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Choice Uncirculated “Spread Eagle” 1863 $100 Legal Tender Note from the Karelian Collection

Choice Uncirculated “Spread Eagle” 1863 $100 Legal Tender Note from the Karelian Collection

By Brad Ciociola, Currency Specialist

Author: Brad Ciociola / Thursday, January 07, 2021 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week

​Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 2021 United States Currency auction will feature select offerings from the Karelian Collection, including a PCGS Banknote Choice Uncirculated 63 Fr.167a $100 Legal Tender Note. 

The "Spread Eagle" motif on the $100 Legal Tender Notes of 1862 and 1863 is one of the most recognizable and beloved in all of American currency. Engraved by Joseph P. Ourdan, the bald eagle perched on a rock with wings spread dominates the left side of the note. Green border prints frame the design which also has ornate black kaleidograph die counters at lower left and upper right and a slightly larger green kaleidograph die counter in the same style just right of center. Printed signatures of Chittenden and Spinner are along the bottom border while a red spiked Treasury Seal is near the upper right. Act of March 3d, 1863 is in the top left corner. This catalog number features dual serial numbers where earlier versions had just one. An ornate Second Obligation back is seen on this example. Second Obligation notes do not mention exchanging the notes for 6-20 bonds as do the First Obligation examples. The imprint of the National Bank Note Company is found on both the face and the back.

Just 23 examples of this catalog number are recorded in the Track & Price census with this example easily resting near the top of the condition census. The note carries an estimate of $300,000-$400,000. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is still accepting consignments for the March 2021 auction. To consign contact Director of Currency Peter Treglia at [email protected] or Currency Specialist Brad Ciociola at [email protected].