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    Beautiful 50¢ Negative Essay

    Milton 2E50FR.1 50¢ Second Issue Negative Essay PMG Choice About Unc 58 EPQ. This 50¢ Negative Essay piece was previously Lot 1059 from our January 1997 sale of the Milt Friedberg Collection. This rare Negative Reverse Experimental is not punched or stamped, and it has the full face engraving. The back is a beautiful bright-red color, negative matrix reverse, with the "D-5-18-63" surcharge referred to in the Chapman sale of the Wilcox Collection in 1904. The so-called "Negative Essay," "Reverse Matrix," or "Negative Matrix" reverse is in reality none of these three things. Early catalogs erroneously called these "Matrix Reverses," mistakenly believing that they were printed from matrix dies (transfer rolls) rather than plates. Some also felt, as the Chapmans did, that the notes were printed from plates that had been made from other plates rather than from matrix dies or transfer rolls. The term "Negative Reverses," or "Negative Essays," came from the appearance of the notes, which look at a glance like a photo negative, that is, the dark areas appear light and the light areas appear dark. However, this is not consistent throughout the entire design, as the denomination, parts of the shield and the lettered ribbons are not reversed. This back design was simply an unadopted proposal where someone decided that certain design elements would look better reversed. Debate still continues today as to whether these Negative Essays or the adopted positive designs are the more handsome. The term "Negative Essay," while it would not be technically correct in the realm of professional photography, has been universally accepted by Fractional collectors, dealers and researchers. This piece has the entire, completed face printing, lacking only the bronze. The back is the full bright red Negative Essay printing, including the large bronze "50" and the "D-5-18-63" corner surcharges which are found only on these negatives. We believe this note to be Legal Tender, and it could easily have been assigned a Friedberg number had the Friedbergs been aware of its existence in 1953 when that book was first published. This is one of only three examples known, one of which is in the Smithsonian. This piece has perfect original paper quality, razor sharp printing, bright bronze surcharges and ideal centering.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2007
    26th-28th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 304

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