Paper Money

Illinois national bank notes entire focus of auction

What auctioneer Lyn Knight says could be the most complete collection of Illinois national bank notes ever assembled will be offered at auction in Collinsville, Illinois, on Aug. 26. The 666-lot collection took 37 years, from 1975 to 2012, to assemble and, Knight states, “offers a window into the history and growth of Illinois and National Bank history.”

Cities range from Abingdon to Zeigler, and types from $1 notes of the First Charter Period to small-size Series 1929 $100 notes. The number of notes for which only one or two examples are known is impossible to list in a short space. 

Four high-denomination Series 1882 Brown Back notes have five-figure estimates: Two are $100 notes — one is from the Cairo City National Bank (Friedberg 520) in Very Fine, and the other is an F-350 note from the Shepherd National Bank of Lovington also graded Very Fine, and hand-signed by a member of the Shepherd family. The top note in the sale is a $50 note (F-512) of the First National Bank of Englewood. It is graded Choice AU, and has a $15,000 to $30,000 estimate. The other $50 note is an F-515 issue graded Very Fine + for the Mattoon National Bank, and one of only two large-size notes known for the bank.

Also consigned are $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20 notes from the First Charter Period, including, from the Farmers National Bank of Virginia, an F-427 issue $20 in Fine/Very Fine that is one of just five Original Series$20 notes known for the state. Among several Lazy Deuces, as $2 First Charter notes are known, is a Very Fine + F-389 issue from the State National Bank of Springfield. 

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The auction also offers more than a dozen $1 First Charter issues, including one of the collection’s rarest pieces — a bank serial number 1 from the First National Bank of Fairbury graded Very Fine/Extremely Fine.

Among Third Charter Period Series 1902 Red Seal notes, a $10 national of the First National Bank of Pawpaw (F-613) in Choice About Uncirculated stands out. The bank was chartered in April 1902 and was liquidated the following November. The total output for the bank was 150 four-subject sheets, from which this and just one other note remain.

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