Thursday, January 20, 2011

U. S. $10 1861 Demand Note Sold for $109,250.00

Heritage Auctions
January 20, 2011

Newly Discovered St. Louis Demand Note Leads Tampa Auction

The new year got off to a rousing start for currency collectors in Tampa, FL as they participated in Heritage Auctions' Signature Currency Auction, Jan. 6-11, held in conjunction with the FUN (Florida United Numismatists) Convention. The auction realized more than $7.8 million, including the non-floor sessions, held Jan. 10-11. All prices include 15% Buyer's Premium.

One of the most closely followed and well-publicized items in the auction was the newly discovered, and certainly rare Fr. 10a $10 1861 Demand Note graded PMG Very Good 8 Net, a handwritten "For The" example from the St. Louis district, which brought $109,250.

"Prior to the recent discovery of the note," said Allen Mincho, Director of Currency Auctions at Heritage, "no handwritten 'For The' St. Louis Demand Notes were known in any denomination."

Few Friedberg numbers in large size type notes remain to be discovered, and it is the rare day indeed that a previously unreported large size type note arrives unheralded to be catalogued and sold for the very first time, but that is what happened with this extraordinary St. Louis "for the" Demand Note. Until the discovery of this piece, no handwritten "for the" St. Louis Demand Notes were known in any denomination. Luckily for collectors, this example, while well circulated, is actually quite nice looking for the grade, with surprisingly bright colors, very clear signatures, and no flaws worthy of mention by the grading service save for a minor split repair, a virtual miracle considering the thin paper and extensive circulation these notes endured. Indeed, the survival of this handwritten "for the" from St. Louis is a minor miracle, as the survival ratio of handwritten to engraved Demand Notes is about 20 or 50 to 1 depending on the city, and only three St. Louis $10 Demand Notes are known with engraved signatures. So few unique Friedberg numbers have changed hands in recent years that an estimate is difficult if not impossible here, as a few short years ago we would likely have been speaking about a possible seven figure realization rather than six, but a realistic assessment of the market and our desire to place "real world" rather than "trap" estimates leads us to believe that the correct number for this unique note is...

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