Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice
IMPORTANT: In-person floor bidding is temporarily suspended. See details including all options for bidding remotely (we remain open for other auction business though, so call for an appointment).


    Exceedingly Rare "at the Court of Versailles" Hopkinson-Signed Continental Loan Office Bill of Exchange Not in Newman or Ford - First Seen by Us

    United States of America - Continental Loan Office in the State of "Pennsylvania" Exchange for $800 at five Livres Tournois per Dollar Fourth Bill, Payable "at the Court of Versailles" October 6, 1780 Anderson-Smythe-as US-104 PMG Very Fine 25.
    At first glance, the unaware would miss the true significance of this exceedingly rare and historic Continental Loan Office "livre tournois" certificate. The note is signed by Francis Hopkinson, Pennsylvania's commissioner of loans, and the printed style is the same as the usual printed forms. The lower left printed portion of the certificate indicates it was payable to the Hon. Dr. Benjamin Franklin as Minister Plenipotentiary and payable "at the Court of Versailles." With the exception of the plated piece in Anderson (from Lenny Finn's collection), we have never seen this type or cataloged one. The Newman, Ford, and several other major Colonial holdings we surveyed did not have this type. It is also a high $800 written denomination, expressing the equivalency at 5 Livres Tournois per Dollar. As Anderson-Smythe 104, this is rated Rarity-8 (1 to 3 known). This form was printed on fine laid paper and specially watermarked "UNITED STATES." Because of Franklin's prestige as a scientist and a writer, Franklin had been appointed minister to France. He called the shots from America for financing. Through his efforts Franklin succeeded in securing the military backing of the French ground forces, fleet and treasury in the Revolutionary War. This particular certificate was issued for Pennsylvania and bears the low serial number "10" and was payable to Joseph Carlton, Pay Master to the Board of War. Carlton countersigns the document on the blank back. Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Hopkinson's penned signature is bold. There are minor repairs and a piece added as noted by PMG. This certificate facesup beautifully with broad margins and a wavy indent. The rarity should be comparable to the John Adams Amsterdam form we sold as part of the Newman Collection for $6,462.50 in May 2017. Worthy of a runaway price from our conservative starting bid.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-14th Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 498

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

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 11 days left to consign to the 2020 August 4 - 10 ANA Worlds' Fair of Money World Paper Money Signature Auction - Pittsburgh!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for your quick response. I am a member of Heritage Auctions and I am happy to say that it is truly a great platform.
    Mohammed J.,
    Durban, KZ
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search