The George Barker Collection of Irish Banknotes

The George Barker Collection of Irish Banknotes

George Barker (1940 - 1996)

George Barker, born at Ellesmere Port on 14 September 1940, was educated at Wirral County Grammar School. He qualified at the Royal Institute of British Architects and joined a firm of chartered architects in Liverpool, before moving to Bangor, Co Down, in 1970. His first five years in Northern Ireland were spent designing large house building contracts, before he moved to take up a senior position with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 1975.

George's interest in Irish banknotes started after his arrival in the province. From the mid 1970s he began acquiring notes on a regular basis, buying from the late David Keable and Stanley Gibbons, among others. He was part of a small group of collectors which had emerged in the six counties and, while competing for new notes for their collections, took great delight in sharing new information and research among themselves, as true collectors tend to do.

As George's collection grew so did his contacts among dealers and collectors worldwide. A regular visitor to the annual coin and banknote fair in Dublin, his interests lay in all Irish pre-1928 material and issues from within Northern Ireland from 1929 onwards. At all times he looked for the best possible quality in whatever he purchased.

After gaining an Honours degree in Human Geography from the Open University in 1990, George developed a second collecting passion, palaeontology. His enthusiasm in this field was to see him elected president of the Belfast Geologists Society and, after his untimely death on 6 June 1996, his collection of fossils was donated to the Ulster Museum.

The George Barker collection of Irish banknotes will be offered in two parts, the first comprising lots 2007-2070 in this sale. The balance is to be auctioned by DNW on Wednesday, 15 March 2006. Many of the notes are of the highest quality available to commerce; indeed some are the only recorded examples.