Paper Money

Early American paper dominates July 9 auction

A "Black Money" Maryland note from the Revolutionary War era highlights Early American's July 9 online auction.

The "Choice Very Fine" note with an estimate of $4,000 to $5,000 is a State of Maryland issue from June 8, 1780, and denominated HALF A DOLLAR. The note is fully signed by Frederick Green and Thomas Johnson Jr.

The note was printed by Green, but is referred to as "Black Money" because of the thick, dark black printed outer border designs.

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Winning bidders for each of the 203 lots in the sale, which also includes early U.S. and foreign lottery tickets and other syngraphic items, will be assessed a 20 percent buyer's fee added to the final closing price.

Lottery tickets

An offering of lottery tickets includes an uncut sheet of six consecutively number lottery tickets for a 1770s British lottery whose proceeds were to benefit Cox's Museum, which housed mechanical art. Each ticket is signed by Jasper Jay. Having run into financial difficulties, James Cox, a metalsmith and jeweler, secured an act of Parliament to stage the lottery.

The uncut sheet, described as "Choice Crisp Extremely Fine +," carries an estimate of $1,200 to $1,800.

Hand-colored engraved print

Among the other lots offered is a "Choice Near Mint" circa 1840 hand-colored engraved print depicting the Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia.

The print was published by William H. Bartlett. Bartlett is best known for his historic and architectural steel engravings. He first visited the United States in 1835 to execute drawings of buildings and scenery in the northeastern part of the country. 

The Second Bank of the United States served as the nation's federally authorized central bank during the 20-year period of its charter which ended in 1836.

The hand-colored engraved print carries an estimate of $400 to $600.

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