Stack’s Bowers offers Colombian paper money in New York City auction

Collection includes group made by Homer Lee and American Bank Note companies
By , Special To Coin World
Published : 12/18/17
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Colombian paper money, part of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Eldorado Collection of Colombian Coins and Paper Money, will be offered at auction in New York on Jan. 11. The sale offers 605 lots.

The firm says that the paper money portrays the broadest view of this subject ever published in English or Spanish, and calls it the “finest-ever offering of its kind,” in terms of genres, series, issuers, and themes. It begins in 1819 and continues to the present, with types from most of the known series and issuers to be offered either in this or future sales. Some notes will be offered for the first time, confirming the existence of issues heretofore only rumored.

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The collection includes a pair of unlisted 1853 1- and 100-peso Billete de Tesorería notes on watermarked paper. The auction offers three denominations of the 1860-era Estados Unidos de Nueva Granada-Tesorería Jeneral issue — the 1-peso/10-real note, 2-peso/20-real note, and 3-peso/30-real note — in qualities not usually encountered for the type.

When we discuss the rare coin market in the U.S., we are merely scratching the surface. The larger market for rare coins in the United States is made up of dozens of individual segments.

Especially interesting for American collectors is a group from the “Golden Age” of Colombian paper money, produced by New York’s Homer Lee and American Bank Note companies. Some familiar vignettes, such as that of George Washington, spark curiosity and interest.

The number of issues by Colombia’s private “bancos,” issues released beginning in the in the early 1880s, is nearly rivaled by the array of private companies that printed them. The American Bank Note Co. did the printing for the Banco Nacional. These “national bank notes” were backed by the federal government and are the direct ancestors of the banking system today. In addition to issuing its own notes, Banco Nacional seems to have acted as the clearing house for the private banks. Remainder notes from several of these were overprinted for the Banco Nacional in Bogotá during the civil war, and the current sale includes the widest selection of these ever cataloged individually for auction.

The sale is online right now

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