||New Orleans, LA - Merchants' Bank of New Orleans (1st) $5 18__ LA-90 G2 SENC. Proof. PCGS Choice About New 58 Apparent. Cataloging the Newman Obsolete collection, particularly the Louisiana section, presents the challenge of avoiding repetition regarding rarity, but there are few notes here that might be considered only "scarce". Again, this note is an extreme rarity, with its designs unknown to Haxby ("NDA" for No Data Available). The first bank title existed in the 1830s with its eventual fate unknown. The proofs known from the Draper, Toppan, Longacre & Co. imprint appear to be the survivors so rarely encountered today. This well-executed design is printed on India paper only. At the top center is an allegorical trio showing seated Mercury and Industry with a standing Plenty. The ends are nicely balanced, with a standing sailor holding a flag at left (as seen on Texas Government notes) and at the right end, the famous Indian Princess vignette which later was copied for the Confederate States Type 35 notes. We know of only one other example, which was the solitary note (lot 542 at $660) in the 1990 American Banknote Company Archive sale. In the nearly 25 years since that epic Obsolete proofs auction, it has become obvious to us that those ancient realizations are but a small percentage of today's collector-driven values. This is an Apparent designated note having the comments "Small Edge Tear Top Center; Minor Stains" and also Hole Punch Cancelled as made. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $5,875.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19088. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.