Stack’s Bowers Galleries‘ August 16 offering of Part II of the Joel R. Anderson Collection of United States Paper Money in Philadelphia, achieved nearly $10 million as a room full of enthusiasts vied with online bidders to take home unique, extremely rare and finest-known pieces, as well as type notes in incredible condition. In all, the 70 lots realized $9,652,860, with two notes bringing over $1 million each and well over a quarter of the lots crossing the $100,000 mark.
Lot 2021, an 1861 $50 Interest Bearing note (Fr. 202a), the only collectible example of the series and an incredible numismatic rarity, brought $1,020,000, confirming the consignor’s belief in the importance of this particular piece. “I have been collecting for many years now, and every time I buy a note, I fall in love with another piece of paper,” stated Joel Anderson, just after the sale of lot 2021. “But of all of the notes in my collection, this was my favorite by far. I think whoever bought it is a lucky man, and I congratulate him. The more I researched and looked into it, the more I saw the role it played, not just in the series, but the important role it played in United States currency.” He concluded: “To use an Alabama phrase, ‘That’s the Cat-Daddy of U.S. paper money.’”
“This $50 Treasury Note was the very first currency used during the Civil War,” stated successful bidder Nick Bruyer, life-long collector and dealer in rare coins and currency for 40 years. “I was able to trace it to the soldier it was originally paid to. As the only surviving example from the entire issue, it holds immense value, not only for the collecting community, but also as a piece of United States history. It will be the singular highlight of my currency collection.”
Two lots later, an 1863 $100 Interest Bearing Note (Fr. 204) nearly doubled its presale estimate, selling for $900,000. Only two examples of this extremely rare piece are known to survive, with the other permanently held in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. It last sold in February 2005, when it brought $299,000, less than a third of its realization in the recent Anderson Part II sale.
An important offering of Silver Certificates of Deposit comprised just eight notes, but collectively realized over $2.2 million. Topping this section was lot 2041 the 1880 “Black Back” $1000 Silver Certificate of Deposit (Fr. 346d), one of only two in private hands, which brought $1,020,000.
In lot 2047, a low serial number and a grade of Gem New 65 PPQ from PCGS Currency, combined to catapult this Serial Number 7 1891 $50 Treasury Note to a final price of $660,000. As no 1890 $50 Treasury Notes were ever printed, the 1891 notes represent a singular design type, found in only one signature and seal combination. The offered example is the only note of the type to receive a Gem grade.
Among the Gold Certificates offered in Part II of the Joel R. Anderson Collection, one stood out, not only for its quality, but also for its incredible historical importance. Lot 2051 featured a Serial Number 1 “Technicolor” $20 note that could be traced all the way back to the White House. A handwritten note which accompanied the 2005 sale of the Serial Number 3 example of this same type stated that the Serial Number 1 example was given to President Theodore Roosevelt. This important provenance, the beauty and popularity of the “Technicolor” notes, and a PCGS Currency grade of Gem New 65 PPQ resulted in a final price of $552,000 for this incredible example.
Part III of the Joel R. Anderson Collection will be offered in October 2018 as part of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Official Currency Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo in Baltimore. For more information on the Joel R. Anderson Collection or about Stack’s Bowers Galleries please contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries President Christine Karstedt at 800-458-4646 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.