We first auctioned this set in our 2011 ANA sale for the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation. We are honored to showcase this remarkable trio of the very first issued Educational series sheets once again.The face designs are perhaps the most ornate and beautiful in the entire series of American paper money. They are: for the $1 History Instructing Youth, for the $2 Science Presenting Steam and Electricity to Commerce and Manufacture, and for the $5 Electricity Presenting Light to the World. The backs are very ornate as well and feature prominent Americans from history. Martha and George Washington adorn the back of the $1, Robert Fulton and Samuel F. B. Morse the $2, and Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheriden the $5. Each design ranks high in The 100 Greatest American Currency Notes by Q. David Bowers and David M. Sundman, a best-selling book by Whitman Publishing LLC.While the archives of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing probably contain many unusual specimens, die proofs, essays, and other rarities usually with no serial number or else a string of zeroes as serial numbers, such unusual items rarely are available to collectors. This particular item falls into an even more intriguing category, as the banknotes were produced for regular circulation and are the very first serially numbered notes of each denomination and bear the engraved signatures of J. Fount Tillman and Daniel N. Morgan as the Treasury Officials. Claude M. Johnson, head of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, had the forethought to purchase these original sheets for himself, thus saving them for posterity.From the content of Johnson’s letter, it is clear that he understood very well the significance of the pieces he owned. The sheets have become much more than the first of the Educationals — they are a monument of history, design and the developmental process. Easily one of the most sought after American paper currency items ever offered for public auction sale. This set will be a highlight of any great paper money collection. The illustrious provenance and pedigree chain will have as its new member, the successful bidder when the hammer falls.The bound book in the set is titled UNITED STATES PROOF BANK NOTES ISSUED 1896. Bound inside is a typewritten, three-page letter of description and presentation by Claude M. Johnson. The book's cover exhibits some roughness at the edges from years of handling but remains intact. Internally fresh and bright, the inside front cover displays a pair of small paste downs for Ex Libris Robert Hoe, one of the most famous book collectors of all time.Each of the three bank note sheets contain four subjects of the represented denomination with serial numbers 1 to 4. Each sheet retains bright paper and excellent print quality. It is worth noting that the Educational series was numbered continuously from one signature combination to another, meaning no other Educational notes were printed with these beginning serial numbers. The sheets have been professionally removed from the book, graded and encapsulated by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) to insure and preserve quality and protection.When we sold this set in our 2011 auction they realized $1,265,000, at the time a record for a single lot of U.S Currency in public sale. Since then five notes have surpassed that level, with two notes selling for over $1.4 Million each, two notes selling for over $2 million each, and a new world record of one note selling for over $3 million. The currency market has no doubt increased substantially in the last few years as the demand for the finest, rarest and museum quality material is in great demand.The Educational series arguably produced the most iconic notes in all of American paper money. Each of these sheets are a numismatic treasure representing the very inception of this immensely popular line of notes which can be considered as the BEP's high watermark in terms of artistic supremacy and elegance. Few numismatic items of this measure of importance are available for private ownership, and this is one of the greatest items to be owned within the field of American paper money. This lot represents the opportunity for one astute bidder to add this iconic American treasure to their holdings, not only as the owner, but as a guardian of history in the same spirit as Claude M. Johnson and Harry W. Bass Jr.
||High Market Price
All price data listed above is intended to be as accurate as possible. Stack’s Bowers Galleries insists that you contact each pricing source for further verification. No purchasing decisions should be made on this data alone, which is provided as a service and convenience to our customers. Returns based on inaccurate data will not be accepted.
||Pop in this Grade
||Pop in Higher Grades
||Pop in All Grades
All population information listed above is intended to be as accurate as possible. Stack’s Bowers Galleries insists that you contact each certification source for further verification. No purchasing decisions should be made on this data alone, which is provided as a service and convenience to our customers. Returns based on inaccurate data will not be accepted.