Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

A Scion Society of The Baker Street Irregulars

Numismatists Do Not Fear Change

Category Archives: Scrip / Play Money

Scrip / Play Money

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 2016 Silver Blaze (Southern Division) 2 Guinea Banknote

The 2016 Silver Blaze (Southern Division) 2 Guinea Banknote

“‘Then he paid up his two guineas…“ – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) In 1952, Thomas L. Stix, Sr. started the New York Silver Blaze at the Jamaica Raceway in honor of the story of the same title by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The race was an annual (well, almost) race at various tracks around… Continue Reading

HolmeWork Assignment: The Imperial Theatre $5 Advertising Note

HolmeWork Assignment: The Imperial Theatre $5 Advertising Note

“We were to go to the theatre.” – The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans (BRUC) In the late 19th and early 20th century, it was somewhat common to see advertisements on what seemed at first glance to be an old Confederate States of America banknote. Our next HolmeWork assignment is one of those examples and was… Continue Reading

HolmeWork Assignment: The Sherlock Holmes Credit Card

HolmeWork Assignment: The Sherlock Holmes Credit Card

“… while he has £220 standing to his credit in the Capital and Counties Bank.” – The Adventure of The Five Orange Pips (FIVE)          The Universal Sherlock Holmes by Ronald Burt De Waal and 14th Garrideb, George A. Vanderburgh has been a tremendous reference tool to your Mycroft as we first attempted to… Continue Reading

Video: Sherlock Holmes & Numismatics – 1991 ANA Convention Presentation

Video: Sherlock Holmes & Numismatics – 1991 ANA Convention Presentation

“… and had delivered his usual brilliant lecture to a crowded class.” – The Adventure of The Creeping Man (CREE) During the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) 100th Anniversary Convention (aka The World’s Fair of Money, the first ANA convention to use this marketing theme) in August, 1991, the then Vice President of the ANA, Edward C. Rochette,… Continue Reading

Monetary & Numismatic Mentions: The Dancing Men

Monetary & Numismatic Mentions: The Dancing Men

“Your cheque-book is locked in my drawer …” – The Adventure of The Dancing Men (DANC) In this post, we peruse The Adventure of The Dancing Men looking for mention of monetary transactions and numismatic items. As always, the page numbers [seen here in brackets] refer to the relevant pages in The Complete Sherlock Holmes published by… Continue Reading