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NNP Blog

Sep 03 2021

Walter Breen’s Bookmark – A Continental Dollar Test Note?

Newman Portal contributor Bruce Vogel forwarded images of this January 14, 1779 $30 Continental Currency note, along with the following story: “At the 1996 Denver ANA I met with Eric Newman at the base of an escalator. We spoke of several early Colonial & U.S. coin subjects. In 1990, Walter Breen had given me a chemistry textbook. As a page marker, Breen used a January 14, 1779 $30 note with no signatures or serial numbers. I knew what it was but asked EPN ‘What is this?’ Newman asked ‘Where did you get this? This is a test note, treat this as a test note.’ You probably knew Newman, his body language: as his left shoulder dropped & his head moved to the left & downward. ‘I wish I would have known about this, I have never seen one. Where?’ Me: ‘WB used it as a bookmark.’ I was afraid I was going to have to pick EPN up off the floor. ‘He had it?’ That look of disbelief in his eyes. He asked for a photo, I said yes. I never sent one.”

During the ANA convention, a noted authority on colonial paper viewed these images and wondered if in fact the signature had simply worn off the front of the note. The note currently resides in a PCGS About New 50 Apparent holder, with no mentioned of the test note attribution. We invite further opinions. 

Link to NNP Edition of Early Paper Money of America: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/imagecollection/513468

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