The following are five highlights from the upcoming Stacks Bowers 2015 Chicago ANA Paper Money Auction:
Finest Known 1869 “Rainbow” One Dollar Legal Tender
PCGS Superb Gem New 67 PPQ
Lot# 40082 – Fr. 18. 1869 $1 Legal Tender Note. PCGS Superb Gem New 67 PPQ.
The 1869 series of Legal Tender Notes are among the most desirable of Federally issued currency. The denominations of One to Ten Dollars all incorporated a green under-printing, blue tinted paper and a large red treasury seal giving way to the nick name “Rainbows.” Gem examples of these fantastic banknotes are scarce with any denomination considered and Superb Gem material is virtually non-existent. The One Dollar notes number the least at this Superb Gem New Level according to PCGS. The present offering the only piece to possess enough technical quality to merit the 67 PPQ grade of over 420 notes graded by PCGS Currency for the catalog number. PMG has also graded several hundred for this catalog number to the tune of 500 plus pieces and just a single example garnered a Superb Gem Uncirculated designation. These One Dollar notes are known for coming with typically narrow and skewed margins which reflects the scant number of Gem notes available and this B3682134 numbered offering goes completely against that trend. Large even borders are observed at both the face and back and the color combination of the under-prints, tinted blue paper and red overprints will impress.
Estimate: $30,000.00 – $50,000.00
Finest Known Fr. 155 1880 $50 Legal Tender
Lot# 40118 – Fr. 155. 1880 $50 Legal Tender Note. PMG Choice About Uncirculated 58.
A very beautiful and high grade example of this visually striking type. A mere 9 examples are known for this Friedberg number with two permanently impounded in government institutions. The note exhibits a familiar portrait of Franklin at left and Liberty dressed as Columbia at right. The inks making up the primary design are extremely bold and highlight the intricacies of this high denomination design at both the face and back. We handled the second finest for this catalog number in our August 2012 ANA sale which graded PCGS About New 50 and realized $27,600. This piece is the single finest graded by PMG and certainly bests the aforementioned note. PMG mentions in the comments section “Closed Pinholes,” which are located at the lower right. One of the highlights of this evenings sale.
Estimate: $30,000.00 – $40,000.00
Rare 1864 $20 Interest Bearing Note
Lot # 40121 – Fr. 197a. 1864 $20. Interest Bearing Note. PCGS Very Fine 25.
There are just 25 known examples in all grades, with this piece one of just a scant few to be free from any netting distractions. Completely problem free for the grade and found with terrific detail of the allegory of Victory at left, mortar firing at lower center and bust of Lincoln, right. The back design is quite striking as well with obligations at center with in a diamond frame and intricate lathe work in plentiful fashion. The last we handled for this catalog number was a PCGS Very Fine 35 Apparent graded piece with the comments minor restorations and realized $44,062 as lot 3272 in our August 2013 ANA sale. We expect this note to realize a touch more because the rarity of being problem free is that much tougher. These “Middle of the Book,” notes are ones that always create a gaping hole in most collections and this excellent example would be a sensational way to bridge that gap.
Estimate: $40,000.00 – $60,000.00
Nearly Perfect 1902 $5 Fairbanks, AK $10 Blue Seal
Lot # 40241 -Finest Known Example of all Territorial Notes- PCGS Superb Gem New 68PPQ
Fairbanks, Alaska. $5 1902. Fr. 598. First NB. Charter #7718.
An unprecedented opportunity in National Banknote collecting on the “Last Frontier,” and an offering that will echo throughout the hobby. These 1902 Plain Backs from Fairbanks are not only more scarce than the 1902 Red Seal notes but also average a much lower grade, although the Superb Gem New 68 PPQ note offered here certainly tightens that disparity. Red Seals from Fairbanks owe their population to a trove of uncut sheets which appeared at the 1966 Central States Convention, although Alaska Blue Seal notes are ones which are not known by any hoards and seldom see public availability.
The town of Fairbanks owes it name to Charles W. Fairbanks who held a large role in shaping what Alaska is today as large border disputes arose after the discovery of gold in the region at the end of the 19th century. It was that discovery, known as the Klondike Gold Rush, that was responsible for the large population boom in Alaska. The town of Fairbanks was settled in 1901 and saw spirited growth with this First National Bank of Fairbanks becoming chartered in 1905. The bank issued currency throughout the small size period and although roughly 60 large size notes are known, they are all very tightly held. The most significant note to sell from the charter in recent memory was the serial number one C plate position Red Seal which realized nearly a quarter million dollars in an October 2012 public auction.
The quality of this Five Dollar note cannot be understated as it simply the finest large size National Bank Note we have ever offered. In fact, this is the finest Territorial National Bank Note in existence! The impression of this Harrison Five Dollar design is crystal clear and pronounced at even the most intricate of design features. The banking signatures of George Hutchinson and E.H. Stroeker are bold in a proper blue hue, while the overprints of the same color are brilliant. The centering of both the face and back are perfect to the naked eye with registration to each other that promote this stratospheric grade level. Aside from being an absolutely dream of a Note, this offering will certainly be watched with great interest from all those in the hobby and we are excited for the future buyer of this finest known Alaska national.
Estimate: $60,000.00 – $80,000.00
Finest PMG Graded “Lazy Deuce” National Banknote
Lot #40268 – La Crosse, Wisconsin. $2 1875. Fr. 391. The La Crosse NB. Charter #2344. PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ.
An extremely important offering on this coveted “Lazy Deuce,” design that is the finest we have handled for both the Original and Series of 1875 types with all signature combinations considered. These Two Dollar notes were short lived in the National Banknote era with the series of 1882 notes dropping both the One Dollar denomination and these Two Dollar notes. The design is inspiring with a vignette titled “Stars and Stripes,” depicted at left with a woman seated and holding a flag. The namesake of the note comes from the impressive 2 die utilized at center with the foot of the numeral parallel to the right border. The back design is found with a common for the series historical styling, depicting Sir Walter Raleigh exhibiting corn and tobacco in England.
The quality of this offering will certainly get the attention of collectors as the note is found with the most detailed impression of the design we have handled. Each intricate feature of the engraving is highlighted against strictly original paper surfaces and the same can be said of the overprints and penned signatures. PMG has graded just nine examples of this design in this Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ state with not a single piece finer and that figure accounts for every chartered bank with notes on this design known. These Two Dollar notes are typically found with extremely tight borders that often cut into the design, although certainly not the case here as the margins are large and even. For the type collector, this offering is one that should certainly not be dismissed as public offerings of this design at the Gem level are rare.
Estimate: $25,000.00 – $35,000.00