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    Description

    Fr. 378 $100 1891 Treasury Note PMG Very Fine 20. Often surpassed in popularity by the Watermelon design types that preceded them, the "Open Back" $100 and $1000 Treasury Notes are classic numismatic rarities. The rampant counterfeiting of currency was a cause of concern for the Treasury and the Secret Service. In 1891, the Treasury had to abandon its artful 1890 Treasury Note back and replace it with this anti-counterfeiting-friendly design. A modest number of high-denomination examples were printed with the new design, and all faced heavy attrition. Only one Open Back $1000 is available to collectors today, and collectors can choose from only seven of the twelve known Open Back $100's as the other five are permanently impounded in institutional collections. In June of this year, we sold the Open Back $1000 for $2.1 million. This Hundred Dollar piece last appeared at auction in March of 1965 when it was sold as lot 1013 in a Kreisberg & Schulman Auction. The $1,200 it realized was a strong price for the time...acquiring this note tonight will require the same bidding determination as well as a big check. Only a single high-grade example is known, and this solid VF sits well up in the condition census. In our 40+ sales, this is only the second example of this design type that we have handled. The note appears, both face and back, on page 235 of the Dauer book. Admiral Farragut was the most distinguished Naval Officer of the Civil War, and he remains known today not so much for his significant contributions to the Union victory, but for the battle cry, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead." Torpedoes, in civil-war usage, referred to stationary contact mines; they were not self-propelled like the modern underwater missiles fired by submarines. The legend of Admiral Farragut is recounted by Everything2 as follows, "Farragut had been watching the Battle of Mobile Bay from a perch high in the rigging of his flagship; the remark came after seeing another one of his ships sink in about two minutes from a Confederate torpedo, and the captain of a third Union ship tried to back off from the minefield area. The flagship drew up alongside and its captain, Percival Drayton, asked what the problem was. When the answer was 'Torpedoes,' Farragut overheard and was supposed to have said, 'Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead! Drayton, hard a-starboard! Ring four bells!' No more torpedoes went off as the fleet entered the bay, and they were eventually able to win the battle over the Confederate force. The quote probably garnered as much reputation for Farragut as the victory did, and he was promoted to Vice Admiral, the first person to hold that position in the U.S. Navy."
    From The Dr. Edward and Joanne Dauer Collection


    View all of [The Dr. Edward and Joanne Dauer Collection of Treasury Notes and Gold Certificates ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2006
    13th-15th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,235

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