Will Cotswolds sale cash in on sex?

A rare banknote with a risqué message is due to go under the hammer in the Cotswolds next week – with auctioneers expecting it to fetch around 100 times its face value.

A Seychelles banknoteThe 50 rupee note – equivalent to around £2.50 – was issued by the Government of Seychelles between 1968 and 1973.

The young Queen gazes regally out over a bay and a fishing boat on a calm ocean. But, look closely and you can clearly see, spelled out in the fronds of the palm trees over her left shoulder are the letters ‘SEX’.

The note was produced at a time when the Seychelles was seeking independence from Great Britain. The suspicion is that pro-independence printers had incorporated the design into the note.

Seychelles banknoteThe note features in a collection of banknotes from the Seychelles, Kenya, Mexico, Ceylon, Portugal and England, which will go under the hammer at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on Friday, with an auctioneer’s estimate of £200 to £300.

Auctioneer Philip Allwood said: “The message is clearly there. It’s too precise to be a coincidence.”

It won’t be the first time a designer has hidden rude messages in an antique sold by Moore Allen & Innocent. Back in 2013 the auctioneers sold a Huntley and Palmer biscuit tin which featured an illustration of a Victorian tea party.

But hidden jokes, worked into the design by a disgruntled employee, included a naked bottom between a pair of female knees in the bushes, a pair of dogs copulating, and a herbaceous border of cannabis plants.

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