One of the Finest Marbled Border $20 Notes-With Franklin's Wind Emblem
Continental Currency May 10, 1775 $20 Fr. CC-9. PCGS Choice
About New 55 Apparent.
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 mottoes. The face and back emblems and mottoes 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 as "Small Hinge Repaired Edge Tears." The small areas of toning from the tape 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 Very Choice New 58 PPQ 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.
Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society
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A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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