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    Rarely Offered Act of February 24, 1815 $3 Unsigned Remainder
    One of the Finest Known - The Friedberg Plate Note

    United States - Act of February 24, 1815 $3 Treasury Note. Hessler X83A, Fr. TN-16. Unsigned Remainder. PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ.
    The Act of February 24, 1815, $3 Treasury Note is one of our most distinctive American currency types and is rarely offered for public sale. It is the only Federally authorized and circulating three-dollar note. Deservedly desired by savvy collectors, when it appears for sale it elicits great attention. We have cataloged just two examples prior to this important pair from The Mike Coltrane Collection. We sold the Eric P. Newman Collection unsigned remainder note, formerly exhibited in both St. Louis Money Museums, in our April 2015, Newman Part VI sale for $28,200 (graded PCGS Choice New 64PPQ). The other was the Triple-Signature Uncancelled $3 note that originated in the Boyd Collection and was sold by us in our May 2005 Jim O'Neal sale. That landmark issued note appears here at public auction for the first time in 15 years. This is only the second time that both types have appeared in the same public auction and are a crowning achievement in Mike's War of 1812 note cabinet. He acquired this stunning example, perhaps the finest unsigned remainder known, privately in 2008.

    The $3 denomination was not unusual at the time. Most issuing private banks during the period used the denomination along with others we consider more commonplace such as $1, $5, and $10 bills. Like other notes from the enactment, the denomination adheres to its specified legal obligations, paper, and sizes. However, this has a peaceful design style compared with the other denominations (all the other War of 1812 Treasury Notes feature fierce eagle vignettes symbolizing strength in war). We can't be certain whether the $3 notes were created before, concurrently, or after the other "small" note denominations. No matter its production date, the lower denomination would have filled the need for smaller change when specie was rare during the war and the issued notes traded at par or even a premium in the Northern states. Lacking the original Murray, Draper, Fairman & Co. order forms for the plates and printings, we can only guess when they were made. In this Mike Coltrane Collection War of 1812 Treasury Note selection, we have decided to place them at the end of this act's notes due to their unique style and odd denomination.

    Engraved and printed by Murray, Draper, Fairman & Co. in Philadelphia. Uniface on red and blue fiber UNITED STATES watermarked bond paper in a size similar to $5, $10, $20, and $50 "small" notes from the act. At top center, an American shield with E PLURIBUS UNUM on an undulating ribbon is supported by a large olive branch crossed with a second branch. This vignette bisects the titles and engraved March 25, 1815, date. Two differently styled oval "3" dies are flanking. Intricate end panels display white-on-black text: THREE at left and UNITED STATES at right. Top and bottom border lines (without the intricate lathe work used on the $5, $10, $20, and $50 notes) allow notes to be separated with margins. The obligation across the center states, "THE UNITED STATES promise to receive this Note for THREE DOLLARS in all payments to them; or to fund the amount at seven per cent. interest ..." The engraved lines designate the signature position at lower left for "Register of the Treasury" and at lower right for two "In behalf of the United States" signers. A short line is at the upper left for filling in the serial number, but there is not a line for the "payee" or for the payable location as used on prior acts. It lacks the clause, "in payment of duties taxes & public lands."

    This is plate position D and an unsigned remainder. An impressive example with superb quality, deep printing and sharp details. Complete margins are seen on all sides, just slightly close at the left end, which prevents it from being a full Gem. The paper is exceptional with several visible, colorful threads. The finest of two graded at PMG and tied with the former Newman Collection's PCGS Choice New 64PPQ example. The census lists nine remainders currently; this is the only individual D position cited (the other is part of a sheet). Four of those cited are likely still part of the sheet sold as Ford Part VI: 390. The ex: John Whitney Walter note was resold in November 2012 by Stack's Bowers for $25,850. That note was PMG About Uncirculated 58. Ex: R. M. Smythe & Co., 2000 Memphis sale, lot 2203, with its prior pedigree undisclosed. It is the 21st edition Friedberg plate note and the Krause-Lemke Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money (24th edition, Krause Publications, 2005) plate note (from an image supplied by Smythe & Co.). This note's combination of historic appeal, unusual denomination, and great rarity enhance its standing as an American paper money treasure.
    From The Mike Coltrane Collection.

    Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000.

    Auction Info

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