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Lot 19438

Image Information

Type Currency
Title Lot 19438
Country U.S.
Grade Fine 15
Service PCGS
Description San Francisco, CA - Miner's Bank $5 March 1, 1849 Haxby UNL Durand UNL. Remainder. PCGS Fine 15 Apparent. This quintessential Gold Rush note bank title has the engraved date of 1849. Detailed facts concerning the plate ordering, potential bank organization and the issuance of notes have never been confirmed by primary sources. The only information appearing in contemporary accounts indicated that Californians loathed paper money and wanted specie, gold or barter. There was a Miners Bank of Stephen A. Wright, who organized in 1848 and issued gold coins. But whether he ordered the Danforth & Hufty, New-York & Phila. engraved four-subject plate for these sheets and notes to be issued is not verified. The Miners Bank gold coin issues and these notes are not necessarily one and the same issuer (despite one note being "signed" by Stephen A. Wright and pictured in Kagin's book). However, it is clear that remainder notes, most falsely filled in, and proofs from the series exist and as a class are extremely rare. The four-subject proof sheet discovered in the American Banknote Company Archive book of Damforth & Hufty proofs is the most rare. The sheet's configuration is $1-$3-$5-$10; the sole $10 example known is contained on the sheet. Counting the single impressions from the proof sheet, there are four $1 notes (one an individual proof, one in an institutional collection and illustrated in the Marckhoff article, the Ford note, and the note on the proof sheet); two $3 notes (one in Ford XX); three $5 notes, including this example now being offered to the numismatic community for the first time; and finally, the mentioned unique $10 proof impression from the ABN-Schingoethe collection-Private collection sheet. This is a bond paper remainder note from the Danforth & Hufty, New-York & Phila. engraved plate. At the top and slightly to the right, between two counters, is a paddlewheel steamer and two sailboats on choppy seas. At upper left is a tall vignette of Justice holding scales aloft. Standing Liberty is at the lower right holding a pole with Phrygian cap as she rests against a shield. At the base is a tiny vignette of a steamboat. Although clearly a bank demand note, it was an unknown series to Haxby (Ford had a Miners Bank $1 proof from this series, but apparently did not give Haxby research access to any of his proofs or other Obsoletes). The Haxby reference would be CA-5 G6 as a matter of classification. This note has false signatures, as opposed to the Ford XX example, which is a plain remainder. The mentioned Ford XX sale note was ex: B. Max Mehl; Exhibited November 1, 1929 at the Dallas Coin Club (per typed notation on a Stephen K. Nagy, Philadelphia letterhead and The Numismatist). That note when sold in October 2007 realized $40,250. The $5 Miners Bank here is noted by Eric as likely coming to him from Fred Marckhoff. The note is 95% intact, but cited is "Missing UR Corner; Tape Repaired Edge Splits; Falsely Filled in." Though this note is in less than perfect condition, its importance can't be overstated: this is one of very few to ever come across the auction block. Though this is not specifically a Western Territorial gold issuer paper money series, it complements all Territorial gold issues and is collected with them. Ex:Likely Fred Marckhoff (per EPN annotations), uncertain date. Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. Realized $5,875.00. Newman VI (Heritage Auctions, 4/2015), lot 19438. Description courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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