Paper Money

Joel Anderson collection of Treasury notes strong

The Joel Anderson Collection of Treasury Notes of the War of 1812 exceeded all expectations at the March American Numismatic Association National Money Show auction conducted by Kagin’s Auctions. The 16 lots realized a total of $561,720, including the 20 percent buyer’s fee, with one unique note achieving $336,000. 

That $10 note is currently designated Friedberg TN-14b, but will be TN-14c in the next edition of Paper Money of the United States. Donald H. Kagin says it is considered to be the first circulating note of the U.S. government. 

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The catalog description deems it the finer of only two known Treasury notes of any denomination (a $3 note is the other) that is fully signed, uncanceled and issued for circulation. Since the $10 notes were delivered a month before the $3 notes, this may be the first note known to exist that was circulated as money for the United States. Its whereabouts was unknown for almost four decades until the note resurfaced at a dealer’s table at the Florida United Numismatists show in 2015, after which it was acquired by Anderson. 

The note was estimated at $150,000 to $250,000, and according to Don Kagin, was sold to a phone bidder whose representative was using the internet to bid. The buyer, Kagin told Coin World, “was delighted with his purchase and thought he would have to pay a bit more.”

Only two of the lots failed to exceed their estimated selling price, while most fell squarely into the middle range between the high and low estimates. A half dozen surpassed the high estimate.

After he began collecting these Treasury notes in the early 2000s, Anderson was able to acquire 13 of the 16 major types, ranking his collection as one of the most comprehensive ever assembled. It ranks alongside four other collections sold since 2000 that account for nearly half the Treasury notes known: the collection of Alexandre Vattemare, sold by R.M. Smythe in 2000; John J. Ford, Stack’s, 2004; Don Kagin, who sold his 16 notes and related articles to the Taylor family through Currency Auctions of America in 2005; and the 13 notes in the Jim O’Neal Sale, Currency Auction of America, May 2005. The Ford and Taylor collections were important sources for Anderson.

After the sale, Don Kagin said that he was “quite gratified with the extent of interest in this little known series. Apparently people are realizing now how important these notes are to our nation’s history.” 

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