Description

    Rare and Historic Kirtland Safety Society Bank $20

    Kirtland, OH - Kirtland Safety Society Bank $20 Mar. 9, 1837 OH-245 G12, Wolka 1424-14, Rust 9. PCGS Very Fine 30 Apparent.
    The Mormon paper currency history commences in Kirtland, Ohio in 1836 when Church elders, led by Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon (as cashier for the bank), sent their designees to Columbus, Ohio (chaired by Orson Hyde) to seek a state bank charter. Simultaneously, the other group of elders (led by Oliver Cowdery) went to Underwood, Bald, Spencer & Hufty in Philadelphia to contract for engraved plates, proofs and the sheet printing from the four plates purchased. Having the plates engraved and printed was easily accomplished. However, officials at the State Capitol in Columbus required specie or other collateralization to protect the circulation and denied the charter. Regardless, their notes were already printed and ready to issue, and the bank began operations. Early $1, $2, and $3 notes were stamped "Anti-Banking Co." in diminutive letters to comply with or skirt the law, depending on one's viewpoint. The vast majority of Kirtland notes, from $1 to $100, were dated and emitted in March 1837, though some are dated earlier. The bank, of course, did not survive the nationwide bank panic in 1837, although Smith had guaranteed the notes would one day "be as good as gold." The lack of specie caused the bank's failure and was a large factor in the Mormon migration from Ohio to their eventual settlement in Salt Lake City This is a desirable $20 Kirtland Mormon note and much scarcer than lower denominations from the series. These were printed on an oddly configured $20A-$10A two-subject sheet engraved at Underwood, Bald, Spencer & Hufty, N. York & Philad. from the original plate order (see Nyholm, Fig. 16 and 1990 ABN Sale, Lot 1463). Seated Commerce, at top center, holds a sheaf with the wrapping so extensive it appears at first glance to be a diminutive palm tree. An allegorical figure with palette and brush sits beside her. On the other side, with her arm on Commerce's knee, a figure holding an open book crouches. A ship is partially visible in the background. Block "20" counters are above and below at both ends, with an oval picture of a farm family in between. The secretarial signature of J. Smith, Jr. is at the left and S. Rigdon at the right. Very scarce, and estimates of about 50 notes surviving today seem supported by Nyholm's more detailed research, census data and expansion from the earlier Alvin E. Rust work (Mormon and Utah Coin and Currency), along with the research in the October 2004 Stack's John J. Ford, Jr. Part VI catalog. Noted with "Minor Stains." There is a small patch of foxing noted by grading on the serial number. The note has excellent body and the Smith signature stands out. The Extremely Fine 40PPQ $20 from Newman Part VI realized $6,463. These Kirtland higher denominations are always in demand.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    21st-24th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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