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1878 $500 Legal Tender, Friedberg 185d To Be Featured in the Official Auction of the World's Fair of Money

By Matt Quinn, Director of Currency

Author: Matt Quinn / Tuesday, June 19, 2012 / Categories: Paper Money of the Week
It is with great pleasure that Stack’s Bowers Galleries will offer to eager collectors a design which only surfaces in public auction roughly once in five years at maximum. The note is the Friedberg 185d 1878 $500 Legal Tender note, which features a large portrait vignette of Major General Joseph King Mansfield at right. The serial number A4206 note we will offer is simply radiant, showing the design in impressive detail and color throughout. It is one of only six known examples for the catalog number with two pieces forever uncollectible as they are permanent residents of institutional collections.

The note features an impressive allegorical vignette of “Victory,” at left and is seen with impressive Roman numeral and English protectors at lower center. The verso design exhibits the master engraving of the time period with incredibly ornate geometric lathe work used in the central Guilloches and surrounding devices. The design saw continued use throughout the 1874, 1875, this 1878 series and finally the 1880 series with signature varieties ranging from Allison | Spinner on the 1874 note to Bruce | Roberts last found on the Friedberg 185l 1880 dated piece. Seen with only subtle circulation and just a minor restoration at the lower right corner with other wise problem free and bright paper throughout. Truly a landmark rarity, which will be a focal point in any advanced large size collection.

This item along with several other significant currency rarities will highlight the outstanding banknote session to be held on Wednesday night the eighth of August. Here in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries rare currency department, we look forward to your participation in this historic event.