||New Ulm, MN - Central Bank $1 18__ MN-90 G2a Hewitt B380-D1b. Proof. PCGS Very Choice New 64PPQ. The Central Bank, New Ulm proofs cataloged and offered for the first time in this sale will be highly sought after by Minnesota collectors and those with a strong interest in Santa Claus vignetted notes. The Central Bank $1 is the only Minnesota Santa Claus vignetted type. Prominently at center it features the Type III style "Saint Nick" attributed to George Baldwin (as plated and classified in Roger H. Durand's Interesting Notes about Christmas). This stunning proof superbly and elegantly crafted by the American Bank Note Company, is printed on India paper and die sunk to its original cardstock. The Central Bank was short-lived, like all of Minnesota's state banks. The organization papers were filed by Mr. North and Mr. Steele, but the bank was purchased by J. (John) Jay Knox from St. Paul. Knox later became Comptroller of the United States Currency and wrote an important history about late nineteenth century banking. The issued notes would eventually be protested for redemption for a much lesser sum than par at the Auditor's office, only 30 cents on the dollar, and there was $863 recorded unredeemed by 1878. The $1-$2-$5-$10 plate was authorized to be engraved by Wellstood, Hay & Whiting (WHW), but the final plate bears the ABN imprint across the bottom. The plate used by the bank is an interesting hybrid, created primarily from WHW vignettes and dies. Unlike the other denominations on the plate, this unique $1 Santa Claus vignette was engraved using the Baldwin, Adams & Co. die, which would have been available to the ABN conglomerate after the 1858 consolidation of the seven firms. The center shows the major vignette as discussed, Baldwin's jovial Santa Claus grandly seated in his sleigh with reindeer guiding him over the rooftop. At the lower left is a Peter Stuyvesant portrait, but this portrait was engraved for Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, New-York. It was used primarily on New York City notes, especially the St. Nicholas Bank notes and proofs with Santa Claus vignettes. At the far right is a tall and intricate "1" numeral. Across the bottom is a red protector ONE in the style used on the issued notes. This is the Hewitt plate note and also the Durand Christmas book plate note (his MN-6 listing), and it is the only proof known and reported. This type is missing from virtually every Santa Claus vignette collection to our knowledge. For generations this has been a treasure in the Newman Obsolete currency collection, and it is offered here for the first time. There are two issued notes of the type recorded in the census and one is plated in Haxby. However, both are damaged notes that perhaps barely Net Good in state of preservation. (Roger H. Durand noted them as "severely damaged" in his privately published collection treatise and census.) One of those examples was the note sold in the Schingoethe auctions. This unique and Very Choice Proof (only noted Hole Punch Cancelled, as made) boldly displays its grand merits. This is another exceptional highlight and the key type for the most elite Santa Claus vignetted Obsolete note cabinet: an opportunity that has been decades in the making. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $35,250.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19159. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.