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The E-Sylum (2/26/2017)

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U.S. Test Proof Note One Dollar

Last week I asked if anyone had more information about the above test note illustrated in last week's article about the Lyn Knight sale. As usual, an E-Sylum reader was all over it. Author Gene Hessler provided the following information from the 4th edition of his great book U.S. Essay Proof and Specimen Notes. -Editor

U.S. Essay Proof and Specimen Notes [The late] Professor Roman Hellmann [who was the designer at the National Bank of Austria] had a close working relationship with Gualtiero Giori at De La Rue Giori in Switzerland. In 1971 when a particular printing press was in the development stage, Mr. Giori asked Professor Hellmann to design some notes to be printed when the press was ready. "The pioneering type of printing that Mr. Gori intended to create was called multi-intaglio or "'Orlof intaglio.'"

In 1970, during a visit to De La Rue Giori, Professor Hellmann met Director Conlon of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and printing (1967-1977). Subsequently Professor Hellmann created two U.S. designs in a water color technique. One of them was in the conventional genre of the U.S. dollar but with greatly improved security devices. Sample prints were not possible, as the Orlof intaglio printing press would not be in existence until 1998. Both essays are identified on the face as Series 1970B. (Professor Hellmann sent this information to me. For his biography see The International Engraver's Line.)

Gene adds:

The back design, shown in The E-Sylum, with a parabolic reflector symbolizes the modern development trends in Edison's telegraphy, according to Professor Hellmann.

When I attended the Memphis show about ten years ago someone had an example of this back design. It was neither engraved nor embossed but printed by thermography, a printing method that poorly simulates intaglio. The source is unknown to me, even though the Knight catalog states Norway.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
SELECTIONS FROM THE KNIGHT 2017 PCDA SALE : Lot 616 U.S. Test Proof Note One Dollar (


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