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Milton 2E25F.2 25¢ Second Issue Essay (Experimental) Matching Block of Six. This incredible block was painstakingly reassemb...

2005 (CAA) St. Louis, MO (CSNS) Signature Sale #374

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Auction Ended On: May 6, 2005
Item Activity: 3 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Unique "FIFTY" Matched Block of Six
Milton 2E25F.2 25¢ Second Issue Essay (Experimental) Matching Block of Six. This incredible block was painstakingly reassembled by Milt Friedberg after the pieces that appeared in the Fraser Collection Sale in 1982 presented the possibility of this block's eventual completion. The story told above with the Baltimore-Washington pieces is identical for this and the next few lots. However, on this and the following lots, the paper with the bronze overprint was not prepared for National Bank Notes, but rather it was bronzed to be used for United States Treasury Bonds issued in 1862. These bonds were referred to as "Five-Twenties of 1862," as they were to be redeemable after five years and payable after twenty. The Ed Frossard list of October 1, 1893 (see next lot), which offered the Spencer Clark Collection, presented individual 25¢ Experimental notes with this additional bronzing as item number 32 (multiples were available), commenting that they had the "S-18-63" surcharge on the back corners, "But with the addition of heavy large gold characters on the entire front, in some [pieces] nearly solid." These Frossard item #32 pieces were sold to a number of different collectors, and they became scattered. It was never known if the proper pieces existed to reconstruct an entire block. In Superior's 1982 Fraser Sale, five of these notes were offered. It appears as though the original owner of these five pieces had been purchasing notes in an attempt to reconstruct a full block. The five pieces that he obtained could be lined up to spell five-sixths of the word, "FIFTY." They were not, however, all from the same sheet, as in order to line up the "FIFTY," the notes had to be juxtaposed such that their margins did not line up. Milt purchased that incomplete set of five. Three of those five notes are in this presently offered block of six: the two at the right and the one in the lower left corner (as the word FIFTY faces the reader). Milt then entered into a complex trade involving several dealers and collectors (as well as two Skeksis and a Wookie) and obtained the three original notes that completed this incredible block, one of which, the upper left corner piece, bears the courtesy autograph of John Burke. Although a few other single pieces exist, it is incredibly unlikely that another block could ever be assembled. Most Fractional collectors felt that this block was the cornerstone of Milt Friedberg's incredible collection of Fractional-developmental pieces. Tom O'Mara acquired this irreplaceable item at the Friedberg Sale, and it is now time for another collector to enjoy the ownership of an item that can never be duplicated. All six notes trace their origin to Ed Frossard's October 1, 1893 special list #8, which offered the Spencer Clark Collection. All were listed as item #32; he didn't consider the six different positions as different varieties, and the total for sale is unknown but likely about fifteen pieces. Some later appeared in Chapman Sales, such as the Friedman Collection Sale of June 3-4, 1903 and the Wilcox Collection Sale on February 15, 1904. Others appeared in later sales throughout the next 75 years. When Superior sold the Fraser Collection on February 1, 1982, five pieces appeared as lot 66. Three of those five pieces are in this block. The other three were obtained in a complicated trade completed by Milt in the mid 1980's.

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