Paper Money

Kagin’s offers Ford notes in first of two sales

The Kagin’s auction offered a dozen Massachusetts Nov. 17, 1776, Sword in Hand notes printed by Paul Revere, including a 16-shilling note graded About Uncirculated 55, Serial Number Redrawn, Small Restorations.

Images courtesy of Kagin’s Inc.

The first session of Kagin’s two-part online sale of 375 lots of Colonial currency from the collection of John J. Ford began on May 20. The second session will be on Sept. 23.

Each note in the sale was graded by PCGS Banknote.

Fifty-nine of the sale’s offerings are the plate notes in The Early Paper Money of America, by Eric P. Newman.

The auction features notes called American treasures by PCGS Banknote. For example, it offered a dozen Massachusetts Nov. 17, 1776, Sword in Hand notes printed by Paul Revere, including a 16-shilling note (Friedberg MA-248) graded as About Uncirculated 55, Serial Number Redrawn, Small Restorations. This note realized $10,350 in the 2004 sale of Ford’s collection. It sold for $8,100 in the May Kagin’s auction.

The auction also offered notes printed by Benjamin Franklin, as well as some autographed by signers of the Declaration of Independence. Other highlights include a very early and rare Connecticut July 12, 1709, 3-shilling note graded Very Fine 20 Details at $6,120; and a New Jersey March 25, 1724, 6-shilling note graded Fine 15 Details at $15,6000.

Another rarity is a uniface Georgia March 25, 1762, £1 note with a Fort and Battery vignette. The Friedberg GA-43 note is graded Very Good 10 Details for multiple repairs including repaired pinholes. Despite the imperfections it sold for $8,050 in the 2004 Ford sale and for $6,900 at the Kagin’s auction. This issue was printed “for the erecting [of] a Fort and Battery at Cockspur and a Lookout on Midway River.”

Also offered was a face proof or remainder of a New Hampshire April 3, 1755, double denomination 10-shilling or 2/3 Spanish milled dollar note (Friedberg NH-81) in About Uncirculated 55 with some stains and cosmetic restoration. It sold for just over $6,000 in the Ford sale and realized $4,080 in the Kagin’s auction.

The top lot in the auction was a Massachusetts Colonial note dated Oct. 18, 1776, denominated as 30 shillings and $5, printed by Revolutionary patriot and silversmith, Paul Revere and John Gill. It is considered the finest known example, graded About Uncirculated 55 and, after “intense bidding,” realized a record $37,200.

Don Kagin reflected on his choice to have PCGS Banknote grade the collection, saying, “PCGS offered us an opportunity to reach thousands of potential collectors who had not been exposed to this important and fascinating period of our nation’s history. They were very thorough in their identification, grading, and providing significant pedigrees.”

PCGS Banknote president Stephanie Sabin said in a press release: “Many of the banknotes from the John J. Ford Collection that we graded ahead of the Kagin’s auction are among the oldest paper currency known from the American colonies which later became the United States. We are excited to be encapsulating these historic notes in conjunction with an auction that will be of historic significance in its own right.”

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