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Rare “Open Back” 1891 $100 Treasury Note from the Karelian Collection

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2021 United States
currency auction will feature a rare Fr.378 1891 $100 Treasury Note from the
Karelian Collection. The "Open Back" $100 Treasury Notes of the
Series of 1891 are nearly three times rarer than their predecessor
"Watermelon" notes of 1890. Just 13 examples are recorded in the
census for the type with five of those held in institutional collections and unavailable
to collectors. The type has the portrait of Admiral David Farragut at right and
a large 100 counter just to the left of center. A red scalloped Treasury Seal
is to the right of center while red serial numbers are at lower left and upper
right.

The "Open Back" design features 100 counters at bottom left and top
right with Roman numeral Cs at top left and bottom right. ONE HUNDRED is in an
ornamental design at center. The Treasury Department felt that the
"open" design would be more carefully examined by bank tellers than
would be the heavily ornamented backs of the Series of 1890 notes.

The Karelian Collection example is graded Fine 12 by PMG with
an added comment for restoration. The note carries an estimate of $80,000 –
$120,000. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is still accepting consignments for the
March 2021 auction. To consign contact Director of Currency Peter Treglia
at PeterT@stacksbowers.com or
Currency Specialist Brad Ciociola at BCiociola@stacksbowers.com.

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