Paper Money

Discovery $10 national bank note to be in ANA auction

This Series 1882 $10 note issued for the First National Bank of Hereford (Texas), has a previously unknown signature combination. The discovery note was found by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in April 2014. The two signatures appear on the face, flanking and slightly above the word "First" in the bank title, with one signature slightly obscured by the 5604.

Image courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The discovery of a previously unknown note illustrates why it is important to look carefully at details.

The Series 1882 $10 Date Back national bank note, issued for the First National Bank of Hereford (Texas), bears the previously unknown signature combination of Judson W. Lyons and Charles H. Treat. 

The note was acquired by Stack’s Bowers Galleries at the Central States Numismatic Society convention April 23 to 26, 2014. 

The discovery note has received a new Friedberg number, 545a (Paper Money of the United States by Arthur L. Friedberg and Ira S. Friedberg).

Stack’s Bowers Galleries will offer the note at its American Numismatic Association sale near Chicago in August. 

Lyons and Treat served together for nine months in 1905 and 1906, so it stands to reason that most notes with their signatures would be on the Third Charter notes of the Series of 1902. 

How these got on Series 1882 notes is a long and complicated story, which will be explained in the auction catalog, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries. I can say that the use of this signature combination is the product of an unusual chain of events. 

Looking carefully at details is often a tedious task and normally the last thing you want to do during a long day on the bourse floor. In this case, hidden in plain sight was something which, unless another one is found, is unique.

The note was printed on a four-subject sheet of three $10 national bank notes and a $20 national bank note. 

Where the other notes are is anybody’s guess, but it would not surprise us to soon hear about a fair amount of careful double-checking through groups of what seem to be unremarkable national currency. 

Despite the very circulated condition of this discovery note, the reward the finder receives for diligence will be substantial. 

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