By Q. David Bowers – Co-founder, Stack’s Bowers ……
Welcome to my weekly blog on notes from the Joel R. Anderson Collection Part II. A special catalog is now in preparation as a companion to Part I sold recently in Baltimore. The venue for Part II will be the ANA World’s Fair of Money convention in Philadelphia in August. I plan to be there all week, through Friday, and invite you to track me down and say hello. I would be delighted to discuss the treasures from the Joel R. Anderson Collection as well as any items in our other auction sessions (including the finest known of the five 1913 Liberty Head nickels).
Paper money has been one of my specialties. Some years ago I created the Whitman Encyclopedia of United States Paper Money, which today sserves as the standard source for a lot of federal paper money history and information not readily available in any other single source.
In the Joel R. Anderson Collection, rarity and finest usually go together with each note. Many notes are rare on an absolute basis—the only one in private hands or one of just a few. Others are condition rarities, as with this, per our catalog:
Highest Graded 1899 $1 Fr. 229 “Black Eagle” Note
Lot 2029. Friedberg 229 (Whitman-65). 1899 $1 Silver Certificate. PCGS Currency Superb Gem New 68 PPQ.
Perfectly centered and framed by large margins, this Vernon-McClung signed 1899 Black Eagle $1 is among the finest examples of the type we have ever offered. This note is incredibly well printed in dark inks with bold blue overprints that are deeply embossed into the creamy white paper. A scattering of red and blue fibers at left and right add to the overall appeal of this marvelous representation of an iconic American type note. Just a single 1899 $1 Silver Certificate in the entire series including all varieties has been graded finer by PCGS. Amazing!
This incredibly high grade note is one of a number of bills graded 65 and higher that provide the opportunity for many buyers to acquire an affordable (considering its condition rarity status as the finest known) note with the Joel R. Anderson pedigree.
About the Vignette
The central vignette for which this issue is famous was resurrected from Civil War era usage on $10 Interest Bearing and Compound Interest Bearing notes, a fact not widely known as those issues are infrequently seen today (although the four sections of the Anderson Collection is definitive in this regard!). While the styling is very close on this later version, it is a modified vignette, with differences in the size of the Capitol rotunda and its proximity to the eagle among the easier distinctions to detect. It is this issue for which the vignette is best known, as these notes were made over a long period of time. The vignette was titled “Eagle of the Capitol”, and the original version was engraved by James Bannister. The updated version seen here was engraved by G.F.C. Smillie.
- PCGS Population: 6; none finer.
- From Lyn Knight’s sale of June 2006, lot 142.
For more about the rare and beautiful notes of Part I of the Joel R. Anderson Collection: