Paper Money

Continental Currency on special paper for sale

A May 10, 1775, Continental Currency $20 note printed on rectangular, marbled border paper provided by Benjamin Franklin highlights the Oct. 29 online auction by Early American History Auctions Inc.

The sale comprises 437 lots and includes the categories Historic Autographs, Federal Period, War of 1812, Abraham Lincoln Related, Colonial America, Slavery & Black History, Colonial Currency, Civil War Era, Political Americana, Revolutionary War, Postage Stamp Envelopes, Historic Maps, George Washington Related, Encased Postage Stamps and Coinage & Historic Medals.

A 20 percent buyer’s premium will be added to the final closing price of each lot won.

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Among the other lots offered are a group of George Washington inaugural buttons and a steel engraving plate from the Franklin Bank Note Company.

Marbled paper

The May 10, 1775, $20 Continental Currency note, described as in Extremely Fine condition, carries a pre-sale estimate of $12,000 to $16,000.

The note is printed on special paper with a marbled left border on the face. The paper was provided to the Continental Congress by Franklin.

The note is signed by Joseph Joseph Sims Jr.

The design type was chosen to grace the cover of the fifth edition of Eric P. Newman’s classic reference, Early Paper Money of America.

Washington buttons

First among the Washington buttons is an undated (1789) inaugural button with "Long Live the President" raised in a circle around the central device of the president’s italicized  GW initials. Encircling the border is a chain, with letters signifying each of the 13 original states within separate links.

The president’s initials, the chain links and state designations are all incuse. The original shank is intact on the back of the button. The button is 34 millimeters in diameter.

Described as “Choice Extremely Fine or better,” the button carries a pre-sale estimate of $8,000 to $10,000.

A second undated (1789) inaugural button features GW in raised block letters within a recessed oval punch at center. LONG LIVE THE PRESIDENT is raised in a recessed arc along the top border. The original button shank is intact on the back. It is 34 millimeters in diameter.

Described as “Choice Near Mint,” the button has a pre-sale estimated of $8,000 to $12,000.

The third undated (1789) Washington inaugural button is 35 millimeters in diameter. It features a heraldic American eagle with a star above. Around the outer border are 63 incuse dots. Within this is another border of incuse extremely fine denticles.

With original shank on the back, the button is described as "Choice Near Mint," with a pre-sale estimate of $6,000 to $8,000.

Engraved printing plate

The engraved steel printing plate offered in the sale features the Arms of New York City on its face and is accompanied by a numbered original sample proof imprint from the plate.

The 4-inch by 4-inch steel plate has a blank back. It is described as in EF condition.

The proof impression has press soiling and wear, indications of having been used as a guide for the press operator, according to the auction lot description.

The lot carries a pre-sale estimate of $1,000 to $1,500.

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