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    Ormsby Wonder Note

    Morrisania, NY- Morrisania Bank $1 185_ G2 Proof PMG Choice Uncirculated 64.
    The discussion continues on in the collecting community as to whether this is an actual bank note or an elaborate advertising note for W.L. Ormsby. While Haxby lists the bank as a "non-existent bank represented only by fantasy notes," that alone does not prove the case as there were any number of such banks that were around in the antebellum period. Morrisania is presently a neighborhood in the Bronx and according to a NYC Cultural Affairs publication, the town of Morrisiana was established in 1855. The note lists the location of Morrisania as Westchester County which borders the Bronx. The Historical Directory of the Banks of the State of New York by William H. Dillistin, however, does not list the bank, strongly suggesting that certainly the bank was never in active operation if it did, in fact, exist.

    In the final analysis, it really does not make much difference which theory is correct. This is clearly a period piece done by W.L. Ormsby. Its unique design with a furioso vignette of Mercury, America, and Plenty that essentially covers the entire note makes this piece one of the standout examples of antebellum bank note artistry. This example is printed on India paper mounted on cardstock with the usual small POCs in the signature spaces. There is an intriguing penciled annotation on the back "19TM67/O" that one researcher suggests may tie this note to the holdings of Thomas F. Morris, the famous engraver who lived in the Bronx and shared his name with that of the bank. This note owes no is a wonderful design in top condition from the antebellum period with an intriguing history that is not yet completely untangled. It will take any collection to which it is added to the next level. With approximately three notes known, there will not be a large number of opportunities to acquire an example of this great note.
    From the Tabacco Family Collection

    View all of [The Tabacco Family Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2021
    21st-23rd Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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