U. S. National Bank Note dated March 1, 1864, for $1,000, one of two known, will be sold May 29th An exceedingly rare proof of an original series $1,000 face proof charter #290 U.S. National Bank Note will come up for bid in an auction planned for Thursday, May 29th, at Philip Weiss Auctions.
News-Antique.com - May 04,2014 - LYNBROOK, N.Y. – An exceedingly rare proof of an original series $1,000 face proof charter #290 U.S. National Bank Note – one of only two examples in existence, with the whereabouts of the other one anybody’s guess – will come up for bid in an auction planned for Thursday, May 29th, at Philip Weiss Auctions, in the firm’s gallery located at 74 Merrick Road in Lynbrook.
The auction, being held on a weekday with a rare 1 p.m. start, will also feature an important single-owner postcard collection that could serve as an instant online business or form the basis of a dealer’s show stock; an outstanding single-owner stamp collection from Germany; and a complete set of Morgan silver dollars (to be sold as one lot), all high-grade including rare proofs.
But the undisputed highlight of the auction will be the $1,000 National Bank Note, which carries a pre-sale estimate of $80,000-$120,000. The Fr. 465 original series face, printed on India paper and mounted on card stock, is dated March 1st, 1864, and is hole-punch canceled. The image, a Chittenden Spinner from the Forth National Bank of the City of New York, is virtually flawless.
Writing in the esteemed trade publication Bank Note Reporter, Peter Huntoon said of the note, “Needless to say, this is a stellar discovery of the first magnitude. Proofs of otherwise non-collectible type notes have come into their own in recent years as sophisticated, high-power collectors have come to realize that issued notes of certain types like this are unobtainable.”
At the Heritage Florida United Numismatics auction event held in January, a $1,000 series of an 1891 Silver Certificate uniface face proof sold for $82,250 (including the buyer’s premium). But a few months later, at the April Central States show (in an auction also hosted by Heritage) the only known copy of an 1891 $1,000 note, once owned by Amon Carter, sold for $2.585 million.
So, while grading the note in the upcoming auction was easy (PCGS gave it a tip-top Choice New 63 grade), estimating it was a bit more difficult. “We have assigned what we believe to be a very modest estimate for this extremely rare proof,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “It’ll probably end up bringing somewhere between the two selling prices at those recent sales.”
It is known that one other example of the original series $1,000 proof exists, because it is clearly pictured on page 13 of the second edition of United States Paper Money, Old Series, 1861-1923 (published by Limpert’s in 1955). In that proof, however, the lower right corner is badly eroded and there’s a sizable hole between the Capitol dome and the right border. The Weiss note, by contrast, is perfect.
But where is that other specimen? Nobody knows. Limpert’s recorded it (without any attribution, by the way), but its whereabouts has been lost to time. A rumor that the note had found its way into the Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution proved to be false.