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    Extremely Rare and Superb Act of February 24, 1815 $50 Proof
    Tied for Finest of Three Known

    United States - Act of February 24, 1815 $50 Treasury Note. Hessler X83E, Fr. TN-11p. Proof. PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ.
    An inspiring Act of February 24, 1815, War of 1812 proof impression and the finest graded of three known. Fifty dollars was the highest denomination "7% Funded Stock" convertible small note, and it is rare in all forms. All three proof examples originated from the partial sheet sold as lot 2208 in Smythe's 2000 Memphis sale for $23,100. The plate position D note, once at the bottom of that sheet, is unreported. The $50 A position proof we sold in November 2020 was the first individual $50 TN-11p proof ever to be cataloged for sale; as lot 25027, PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ, it realized $14,400.The two $50 proofs offered in the present sale are the last available and neither has been publicly offered for over two decades.

    This India paper proof, on original card, was engraved and printed by Murray, Draper, Fairman & Co. As with all War of 1812 proofs, small punch-hole cancels in the three signature areas are as prepared at the printer. The size and style are similar to the previous $5, $10, and $20 notes. At the upper right, a spread-winged eagle with an olive branch and three arrows in its talons (right and left, respectively) bisects UNITED STATES. Within the sunburst rays above the eagle, FIFTY is arcing. There is an ornate, oval "50" die at upper left, and intricate pattern engraving is on all sides. End panels contain the textual denominations, in white on black at the left and black on white in the right cartouche. It has the engraved March 25, 1815, date. The obligation across the center states, "The United States promise to receive this Note for fifty dollars in all payments to them; or to fund the amount at seven per cent. interest ... " It does not have the "in payment of duties taxes & public lands" clause or the ribbon with the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Engraved lines designate signature positions: at lower left for the "Register of the Treasury" and at lower right for the two "In behalf of the United States" signers. A short line is at the top for the serial number, but there is no payee or payable location line as used on prior acts.

    The plate position C example from the center of the original proof sheet, and it has ample side margins. Evenly and boldly printed; there are a few scattered inking weaknesses observed with extreme scrutiny. The India paper is blazing white, and the dark ink contrasts beautifully. Once lightly rim mounted from behind the card, but the traces on the back do not impact the perfect face. There is also "ghosting" on the blank card verso of a printed proof sheet from another series due to their being stacked. This is tied for finest graded at PMG of the three certified Mike Coltrane individual $50 proofs. Like its companion $5 and $10 finished proofs that originated in the 2000 Memphis sale, this presents an important bidding opportunity. This $50 War of 1812 proof type was missing from all the other elite War of 1812 collections formed prior to the Coltrane Collection.
    From The Mike Coltrane Collection.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2021
    24th-25th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 232

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