1880 $20

Currency Auction Realizes Over $11 Million in Baltimore Stack’s Bowers Sale

The Official Currency Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo, presented by Stack’s Bowers Galleries, saw total sales that exceeded $11.1 million. Part III of the Joel R. Anderson Collection realized over $8.6 million, while the Caine Collection of Federal Proofs and Essays, Part I, brought over a million dollars. The firm’s regular live and internet sessions added $1.48 million to the sale total. All prices include the 20% buyer’s fee.

The first currency offering of the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Auction featured Part III of the Joel R. Anderson Collection of United States Paper Money. The 54 lots presented in the stand-alone catalog realized $8,619,240, with an average per-lot price of nearly $160,000. The highlight of the evening was the “Holy Grail” of American currency, the note voted to the top spot in Q. David Bowers and David Sundman’s 100 Greatest American Currency Notes. Lot 3042, the Anderson example of the 1890 $1000 “Grand Watermelon” Treasury Note, graded About New 50 by PCGS Currency, is one of only two Fr. 379a notes in private hands. It was the first note to cross the $1 million mark when it was last auctioned in October 2005. 13 years later in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Baltimore auction, it nearly doubled that realization, bringing $2.04 million.   

Among other highlights, lot 3016 offered a unique Act of October 12, 1837 $100 Interest Bearing Note, the only known federal note issued between the 1815 Treasury Notes and the Demand Notes of 1861. This example, the only issued note from this early federal series, brought $114,000, over four times the high estimate. The only Refunding Certificate presented in Part III of the Anderson Collection, an About New 58 PPQ Fr. 213 $10 in lot 3024, was bid to $780,000. It is the only privately held example of just two known, with the other permanently ensconced in the Bureau of the Public Debt. The conclusion of this third part brings the total to date for the Joel R. Anderson Collection to over $26 million, with one more offering planned for February 2019 in Baltimore. 

The Anderson Collection was immediately followed by Part I of the Caine Collection of Federal Proofs and Essays, an unprecedented offering of these rare and fascinating items. The 113 lots featured in the Caine Collection Part I catalog brought over $1 million, highlighted by lot 4074 which offered face and back proofs for the 1891 $500 Treasury Notes and was bid up to $120,000. Part II of the Caine Collection will cross the block at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official Whitman Expo Auction in February 2019. 

In addition to these specialized catalogs, Stack’s Bowers Galleries also presented live and internet sessions featuring a diverse array of United States paper money. National banknotes were again a key attraction, and included a newly discovered serial number 1 1882 $10 Brown Back from the Capitol National Bank of Guthrie, Oklahoma. This note, graded Choice Very Fine 35 by PMG, realized $33,600. Also notable was a new-to-the-market serial number 1 $5 Brown Back from the First National Bank of Orlando, Florida, graded Very Fine 30 by PMG. It crossed the block for $30,000. 

Among large-size notes, a PCGS Currency Extremely Fine 45 graded Fr. 831 $50 Federal Reserve Bank Note from St. Louis realized $30,000, while, $26,400 was the high bid for a PCGS Currency Very Choice New 64 PPQ graded Fr.127 1869 $20 “Rainbow” Legal Tender Note.  

Small-size currency was highlighted by a scarce replacement note, a Fr.2400* 1928 $10 Gold Certificate. Graded Gem New 65 PPQ by PCGS Currency this example sold for $28,800. Also worthy of mention is a serial number 5 Fr.1500 1928 $1 Legal Tender Note graded About Uncirculated 55 by PMG. This new discovery, which had been presented to Olga Hirsch by Treasurer N.O. Woods, sold for $21,600. Among colonial currency, a nearly new MA-164 August 18, 1775 7 Shillings 6 Pence “Sword in Hand” note graded Choice About New 58 by PCGS Currency brought $19,200. 

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ next live currency auction event will be in conjunction with the 2019 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo in Baltimore. For more information, or to discuss consignment opportunities contact Director of Currency Peter Treglia at PeterT@stacksbowers.com or Currency Specialist Brad Ciociola at BCiociola@stacksbowers.com