

“… for his bills were all paid in ready money …” – The Adventure of the Five Orange Pipsi (FIVE) Last week, we published our Holmework Assignment for February asking for assistance with the Personality Dollar Bills of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce that were issued in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Peter E. Blau, the 13th… Continue Reading

HolmeWork Assignment: Rathbone & Bruce Personality Dollar Bills

HolmeWork Assignment: Rathbone & Bruce Personality Dollar Bills

“… for his bills were all paid in ready money …” – The Adventure of the Five Orange Pipsi (FIVE) This month’s HolmeWork assignment is once again due to a brief nugget that appeared in Peter E. Blau’s Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press. From the November 1995: From This Old House (Box 468, Almont, MI 48003) offers… Continue Reading

The Adventure of the Fur-Trimmed Hat

The Adventure of the Fur-Trimmed Hat

” … the compliments of the season.”  – The Adventure of The Blue Carbuncle (BLUE) I had called upon my friend Sherlock Holmes on Christmas Eve, with the intention of wishing him the compliments of the season. He was lounging upon the sofa in a chartreuse dressing-gown, the day’s newspapers well-studied and his black briar emitting… Continue Reading

Sherlockian “Thanks A Million” Fantasy Bank Notes

Sherlockian “Thanks A Million” Fantasy Bank Notes

“… those bundles on the table are two thousand of Prescott’s notes …” – The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR) For the past two years, there have been appearances of fantasy $1,000,000 bank notes (also referred to as bookmarks) for sale over the internet. These bills are a reproduction of a Series 2003A $1 Federal… Continue Reading

Dressed to Kill (1946)

Dressed to Kill (1946)

“A printing press – a counterfeiter’s outfit …” – The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR) Seventy years ago, June 7, 1946 to be precise, the movie Dressed to Kill premiered. This was the last of the 14 films that starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. The last 3 minutes of the film does have a… Continue Reading