Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be offering one of only three known
1894 British Honduras $1 notes at its Jan. 12 to 13 auction in New
York City. The note is from the first British Honduras issue, of which
no issued examples are known of any of the five higher denominations.
The other two known examples of this denomination are the Pick plate
note, which is in terrible quality, and one reportedly in a private
British Honduras collection. The upcoming auction piece is graded Very
Fine 20 Net, Splits and Rust, by Paper Money Guaranty, and is
estimated at $30,000 to $50,000.
It is signed by E.B. Sweet-Escott, as colonial secretary (later
governor) of British Honduras, and commissioners of currency C.
Melhado and H.C. Usher. The design features floral borders, lathe work
and stars within circles. The note bears Crown above CC (for Crown
Colony) watermarks, an official ink stamp indicating Belize as the
city of issue, and the date OC[tober] 17, 94. The left margin is
serrated where a counterfoil was once attached.
Mysterious zinc cent discovered in antique store.
A 1982 Lincoln cent and cent blanks encased in acrylic are
possibly employees’ souvenirs from when the Ball Corp. began
supplying the Mint with cent planchets.
The note has an interesting history and pedigree. The auctioneer
says in a press release that it is even rarer and more desirable than
the elusive Zanzibar notes that have recently sold for record prices.
The 1894 British Honduras issue was withdrawn and destroyed after only
two months, while the Zanzibar series ran for 20 years. The note
issuance for British Honduras was scaled for an insignificant colonial
backwater with a minuscule population and economy, while Zanzibar was
for centuries one of the world’s major spice sources and slave
exporters, operating as an international seaport at the nexus of the
trade routes of Africa, Arabia, India, and Asia.
The note is from the family of Albert E. Morlan, who acquired it in
Belize when it was issued. He was there because he was named the
American consul in Belize by President Chester A. Arthur in 1882.
After quitting to set up a business in New Orleans, with branches in
Belize and other Central American cities, he was reappointed consul by
Grover Cleveland in 1895.
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When he died in 1926, the note passed to his son Edward, from Edward
to his son, Charles, and from Charles to his daughter, the consignor
and the great-granddaughter of Albert.
Visit the firm’s website to see other lots in the auction.