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    Double Denomination Fractional Rarity

    Fr. 1235/1322 Milton 2E5FR.2 5¢/50¢ Second Issue Double Denomination Very Choice New. While not the same piece as our Friedberg example, it is clearly from the same sheet as the positioning of the bronze in relation to the design on both sides of the note is identical. Milt's example, which was unique when it was sold in 1997, was described, "This great note was first offered to the public in the HIM Auction at the 1983 Memphis show. Martin Gengerke cataloged the note for that sale, and we quote, 'An excessively rare fractional error: far rarer than double denominations of either large or small size notes. It has the full normal face of the 5¢, and the full normal back of the 50¢ T-1-18-63 variety (although due to poor centering, little shows of the T). Undoubtedly genuine, although we must, in all truthfulness, observe that this is a fiber paper note, and second issue fiber paper notes of all denominations are notoriously easy to split. We have no doubt of the authenticity of this piece for several reasons: (1) The four margins. Split and repaired notes would be difficult to aline (sic) and would require at least a bit of margin trimming. (2) The presence of a bit of margin ink writing identical to notations made at the Treasury on numerous experimental notes of known authenticity. (3) Third and most importantly, the presence on both sides of the embossing effect made by the plate of the other side. The light paper indentations made in the paper (by the great pressure of the plate when printing the other side) line up perfectly with the engraving on the printed side. To perfectly line up a face and back from two separate notes would be a million-to-one shot at best.'" In that description, Martin went on to say that the final judgement must be made by the bidder and HIM did not totally guarantee the item. We concurred with that write up and took it one step further: embossing cannot be "matched up" from one note to another. It is not simply a matter of the incredible odds of finding two matching pieces with sufficient margin. It is also, in our opinion, impossible to separate and remount the pieces without changing the surface texture of the note and destroying whatever embossing survived the initial separation. At that 1997 sale, all the bidders agreed on the note's genuineness and it realized $9,625 on an estimate of $7,500-up. The surfacing of this piece, with its identical bronzing positioning establishes the authenticity of both notes beyond any conceivable question. Although there are now two known, this newer market eight years later should see this incredible piece far surpass that realization.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2006
    5th-7th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 275

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