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Iconic Currency Spanning Three Centuries Showcased at March Baltimore Auction

Written By Bruce Roland Hagen, Senior Research Numismatist and Consignment Director, Currency

Author: Stack's Bowers Galleries / Tuesday, March 05, 2013 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week
One of the most exciting parts of organizing, cataloging and presenting an auction sale to the collecting public is the diversity of the items presented. Our March 15, 2013 (commencing 5:00 P.M. ET) paper money session at Baltimore is no exception with exceptional paper currency and related items that span across three centuries. Eighteenth century notes engraved or printed by historic names such as Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere from Colonial times traverse side by side with the artistic obsolete banknotes from the nineteenth century, culminating with rarities from our currently used twentieth century Small Size Currency format first introduced in 1928. Each of these genres is well represented in our paper money session (lots 5001-5924) with something for everyone.

Of course Paul Revere needs little introduction to any of us. He is a Revolutionary War icon and his direct link to engraving and printing paper money makes him a numismatic hall of famer. Not only did he engrave currency notes, he also engraved loan certificates (bonds) including the famous and rare “King Philip” bonds of 1775. Paul Revere’s engraving technique is exemplified at the left with his vignette of King Philip, warrior in Rhode Island who gained immense respect from his colonial adversaries due to his tenacity and honor. We have had the pleasure of handling a few of these intricate certificates over the years and lot 5031 in our sale is the finest we have seen. This bond is the illustrious Boyd Collection piece last sold in October 2005 at the Ford XV sale. The bond leads a select, high condition collection of Massachusetts Fiscal Paper and Bonds consigned to the sale.

Artistic and rare obsolete banknotes abound in the March paper money session. Many of the notes are from private collections, with old pedigrees (such as Roger Durand and John Ford), often last sold decades ago. Most significant is an impressive array of Rhode Island obsolete proof notes (lots 5195-5313 public session; 9106-9135 internet session) formed over three decades. Many significant imprints, vignettes, color schemes, styles, locations and titles are contained in this section. Often the vignettes reflect the history of the United States such as the Battle of Lexington seen on the Bank of Rhode Island, Newport $100 green color proof (lot5215). Dozens of other proofs from this collection stand out and many would be highlights in any sale. Not since Schingoethe has such a significant Rhode Island offering crossed the auction block.

To Small Size Currency collectors, the 1933 Ten Dollars Silver Certificate is like Paul Revere, a household word and a hall of famer. The note itself projects a grandeur that has made it a collector favorite and it has often been desired by both paper money and coin collectors alike. The 1933 date certainly possesses some cache as the famous/infamous double eagles of that year resonate through our numismatic lives. The example offered in our sale (lot 5505) is new to the census and comes to us from a superb collection auctioned for the first time. The Vandenbosch Collection note, serial A00000111A, is graded PCGS Very Choice New 64 PPQ and is just one of many great notes from this cabinet. Among the other Small Size notes in the sale is an amazing selection of Fancy Number notes with Number Ones, Solid Sets, and Super Repeaters.

These are only a few of the iconic rarities in our March 15, 2013 paper money session. We encourage you to view the entire sale, either for what currently interests you or perhaps something that catches eye and becomes the foundation of that next collection.

We are already planning a stellar paper money offering at the ANA World’s Fair of Money at Rosemont. Each of the last two years had sales in excess of $6,000,000 each, with strong participation. It is never too early to make your plans and space runs out quickly for the premier paper money auction of the year. See us at the Baltimore auction and show or call toll-free, Matt Quinn (1-800-458-4646 in CA) or Bruce Hagen (1-800-566-2580 in New York) to discuss placing your important currency in the ANA event.