Paper Money

The 'King' of State Bank of Ohio notes brings $7,343.75 at auction

A State Bank of Ohio $50 obsolete note sold for more than $7,000 during the Currency Signature Auction by Heritage Auctions during the April 23 to 26 Central States Numismatic Society’s convention in Schaumburg, Ill.

The note, issued by the bank’s Delaware County Branch, is dated Jan. 1, 1846. It was among a selection of 403 Ohio obsolete notes from the Wendell Wolka Collection of Ohio obsolete notes offered April 23 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. All prices include the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee.

The excessively rare note, with only three circulated examples reported, sold for $7,343.75.

The note is described as the “King of State Bank of Ohio Notes” because it is considered “by many to be the crown jewel of all State Bank of Ohio issues.”

“The denomination proved to be too big for use in everyday business and very few were issued. When the branches began to wind up their affairs in the 1860s, most high denominations were, naturally enough, turned in for redemption,” according to the catalog.

The note was graded by PCGS Currency as Apparent Very Fine 25 due to a couple of small blue ink stains on the face.

A $5 piece of sutler scrip issued by Charles Maxon, the camp sutler on Johnson Island, sold for $4,993.75. The note is considered unique. Johnson Island is located in Lake Erie about 3 miles from the city of Sandusky. The island served as a prisoner of war camp to hold Confederate officers during the Civil War.

This piece was graded by PCGS as Apparent Very Fine 25 due to some scattered rust spots, small edge splits and body holes.

Wolka, of Indiana, is a well-known writer, researcher, and speaker on the subject of paper money. He has been collecting for more than 50 years and writes the monthly Coin World column “Collecting Paper.”

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