A Fr. 185l $500 1880 Legal Tender PMG Choice Very Fine 35 realized $441,250 as the top lot in Heritage Auctions
' Jan. 9-14 Currency Signature® Auction , held in conjunction with the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention. All prices include 17.5% Buyer's Premium.
"This beautiful note is unique in collector's hands and one of just five Bruce-Roberts signed $500 Legals to exist," said Dustin Johnston, Director of Currency at Heritage Auctions. "Of the other four, three are in the collections of Federal Reserve Banks and one resides permanently in the Smithsonian Institution, making this a very rare offering."
The note came to auction from The Greensboro Collection, which provided many of the top lots in the Heritage FUN Currency auction. The results join the more than $44.9 million realized by the Heritage U.S. Coins Auction at FUN, Jan. 9-14, in Orlando, and the more than $14 million Heritage realized at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, where the company held its Jan. 6-7 Ancient & World Coin Signature® Auction, making for a $72+ million week overall for Heritage, the world's third largest auction house.
"Quality material continues to show up on the market and collectors continue to respond, across all areas of numismatics," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "This week in January normally sets the tone for the year and, if this is any indication of collector engagement, 2013 is going to be solid."
A Fr. 1166b $20 1863 Gold Certificate PCGS Very Fine 30, an iconic piece of currency also from The Greensboro Collection, offered for the first time at auction in nearly a quarter of a century, did not disappoint when it came across the block, rising amidst spirited bidding to a final price realized of $352,500.
"Not all printed and issued United States paper money was created equal," said Johnston. "Such was the case with this note, created during the Civil War. During times of conflict, hard currency especially gold and silver is hoarded, so there was a need for a more prominent financial instrument to facilitate trade and, more importantly, fund the fight against the Confederacy. The Gold Certificates of 1863 were intended to bring some stability to interbank trading since they were backed by gold on deposit with the Treasury and were less subject to the increasing perils of the war. These notes, however, were actually issued between 1865 and 1869, well after the war."
Further highlights of the Heritage Currency event at FUN included one of only four Fr. 187k $1000 1880 Legal Tender notes known, this one PMG Extremely Fine 40 Net, realized $330,000, while a magnificent 1863 Fr. 167a $100 Spread Eagle Legal Tender PCGS Choice New 63 proved quite popular at $305,500 and a Fr. 341 $100 1880 Black Back Silver Certificate PMG Choice Uncirculated 64 rose quickly to $235,000. All of the above-mentioned lots came to auction via The Greensboro Collection.