||New York, NY - St. Nicholas Bank $1 May 10, 1862 NY-1900 G2b. PCGS Fine 15. This is one of the more popular Santa Claus notes, combining the Durand Type II Santa Claus vignette at the right oval with the appropriate title. Engraved and printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson, New-York, this slightly later plate has the "ABC" monogram well concealed in the field at the upper right. A New York bank with an evocative title, the Saint Nicholas Bank was in business under this banner from 1852 until 1865 when it converted into the Saint Nicholas National Bank of New York (Charter #972). The bank was eventually liquidated on Dec. 30, 1882. There were a number of different businesses in New York at the time using the Saint Nicholas name, including an insurance company. The Saint Nicholas Bank emitted one series of notes, but with imprint variants, and all but the $100 denomination included a RWHE Santa Claus vignette of some sort. The RWHE Type II Santa Claus vignette is not clearly defined for its artistry by Roger H. Durand. The engraver may be Freeman Rawdon, George W. Hatch, or James P. Major, but the records with that information, if they exist, are not known. The note has a nicely balanced layout with the Gothic bank title across the center and the St. Nicholas Hotel vignette, engraved for this title, above. At the far left is Peter Stuyvesant (1592-1672), an important figure in New York City history, and this portrait also appears on the Central Bank, New Ulm, Minnesota $1 proof in this sale. Underneath the portrait is the New York Bank Seal. The oval vignette at the far right shows Santa Claus with a present-filled sack on his back. With his back to us, he turns his head as if interrupted while filling stockings, and makes the famous gesture of "laying his finger aside of his nose" as in the poem by Clement Clark Moore. A cat stands by aloofly. The red protector ONE runs across the bottom center. This was fully signed, dated and issued, but was Hole Punch Cancelled to prevent redemption. Most are cancelled in this manner, but this is a superior example as often the red penned officer's signatures bleed out from dampness. One might surmise that the successor National Bank or, upon its closing, retired officials, had saved these $1 notes, perhaps to pass out to important clients. Any other issued note denomination from the bank is exceedingly rare. We believe less than a half-dozen are known, and that thought could be liberal. Trimmed closely, and there is an ink streak at the lower left on the Bank Seal. An excellent example of this crowd pleaser that has been a four-figure note for a long time. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $3,290.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19265. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.