Paper Money

Anderson notes at $8.6 million in Stack's Bowers sale

The 54 lots offered in Part III of the Joel R. Anderson Collection of United States Paper Money by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on Oct. 25 realized a total of $8,619,240 including the 20 percent buyer’s fee, an average price per lot of close to $160,000.

Not unexpectedly, the highest price was $2,040,000 for the finest known Series 1890 $1,000 “Grand Watermelon” Treasury note (Friedberg 379-a). Of the five known, only this note, graded About New 50, and one other are in private hands. Anderson acquired it for $1,092,500 in 2005 when it was the first piece of paper money to sell for in excess of $1 million. The winning bidder this time was a dealer in the room acting on behalf of a collector. 

three auction catalogsInside Coin World: Three auction catalogs, three centuries: Our print-exclusive columns in the Nov. 19, 2018, issue of Coin World look at what ties together three auction catalogs issued in different centuries, and why 2018 is a great time to collect.

A $100 version of the Watermelon note, F-377, sold for $264,000 in About New 50, the second highest price ever recorded for the note. 

These two notes, as well as all other notes in the sale, were graded by PCGS Currency.

The only privately held $10 refunding certificate, an About New 58 Premium Paper Quality example (F-213) that last sold for $425,500 in 2005 and was estimated at $300,000 to $500,000 in this auction, went for $780,000. The only other example is permanently held by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service.

Four Series 1878 silver certificates of deposit bearing three signatures, including one for the assistant treasurer in addition to those of the treasurer and register of the Treasury, brought a total of $1,368,000. The first, one of four known F-284 $10 notes in Extremely Fine 40, with a pen-signed autographed signature for the assistant treasurer instead of a printed one, went well past its $150,000 high estimate, to $240,000. A $20 note (F-307) in Very Fine 35, more than doubled its estimate at $180,000. The $50 note (F-324c) in VF-30 realized $288,000, and the $100 note (F-337b), graded VF-25, sold for $660,000. 

One of the few results that could be considered a disappointment, if that is possible, would be the $900,000 for a Series 1882 $500 gold certificate (F-1215d). This note, with a large red spiked seal was only discovered in 2013 and is the only privately held example. It was bought for $1,410,000 at auction in January 2014. 

Stack’s Bowers says that the total to date for the Anderson Collection is over $26 million. The final session is scheduled for Baltimore at the end of February 2019.

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