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Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio   |   The August 2018 ANA Auction   |   23 August 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Session 4, Lot 2020

Estimate: 100'000 USD   |   Starting price: 60'000 USD Price realized: 312'000 USD
Interest Bearing Note
Finest of Three Known Fr. 198a $50 Interest Bearing Notes

Friedberg 198a (W-2650). 1863 $50 Interest Bearing Note. PCGS Currency Extremely Fine 40.
Just three examples of this 1863 $50 Interest Bearing Note are known to collectors, all of which are in private hands. The offered example is the finest of the three. The face displays the vignette Loyalty, a depiction of Liberty with a sword in her left hand and her right hand rested on the Bible and Constitution on the left end of the note. At right is a portrait of Alexander Hamilton. A large green ornamental overprint is seen at the center along with the words "Will pay to the bearer FIFTY DOLLARS with five percent interest." The engraved signatures of Chittenden and Spinner are centered at the bottom. The serial numbers are in red as is the spiked Treasury Seal at right. This example bears an issue date of April 11, 1864, in the upper right.

The back is intricate and fully involves all but the margins. Large 50 counters are seen to left and right while the clause and anti-counterfeiting language is found at center. The paper is bright, fully margined and displays only light circulation. The printed inks remain bold, and vibrant color is seen in the overprints. The two other known examples have both been represented as Fine in past auction appearances.

As a class, these notes of various dates and denominations are so rare today that most collectors have never seen or held an example! The same can be said for a number of other Joel A. Anderson treasures as we have noted (under Silver Certificates of Deposit for example).

The presently offered note dwarfs those in terms of condition and aesthetic appeal. This note last realized $92,000 in a February 2005 auction. We expect a realization well into the six-figures when this remarkable note crosses the block.

$50 Interest Bearing Notes, March 3, 1863, 5% Interest, 1 Year

These $50 Interest Bearing Notes were initially sold at a discount reflecting the interest that would be earned and were redeemed at face value upon maturity. These did not circulate widely hand-to-hand but were mostly purchased by banks and private investors. These and related government securities were widely advertised by Jay Cooke and others in national magazines and newspapers. Any that were kept beyond the redemption date still were worth face value, with no additional increment.

Various red overprint dates were added to signify the starting time for interest calculation. Presumably, most if not all were spaced one week apart. A total of 164,800 notes were issued. Nearly all were redeemed. The greatest collections of the past were apt to lack an example of this classic rarity.

PCGS Population: 1, none finer.
From Kagin's sale of August 1977, lot 3496; Heritage Auctions' sale of February 2005, lot 16750.

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