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    Unique "Spread Eagle"

    Fr. 167b $100 1863 Legal Tender PCGS Very Fine 25. Many factors play roles in the value and admiration of particular issues in numismatics. The "Grand Watermelon" is not only a significant rarity, it boasts one of the most recognizable designs in all of US Currency. Another of the most significant and widely recognized US Currency designs is the heraldic "Spread Eagle" on the Series 1862 and 1863 $100 Legal Tenders. Joseph P. Ourdan's engraving of this design was a fitting start to Federal Currency and is today admired by collectors.

    This design type has six significant varieties and Friedberg numbers which vary depending on the Series Date, February 25, 1862 or March 3, 1863, the obligation on back, number of serial numbers, and the logos or monograms from the American and National Bank Note Company. This note is most closely related to the Fr. 167a, which features the NBNCo. logo and the second obligation and two serial numbers. However, this note only has one serial number. Unlike so many other varieties of types which are haphazard changes or mistakes in the production process, the changes reflected on this design type were clearly intentional, even the use of one or two serial numbers. Nearly every denomination of Series 1863, from the $5 through $1,000, there exists two separate groups, one with one serial number and the other with two serial numbers. Clearly a "mistake" could not have been replicated with such consistency.

    Couple then, the wildly popular Spread Eagle design with the unique Friedberg type and the numismatic community has a note that is not only historically significant but also highly prized by collectors. The printed design ranges in degree of depth, with the green ink a touch lighter than usually seen. However the all important black ink which comprises the detailed eagle is bold and perfectly executed, not so light as to lose intensity and not so dark as to lose the intricate details of the eagle's feathers. Most mid-grade examples of Series 1863 notes have significant fading of the seal, which is not the case here. A few minor edge splits are noted, which is refreshing; so many major rarities have been restored to the detriment of the eye appeal and originality.
    From The Jeffrey L. Olyan Collection, Part 1

    View all of [The Jeffrey L. Olyan Collection, Part 1 ]

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2006
    13th-15th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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