1861 $50 Interest Bearing Note from Joel Anderson Collection

06 Aug 2018  Mon

Stacks Bowers would be offering Part II of the Joel. R. Anderson Collection in its next paper money sale. One of the highlights from this collection is the only issued example of an 1861 Interest Bearing Notes series. A special Act was passed on 2nd March 1861 after which, $10 million was to be issued in the form of bonds. Interest Bearing Notes of $50 or more with an interest rate of 6% per annum were to be issued if bonds could not be sold.

Due to Civil War and lack of market support for bonds, Interest Bearing Notes of $50, $100, $500 and $1000 were produced by the National Bank Note Company using “cycloidal configurations” process that was patented by James MacDonough on 23rd April 1860. 46,076 such $50 notes were issued and the same process was also used to make state-chartered banknotes, $50 to $1000 series notes in 1861 for the CSA etc.

The obverse features sword and scales at the centre and a seated Justice, portrait of Andrew Jackson, Salmon Chase, counters with the denomination 50, overlapping petals around, the cycloidal configurations, each with texts “UNITED STATES / FIFTY / TREASURY”, signature panel with signature of Treasury Clerk G. Luff, handwritten “for the” before text REGISTER OF THE TREASURY, and signature of Treasurer Francis E. Spinner.

The blue coloured reverse has a cycloidal configurations format, “Pay to Bearer” text, space for the holder’s signature, “NATIONAL BANK NOTE COMPANY”, 1860 cycloidal configurations patent date.

The designs are detailed and the note is preserved well without any cancellations. Another example of this note is redeemed and cancelled. It is showcased at Bureau of Public Debt in Washington D.C. Other examples are found in Proof or Specimen form. The same note has been sold for a handsome amount three times previously. This time, it would be auctioned for an estimated value of $300,000 – $500,000.

Image Courtesy: Stacks and Bowers

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