Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options


    Choice and Rarest 2 Shillings Denomination 1734 Portsmouth Merchant's Note

    Province of New Hampshire December 25, 1734 Portsmouth Merchants's Note 2 Shillings Fr. NH-38.2. PCGS Choice About New 58PPQ.
    This is a uniquely styled "Tall Bill," and an interesting issue, not unlike the Massachusetts banking "schemes" notes from 1740. These notes were issued by the group of merchants led by Hunking Wentworth, in Portsmouth, during the period the Crown prohibited the Colony from emitting further bills of credit. Due to scarcity of other bills of credit and specie in circulation, they issued these "Tall" bills to facilitate commerce (hence the motto BENEFICIO COMMERCI on the face). They produced a negative reaction and, early in 1735, a large group of Boston merchants agreed not to redeem these notes. These bills were 1% interest bearing, payable in 1746. They were printed on laid paper from well-engraved copper plates. In the center are the detailed obligations. Scrollwork and sculptural corners are at the top. At lower left is the Pine Tree emblem with the motto BENEFICIO COMMERCI. The note was also printed on the back with a distinctively designed ship at sail, heading westward, and ornate scrollwork above. The face has three signatures and is countersigned by Hunking Wentworth on the back, just under the vignette. This is the rarest denomination in the series and merits a premium evaluation. We wish to note that the authorized five shillings note is unreported and is considered to have not been printed. This is a very handsome example, essentially as made, with minimal handling. This choice note has been ensconced in the Newman cabinet for multiple decades and is worthy of the finest collection due to rarity, condition and pedigree.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    21st-24th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 663

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    17.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    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.
    Sold on Oct 21, 2015 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
    Consign to the 2022 April 22 Paper Money Fair - Netherlands World Banknote Signature® Auction - .

    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