Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Vibrant Polychrome $20 Continental Note

    Continental Currency May 10, 1775 $20 CC-9 PMG About Uncirculated 55.
    The $20 from this emission is one of the iconic notes of the Continental series. As we said when we last sold this example in 2017 as part of the Eric P. Newman collection:

    "This is one of the finest May 10, 1775, Session $20 Marbled Border notes known. The Continental Congress's currency issues commenced with this uniquely styled type. Its overall rarity and direct relationship to Benjamin Franklin's printing innovations make it highly sought after by all currency collectors. Franklin furnished the polychrome marbled paper used for the notes; this paper type was designed to deter counterfeiting. Franklin used a similar marbled paper for the United States loan certificates (Anderson-Smythe US-1) made near Paris to finance the late stages of the American Revolution. Most importantly, he sketched the inspired face emblem and composed the mottos. The face and back emblems and mottos were later paired side-by-side on the May 10, 1775, Session $30 notes as well as on the backs of the $30 notes from three subsequent resolutions. Printed by Hall and Sellers on thin, weak paper with the marbled edge at left face. This paper type became fragile when creased and was subject to splits and tears. On the face, within an ornamental border, are the emblem at left and obligation at right. Across the top are the words, CONTINENTAL CURRENCY.

    The Franklin-designed medallic emblem shows the wind, personified as a large face, creating waves on the surface of the water with his strength. Franklin writes, "From the remotest antiquity, in figurative language, great waters have signified the people, and waves an insurrection." The motto VI CONCITATE (Driven by force) is above, within the outer circle. The back, printed coin turn, has a wider patterned border and different emblem than on the face. "Continental Currency'' is at top right, the denomination right center, and the imprint of Hall and Sellers at the bottom right. The back emblem at the left features ships on a calm sea with the radiant sun shining above; the encircling motto is CESSANTE VENTO CONQUIESCEMUS (When the storm dies down we will rest). Of this emblem, Franklin writes, "Britain seems thus charged with being the sole cause of the present civil war, at the same time that the only mode of putting an end to it is thus plainly pointed out to her." The emblem pairing was intended to galvanize the public to summon the fortitude, perseverance, and unity necessary for the struggle to achieve liberty, and also to lay the blame for the conflict squarely on Great Britain.

    This note was signed by Wm. Jackson (who signs only this session date) and Andrew Bunner (in red ink, but clearly penned). From the face, it has an exemplary appearance, with broad margins and resplendent, wide marbling. There are some side edge splits, repaired from the back, noted by PMG as 'Hinge Repairs.' The small areas of toning from the hinges barely touch the printed back ornaments at each end. Most importantly, the note is not vertically creased down the center or cracked. It exhibits only some handling which resulted in the mentioned short splits. Very few Marbled Border $20 notes are as intact as this example, and there are not any fully Uncirculated notes to our knowledge. The finest known is the PCGS Choice About New 58PPQ sold from the Poor Richard Collection in the Stack's Bowers 2011 ANA sale for $69,000 (serial No. 1652). This beautiful Newman example is illustrated on the color plates in the fifth edition on page 37. It is the finest looking Marbled Border we have cataloged. A superb Continental currency set can be built upon the foundation of this magnificent, historic Newman Collection note."

    At the present time, this note remains the highest graded example of this type in the PMG Population Report.
    From the Colonial Valley Collection


    Estimate: $20,000 - up.

    View all of [The Colonial Valley Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    April
    23rd Friday 5:50 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    April
    21st-23rd Wednesday-Friday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    12 Days 23h 22m 15s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: 55
    Page Views: 604

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    This lot is in: 3 - Heritage Signature® Auctions Floor Session Platinum Night (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 22001-22182) - 6:00 PM Central Time, Friday, April 23, 2021.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 7 days before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261



    Current Bid:
    $18,500
    Bid Protection
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $22,200.00 Minimum Next Bid: $19,000 ($22,800.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item