Baltimore auction to offer 1775 Sword in Hand note

Stack's Bowers Galleries says Colonial 4-shilling note is finest known
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Published : 11/10/11
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Stack’s Bowers Galleries will offer the finest known Sword in Hand 4-shilling note at auction Nov. 18 during the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo Nov. 15 to 19 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The Massachusetts note, dated Aug. 18, 1775, has serial number 351. The note was engraved and printed by silversmith Paul Revere. The note, graded PCGS Choice New 63, is described by the cataloger as “essentially as printed, as if it were just taken from the press in Revere’s shop in 1775.”

The auction will also offer 10 Continental Currency and detector sheets from the Bunker Hill Collection. Among those offerings is a sheet of Continental Currency notes dated May 20, 1777. Each bill is signed by M. Hahn and J. Houston. All dollar denominations — $30, $2, $3, $4, $8, $7, $6, $5 — are found on the sheet, which is arranged in a two-note by four-note alignment, with two panes of each separated by a wide gutter.

The notes on the sheet are the first Continental Currency to bear border cuts incorporating the inscription UNITED STATES rather than UNITED COLONIES. Catalogers believe this sheet to be unique; it is the only example Stack’s Bowers Galleries has ever seen or heard mentioned. Also offered is a complete set of issued May 9, 1776, sheets, also considered unique.

The auction will also offer New Jersey scrip notes from the Thomas F.X. O’Mara Collection, obsolete currency featuring several new discoveries, rare obsolete proof notes and Pennsylvania proofs from the Kensington Collection.

A diverse assortment of postage envelopes with key rarities will be offered from the Chester L. Krause Collection.

National bank notes in the auction will include a newly discovered Series 1902 $20 Plain Back note from the Quaker City National Bank of Philadelphia which, although not rare as a type, has a unique six-digit ascending ladder serial number.

The small-size note offerings include high-denomination gold certificates and error notes.

In addition to the more than 950 lots of U.S. paper money to be offered, Stack’s Bowers will also offer four U.S. coin sessions, featuring more than 4,200 lots of U.S. coins, plus 2,800 lots of world coins and world paper money.

A complete auction and lot viewing schedule is available at website www.stacksbowers.com or by calling the firm at 800-458-4646; catalogs may also be ordered by phone.

All lot descriptions and images can be viewed online beginning in late October. ■

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