||St. Paul, MN - Ramsey County Bank $1 Dec. 1, 1858 MN-150 G2a Hewitt B700-D1b. Proof. PCGS Very Choice New 64. This is the first denomination in a superbly crafted set of proof notes printed from the American Bank Note Company engraved plate using a mixture of Bald, Cousland & Co. vignettes and others from the ABN repertoire. The banker, James G. Fountain from New York, made his application for a bank with $110,000 in circulation with the State Auditor's office; he never opened, leaving a dozen proofs from the title known on the census, including this set. Despite the dozen proofs the Minnesota reference authors enumerate, three per denomination, our pedigree research yields no public sales records of this bank. The $1 India paper proof here is particularly enticing, well vignetted with dynamic frontier realism, with an arced title flowing over the left central vignette of frontiersmen on horseback hunting buffalo (the same vignette used on the $5 Marine Bank of St. Paul). Right of center is a tall, vertical red protector numeral "1" that is very striking. At the lower right is an important Indian male in headdress wearing a necklace of animal teeth. This is Hole Punch Cancelled as made and superbly crafted. The overall vignette selections and layout are not Bald, Cousland & Co. style for this denomination as is the case for the $2, $3, and $5 notes. A nicely framed and well margined proof that is very delightful, and one of the most striking in this historic offering of Minnesota Obsolete proofs. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $6,462.50. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19181. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.