Paper Money

Collector Basics: Vignettes on paper money

This $2 obsolete note issued by the Maine Bank (Brunswick), is dated Oct. 1, 1862. The scene of Santa Claus, sleigh and reindeer on top of a roof is an example of a vignette. A vignette of animals appears in the lower right corner of the note.

Image courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries.

Vignettes are pictorial elements on a piece of paper money that shade off gradually into the surrounding unprinted paper or background rather than having sharp outlines or a frame.

Early notes often depicted beautifully engraved designs that not only offered delight to the eyes but a measure of security as only highly skilled engravers could render them.

Scenic views, locomotives, horses, pasture scenes, all manner of farm animals, portraits of men and women, and historic to humble buildings have served as subjects for vignettes.

Liberty, Justice and Agriculture.

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