Chinese notes grab collector attention and dollars
Chinese paper money garnered high bids during the first session of a March 7 to 9 public auction by Lyn Knight Currency Auctions.
Three Chinese notes sold March 7 for $19,000 each during the world paper money session held in conjunction with the Chicago Paper Money Expo in Rosemont, Ill.
A 1906 $1 note issued by the Ta-Ching Government Bank for the Yunnan branch, a 1909 $1 note issued by the Bank of China with MANCHURIA overprint and a 1909 $1 note issued by the bank of China with PEKING overprint all well exceeded their estimates of between $2,000 and $6,000. All three notes graded Fine to Very Fine.
With half the sale devoted to world paper currency, it is clear that paper money from beyond U.S. borders has never been more popular. The attraction is no doubt due, at least in part, to the perception that price levels for world paper lag behind U.S. paper money.
The sessions offering U.S. paper money had much to offer: more than 1,000 national bank notes, 500 small-size notes, 200 large-size notes, and 70 lots of fractional currency, in addition to 126 error notes and a sampling of Colonial and Confederate notes.
A rarely-seen double-denomination error note sold for $25,000 during the second session of the auction. The Series 1882 national bank note has a $10 face (for the note cataloged as Friedberg 577 in Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. Friedberg and Ira S. Friedberg) with an inverted $20 back, and was issued by the First National Bank of Smithton (Pennsylvania). The note was graded Very Fine.
A Series 1902 $5 national bank note for the St. Augustine National Bank (Florida) sold for $21,000. The note, graded choice Crisp Uncirculated, bears serial number 1 with original ink signatures.
A Series 1875 $10 national bank note for the Bowery National Bank of New York sold for $11,000. The note graded Very Good/Fine.
A Series 1880 $100 United States note (F-173) with the signatures of Register of the Treasury Blanche K. Bruce and Treasurer of the United States Ellis H. Roberts sold for $18,000. Only nine notes of this issue are known, and this example, in VF-30 with some nearly indiscernible restoration on the back, is one of the two finest known examples.
Three Civil War era $10 compound-interest Treasury notes (F-190, -190a, and -190b) sold for $7,500, $4,800, $11,000, respectively. Only 13 examples of F-190, 23 of the F-190a notes and 97 F-190b notes are known. While these are not the greatest of rarities, they are far from common, and we do not often see all three in one auction.
These are distinctive for the words COMPOUND INTEREST TREASURY NOTE and the denomination embossed in large gold letters across the face. They bore interest at 6 percent for three years.
And keeping to the Civil War era, a framed fractional currency shield sold for $7,000.
The small-size section featured notes with fancy serial numbers and error notes. A Series 1981 $1 Federal Reserve note printed for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis featuring doubled printing on the face, graded Gem New 66 Premium Paper Quality by PCGS Currency, sold for $5,000. ■