Blogs

A Unique Note! A Joel Anderson Favorite

Here is a note
that is unique in private hands—another once in a lifetime opportunity for
anyone seeking to build a great collection of paper money. To be sure there is
one other in existence—permanently held by the Bureau of Public Debt in
Washington D.C. I have never been there and I don’t think many others have as
well. Accordingly, during the lot viewing at the ANA Convention you will have a rare opportunity to at least see one!

Our Part 1 of
the Joel Anderson Collection sold at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo
in Baltimore in March made history. We have every expectation that Part 2 will
as well, as will Parts 3 and 4 later on the calendar.

If you plan to
attend the ANA Convention track me down and say hello. I love paper money and
would be delighted to discuss the Anderson Collection or any other area in the
American series with you. Many other events are in store, guaranteeing an
interesting and enjoyable week.

 

Lot 2021.

 

1861 $50
Interest Bearing Note

The Only
Collectible Issued Example of the Series

An Incredible
Numismatic Rarity

Friedberg 202a
(Whitman-2600). 1861 $50 Interest Bearing Note. PCGS Currency Very Fine 25.

This extremely
important offering represents the only issued example of the entire series of
1861 Interest Bearing Notes remaining in private hands. This is one of Joel
Anderson’s favorite notes among his many treasures. The series was issued under
an Act of Congress passed March 2nd, 1861, which provided for $10 million to be
issued in the form of bonds or, if bonds could not be sold, circulating
Interest Bearing Notes in denominations of no less than $50 that bore interest
at a rate of 6% per annum. With Civil War looming and no market support for
bonds, Interest Bearing Notes in denominations of $50, $100, $500 and $1000
were issued. They were produced by the National Bank Note Company using a
process, the “cycloidal configurations.” The patent for this was issued to
James MacDonough on April 23rd, 1860. National used this distinctive style on
many notes of state-chartered banks as well as the series of $50 to $1000 notes
produced in early 1861 for the CSA. A total of 46,076 examples of the
presently-offered federal $50 denomination were issued.

The $50 notes
depict Justice seated with sword and scales at center. At lower left is the
portrait of Andrew Jackson, engraved by Charles Burt; ironically the same
portrait used on the $1000 Montgomery-issued notes of the Confederate States of
America, also printed in early 1861 in New York City by the National Bank Note
Company.

To the right
is the portrait of Salmon Chase. To the upper left and right are counters with
the denomination 50 at the center, and overlapping petals around, the cycloidal
configurations (sometimes called a kaleidograph counter in Treasury records),
each with “UNITED STATES / FIFTY / TREASURY.” In the lower left signature panel
is the signature of Treasury Clerk G. Luff whose handwritten “for the” appears
before REGISTER OF THE TREASURY. United States Treasurer Francis E. Spinner,
never one to turn down the opportunity to use his grand signature has signed
the note in the lower right. The back is printed in blue in the cycloidal
configurations format, with “Pay to Bearer” vertically at the center, below
which is a space in which the holder of the note could sign. “NATIONAL BANK
NOTE COMPANY” and its 1860 cycloidal configurations patent date are printed
vertically to each side of the center. Related configurations were used by
National on many notes issued by state-chartered banks. About 19.5 cm wide by
10 cm high.

The printed
design elements of this extraordinary note are nicely printed in striking
detail. The manuscript details are well penned and still bold even almost
exactly 157 years after the note was issued. Restorations are mentioned by the
grading service on the back of the holder. Upon close inspection they can be
found primarily at the edges and along the bottom portion of the fold in the
center of the note. Overall, all of the important details of the note are fully
legible and the note is very appealing for the assigned grade. Most importantly
the note is free of any cancellations.

This is the
only collectible issued note in existence for the entire 1861 issuance of
Interest Bearing Notes. One other example of the $50 denomination, a redeemed
and cancelled note, resides in the Bureau of Public Debt in Washington D.C. The
only other notes known for this series are found in Proof or Specimen form. In
three previous auction appearances this note has traded hands for $10,000
(August 1970 RARCOA sale), $605,000 (May 2001 CAA sale) and $368,000 (February
2005 Heritage Sale). This offering represents a great opportunity to obtain a
note for which no equal is available. 

Interest
Bearing Notes of 1861

Bills of this
authorization and denomination bore interest at the rate of 6% per annum for
two years, reflecting that the credit of the Union stood higher than that of
the newly formed Confederacy, which paid 8% on its notes. At the time of issue
the circulating notes were sold at a discount from face value to reflect the
interest to be earned for two years. At the end of this period, nearly all were
redeemed. Most holders of these notes were banks; they did not circulate in
general commerce. As can be said for the Montgomery Notes, printed in New York
by the National Bank Note Company and issued in precisely the same
denominations, the Interest Bearing federal notes can also be considered bonds.
Indeed, they were widely advertised as such by Jay Cooke & Co.

PCGS
Population: 
1, none
finer.

From RARCOA’s
sale of August 1970, lot 1709; Currency Auctions of America’s sale of May 2001;
Heritage Auctions’ sale of February 2005, lot 16753.

Est.
$300,000-$500,000

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