Description

    Historic Early North Carolina Handwritten Bill

    North Carolina November 27, 1729 L5 Very Fine. To our best knowledge, not a single genuine example of this issue survives. The issue was wholly hand written, which makes authenticating examples virtually impossible. We have seen four notes from this issue in 40+ years of specializing in Colonial currency and this piece is by far the only piece about which we have entertained thoughts that it might indeed be genuine. In fact, the only argument in favor of this note being counterfeit is the fact that someone at its time of circulation considered it to be so and pen cancelled the body of the text with an "X". The word "counterfeit" was also written across the text and later effaced with some mild bleach-like substance which removed the majority of the condemnation but left it vaguely legible. All five signatures compare favorably with known genuine signatures and none are identical to the signatures on the known counterfeits that we have examined. Another factor arguing for the genuineness of this piece is the long period of time it spent in actual circulation. The note was covered on its blank back with contemporary endorsements, a fact that indicates its wide acceptance. After the back was virtually full, the note began to split along its center fold and, as was common at the time, it was backed with a blank sheet. It continued to circulate, and its new blank back was again covered with contemporary endorsements. The original endorsements can be seen by "candling" the note. The paper-covered wax seal loosened at some point and was pinned back in place after the new backing was attached. Contemporary endorsements avoid the pin, vetting its presence since the circulation period. We will concur with some long-unknown contemporary's assessment that the note is counterfeit, although we entertain a glimmer of hope that that assessment was incorrect. In any event, this is the single most convincing example of an extraordinarily rare issue and, even as a counterfeit, it is highly desirable to any North Carolina specialist or Colonial generalist seeking the rarest and finest numismatic relics of this era.

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2006
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 187

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