||St. Croix, WI - St. Croix Valley Bank $10 July 1, 1857 WI-715 G4. Proof. PCGS Gem New 66PPQ. This is the bottom of the outstanding two-subject sheet by Wellstood, Hay & Whiting, New-York. A Gem example of the highest rarity and style. Additionally, we believe the historically significant central vignette is unique to this note. Across the note is a light orange pattern tint of micro-lettered TEN with an outlined large protector TEN in white and a deep vermillion upper left counter. At the top center, over the title, is the Mississippi River steamboat Eolian, with people strolling on deck and the far shore in view. Smoke and steam rise from her stacks as she sails along Lake Pepin. At the lower left is an ornate "X" device with seated milkmaid at its left and a cow to its right. The precariously balanced Indian at lower right is about to spear fish in a stream. Hole Punch Cancelled as made. This is one of the most interesting Wellstood proofs we have encountered. The steamboat Eolian traveled the St. Croix River route before being purchased in 1858 by William F. Davidson, an expanding steamboat operator despite financial repercussions from the Panic of 1857. The Eiolian was a fast, light draft boat and operated on the upper Mississippi on the St. Paul route. The Eiolian and four passengers met a tragic end in the spring of 1859 when on the season's first run to St. Paul it was struck by ice and sank (Steamboat Pioneer The Early Career of William F. Davidson by Robert C. Toole, published by the Minnesota Historical Society). This is a fascinating vignette of a disaster involving an actual steamboat, rather than a generic representative as normally seen. The steamer vignette was engraved before the accident and reflected the economy of the St. Croix Valley and River. The only example available to collectors, it has the added appeal of the history of the mighty Mississippi. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.
Realized $8,518.75. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19431. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.