BY PATRICK IAN PEREZ, EDITOR
Just over one month after the active events of the Baltimore Expo comes more auction and dealer-to-dealer activity by way of the Central States Convention in Chicago. Heritage Auctions gets the stage this time around and is offering more than 4,250 lots for collectors and dealers.
One of the anchors of the sale is the Carlson R. Chambliss Collection, which features an exceptional run of Friedberg numbers of the large-size types. A very nice feature is that Heritage sent the reference book “The Comprehensive Catalog of U.S. Federal Large-Size Notes 1861-1929” by Chambliss and Gene Hessler as an accompaniment to the auction catalog. Many of the notes in the collection are plated in the book, and more importantly, many of the notes have been off the market for many years.
Reviewing the overall collection, it is clear Chambliss was going for eye appeal over technical grade, as many notes face up very well. Looking first at the Demand Notes, two $10 notes grab attention: a Fr.-6 graded PMG VF25 Repaired and a Fr.-8 in a PMG VF20 holder. These notes were purchased in 1992 and 2000, respectively. The collection is strongest in its Legal Tender holdings, and it is an educational opportunity to view all of the various seal and signature combinations one after another, many in the grades collectors crave.
The one-year type Series 1874 $1, Fr.-19, graded PCGS Currency CU65, sports dark, rich inks. The Series 1875 “Series A” note, Fr.-45, is a $2 Legal Tender rarity, and the PCGS Currency CU62 offered is a chance for an astute buyer to add one to their collection. Two $50 Legals in the matching grades of VF30, from Series 1862 and 1869, would make for a wonderful pair, but by far the highlight of the Legal Tenders is the 1863 $100 Spread Eagle, PMG VF35 with light restorations that should easily break the six-figure barrier.
The Chambliss Collection also features more than 100 large-size Silver Certificates, topped by a $50 and $100 note from Series 1880. The $100 (Fr.-341) is one of just 25 known and is graded PMG VF30 while the $50 (Fr.-327) is one of 11 known and is graded PMG VF20. The overall coverage of both the Series 1880 and 1886 is exceptional, and there is ample opportunity for collectors and dealers to acquire these scarce and underrated notes. The final note to highlight from the Chambliss Collection is the gorgeous Series 1922 $500 Gold Certificate graded PCGS Currency AU53. With a regal portrait of Lincoln and colors that burst through the certified holder, it is a prize note for whomever is able to purchase it.
As many readers of this publication have no doubt heard, we at CDN have recently made a major change with our coin publications, combining multiple newsletters into one monthly publication. While there are no plans to do the same with the Greensheet at the moment, we do find ourselves hampered by the fact of the limited space we have to work with in the current form. While we have added a significant number of price listings over the past two years, there is more we want to add. While we can always add additional pricing electronically (look for an announcement about this in the coming months), we would also like to do it also in print. Besides from the obvious task of pricing all large-size notes by Friedberg number, we would also like to expand small-size Federal Reserve Note pricing. This is based on the number of emails we receive, and clearly there is a dearth of accurate pricing information for many notes in this series. Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE IN FOCUS: SERIES 1890 $20 TREASURY NOTE (FR. 372)
The $20 denomination of the Treasury (or Coin) notes is the middle denomination in this short-lived series, and it considerably scarcer than the lower values. Of the two signature varieties of the Series 1890 $20, this Rosecrans-Huston type is less scarce than the other (the Fr.-373 Rosecrans-Nebeker), but is by no means common. This note features a prominent portrait of John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who served for 34 years and under a remarkable six presidential administrations. His legal opinions were very influential in developing Constitutional law in this country and establishing the judicial branch of government. Interestingly, he was a member of the American Antiquarian Society, an organization established in 1812 which collects books and other printed records of early America, from the earliest settlements through the nation’s Centennial in 1876. It is also the oldest historical society in the United States. Societies such as these were precursors to organizations such as the American Numismatic Society and other historical societies which were the first to collect and preserve the earliest coins struck in America. Many example of Colonial coins and paper money would not exist but for these groups.
There are just 66 serial numbers recorded for this note, with four of those in the Uncirculated grades. The auction record for this Fr. number is $188,000, set when serial number A5 sold in August 2014. Two low serial number notes, A3 and the aforementioned A5, have traded hands multiple times over the past 25 years, going from $10,500 all the way to nearly $200,00 showing the remarkable growth in rare United States currency. A very solid PCGS Currency VF35 example of this note from the Chambliss Collection will be sold by Heritage as lot #22471.