Early and Choice 1729 Genuine 5 Pounds Handwritten BillNorth Carolina November 27, 1729 5 Pounds Handwritten Bill Fr. NC-34. PCGS Extremely Fine 40 Apparent.
Due to the lack of printing presses in both North Carolina and Georgia, the style of their earliest notes has a similar character and appearance. There was no official North Carolina printer until James Davis in 1754-55 (Isaiah Thomas, The History of Printing in America, The Imprint Society, 1970) and only two presses in the Colony before 1755. Prior to that, any printing had to be done in Williamsburg or Charleston (printers arrived commencing about 1730). Printing in the colony of Georgia arrived even later, with James Johnston in 1762 (Thomas, 1970). Other than the North Carolina bills, the Georgia Sola bills are the only other handwritten notes known from the period. We have not seen an actual example of a Sola bill -- only the illustration in the fifth edition of The Early Paper of America on page 131. Commencing about 1730, printing became available in neighboring South Carolina while the northern colonies had printers much earlier. That fact is reflected in the appearance of the currency of those colonies vs. that of North Carolina.
This indented handwritten Bill of Credit is from a fascinating and uniquely styled early series issued the first year North Carolina became a Crown Colony. Previously, it was a proprietorship governed more like a corporation formed from agrarian estates and the merchants. It is an exceedingly rare and important 5-pound note and the finer of the only two genuine bills we have seen. The note is in a "tall" format, like the New England bills of credit. The obligations, denomination, indent, and signatures are hand accomplished on laid paper. There is also a complete red wax seal over a string (which protrudes from the back) and a paper seal at the bottom center. Five signatures, seen here, were necessary: John Lovick, William Downing, Cullen Pollock, Thomas Swann, and Edward Moseley. An interesting endorsement on the back records when the note passed hands: "Rec'd this Bill of Mr. / Jarvis Jones of Pasquotank / about the beginning of march / 1730." It is signed "Moses Prindle [or Prince?]. Noted by grading with "Repaired Center Split; Small Edge Tears; Minor Stains." Although the handwritten character led to the issue being counterfeited, we have observed two genuine notes, Boyd's and Newman's. The Boyd collection 40 shillings was sold in Ford Part III. This 5 pounds is unique to our knowledge and projects beautifully with clean surfaces, strong penmanship, and complete seals. This is a historic Southern Colonial series and an extremely important offering from the Newman collection.
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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