||New Orleans, LA - Bank of America $10 Dec. 23, 1857 LA-5 G4b SENC. PCGS Fine 15 Apparent. This is a wonder note from the Newman collection and one of the rarest Louisiana Obsoletes we have ever cataloged. It is significant for the tri-lingual titles: English and French are seen together on many Louisiana notes, but Spanish is added here. Also, the bank's history is worthy of further research, as the great rarity of notes seems to indicate most were redeemed. The two additional unlisted notes from this rare title follow, and both were emitted after Union troops occupied New Orleans. This suggests the reorganized bank honored the earlier notes. Stephen A. Caldwell cites in A Banking History of Louisiana (1935, Louisiana State University) that the par value of the bank's stock was 67 cents on the dollar on September 1, 1865 and nearly doubled to 137 cents on the dollar a year later. It is likely that nearly all notes were redeemed for stock as the economy and commerce reinvented itself after the hostilities. The two-side engraving on this type is magnificent and is the height of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, N. Orleans & N.Y. craftsmanship. The title in English is across the center. At the top center is a bald eagle with fully extended wings and E Pluribus Unum, also used on Federal Interest Bearing Notes ($1,000 Hessler X121C). Under the wings, titles in French left and Spanish right. At the bottom left is the rarely seen Louisiana Auditor's seal; bottom center shows the top of the global projection; and at the bottom right a stone railroad bridge. Ornate red protectors are at the center with Roman numeral "X" and flanking cursive TEN across the signature blocks. The dynamic face engravings are not to be outdone, but are nearly equaled by a very distinctive green back. At center, the full globe shows the Western Hemisphere (the vignette seen only on the Continental Bank, New York City $1000 as cataloged in the 52 Collection: Part II sale) within an ornate cartouche and surrounded with the title BANK OF/AMERICA. Flanking each side are large dies overlapping X/TEN counters. This is easily among the finest late Rawdon family imprint Obsoletes ever seen. A solid and full note, but noted by PCGS are "Hinge remnants and Scuffs on Back". Truly, this is an inspiring and very distinguished note from the Newman cabinet. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $8,225.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19076. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.