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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.

A Newly Discovered 1994 Gibraltar Return of Sherlock Holmes Coin

A Newly Discovered 1994 Gibraltar Return of Sherlock Holmes Coin

“More puzzled than ever…” – The Adventure of The Empty House (EMPT) The title of this post is slightly misleading. The coin I am about to write about has been listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins for several years, having been assigned the catalog number of KM-574. But this particular coin was not mentioned… Continue Reading

Cook Islands To Issue Detective Conan Coins

Cook Islands To Issue Detective Conan Coins

“… looking as delighted as a child with a new toy.” – A Study in Scarlet (STUD) The government of the Cook Islands announced in late July that they would be striking two coins to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Detective Conan. In 1994, a Japanese detective manga series called Detective Conan was launched and since that time over… Continue Reading

Sherlock Holmes and Scooby-Doo

Sherlock Holmes and Scooby-Doo

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) Since we having recently been talking about a mystery involving a giant hound, let’s turn our focus onto a giant hound that helps solves mysteries. In 1969, the animation studios of Hanna-Barbera produced the first episodes of Scooby-Doo,… Continue Reading

The 1997 British Tales of Terror Philatelic Numismatic Cover

The 1997 British Tales of Terror Philatelic Numismatic Cover

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) On May 13, 1997, Great Britain issued a four stamp series with the theme of Tales of Terror.  The four stamps features designs of the Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula, Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Many… Continue Reading

Canada Issues $200 Gold Coin Featuring the Amazon

Canada Issues $200 Gold Coin Featuring the Amazon

“… the derelict Marie Celeste …” – J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement Almost four years before the name Sherlock Holmes was seen in print, Arthur Conan Doyle had published J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement in the January 1884 issue of The Cornhill Magazine. Doyle was one of the first to publish a fictionalized version of the mystery of the ship Mary Celeste, which… Continue Reading

The 2007 Cook Islands Hound of the Baskervilles Coin

The 2007 Cook Islands Hound of the Baskervilles Coin

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN)       In 2007, the Cook Islands contracted with the Perth Mint of Australia to produce a set of four 1 ounce .999 silver $2 coins.  All four coins featured color vignettes from the 1979 – 1986… Continue Reading

Niue Issues 2 Coin Set Featuring Cumberbatch & Freeman

Niue Issues 2 Coin Set Featuring Cumberbatch & Freeman

“… so admirably done that it was a perfect facsimile.” – The Adventure of The Empty House (EMPT)       Reverse designs featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman from BBC’s Sherlock on the 2016 Niue $2 Coins The South Pacific island nation of Niue has just released a 2 coin set featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin… Continue Reading

Gibraltar’s 1994 Hound of The Baskervilles Crowns

Gibraltar’s 1994 Hound of The Baskervilles Crowns

“With long bounds the huge black creature was leaping down the track …” – The Hound of The Baskervilles (HOUN) Gibraltar released 8 different designs for its 1994 series of coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the return of Sherlock Holmes. In this post, we will discuss the three coins that feature the scene on the… Continue Reading

The Final Problem $2 Coin From The Cook Islands

The Final Problem $2 Coin From The Cook Islands

“… the best and the wisest man whom I have ever known.” – The Adventure of The Final Problem (FINA) In 2007, the Cook Islands contracted with the Perth Mint of Australia to produce a set of four 1 ounce .999 silver $2 coins.  All four coins featured color vignettes from the 1979 – 1986 Soviet television… Continue Reading