Smythe Sale of Schingoethe Obsolete Currency Collection Sees Record Prices

. December 27, 2007 – On Dec. 12 -13, the R.M. Smythe & Co. auction of part 13 of the The Schingoethe collection of obsolete currency generated a great deal of interest from bidders. 94% of the 1162 lots offered were sold totaling $450,000 in sales. Many of the more unique and rare items far surpassed their pre-auction estimates, perhaps signaling a significant upsurge in interest for obsolete currency.

Of particular note was a $10 bill issued by the Merchants & Planters Bank of Tallahassee Florida Ca. 1830s-40s. (FL-70 G10). The bill pictured; a man plowing, top; 10s in geometric die counters, top left and right; Mercury bears cornucopia with coins, Juno Moneta seated, left; Washington in classical garb, right. RWH. VG, crease, toning. The pre-auction estimate was $150 to $250. The realized price was $3450, including the buyers commission. The $10 Tallahassee note, was not an anomaly. There were many other lots that far exceeded their pre auction estimates. These included:

Lot# 1087 – WI. Dubuque, Wisconsin Territory. Miners Bank. $100. Ca 1830s. (WI-170 G2A). Allegorical female seated, Mercury floats, top; Ceres seated, lower left; Indian draws bow, lower right. This Territoriual entity was chartered in late October of 1837, and as this portion of the Wisconsin Territory was included in what became Iowa Territory a scant year later, these were short-lived issues. To our knowledge, these exciting, large format notes ( 50s and 100s only) show up only as remainders. Despite signs of circulation, the note appears undated and unsigned. G-VG, some losses in upper left and lower margins. Estimate – $300 up. Realized – $2100

Lot# 1136 – OK. Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation. Executive Department. August 6, 1856. Manuscript warrant entirely handwritten. “…Will Pay to the Order of H.D. Reese the sum of Two Hundred Dollars out of the School fund to defray the contingent expenses of the Female Seminary…”. Signed by chief John Ross. VF-EF.
John Ross was born in 1790. Born to Scottish parents, Ross was 1/8 Cherokee Indian. He spent his early years in Tennessee, but at 19 years of age, he was sent on a diplomatic mission involving the Western Cherokees. In March of 1814, Ross fought alongside of the Cherokees under the command of General Andrew Jackson in a pitched battle with the Creeks. In 1815 he opened a trading post at Chattanooga, and a missionary school. He was elected to the Cherokee National Council where he served until 1826. Ross was responsible for the drafting of the Cherokee Constitution. In 1838 U. S. soldiers forced the Cherokees off their land, and marched them from Tennessee to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. This was the famous “Trail of Tears” incident, where over 4,000 Cherokees died. Upon reaching Tahlequah, John Ross was named Principal Chief of the Cherokees. It was this title that gave him the authorization to sign this early and important Cherokee Nation financial instrument. Estimate – $500 to $1000. Realized – $3750

Lot# 158 – IL. Newton. Illinois Central Bank. $2. Dec. 3, 1850. (IL-610 G4b). Green title and end panels. Haxby Plate Note. Two horses startled by lightning, center; state die, upper left. Green lathework end panels with TWO. 2 / 2 TWO., left and right. ABN. Fine, pinholes. Ex. NASCA Abner Reed Sale, October – November 1983 Lot 1486. Estimate $300 to $500. Realized – $2300

Lot# 106 – IL. Griggsville. Bank of Pike County. $5. 1850s. (IL-355 G8a). Red 5. Proof on India paper. Haxby Plate Note. Indian chief. State arms. Cherubs hoist wheat into the clouds. DW. AU, two hinges on back. Estimate $500 to $1000. Realized – $2300

Lot# 927 – TX. Harrisburg. Briscoe, Harris & Co. $3. Dec. 9, 1862. (M-3). Indian princess overlooking steamship. Woman with 3, left. DT. EF. Estimate $300 to $450. Realized – $2600

Lot# 772 – TN. Fayetteville. Fayetteville Tennessee Bank Collection. All by MDF. 1) $2. July 1, 1818. (TN-45 G4). Haxby Plate Note. Ornate end panels. VG. 2) $3. (TN-45 G6). Haxby Plate Note. Ornate end panels. VG, repaired tear at left. 3) $5. Aug. 2, 1818. (TN-45 G8). Allegorical woman with spade. VG. 4) $10. March 24, 1818. (TN-45 G12). Allegorical woman. F-VF. 5) $20. April 2, 1818. (TN-45 G16). Allegorical woman with wheat. VG. 6) $100 Post Note. April 5, 1818. (TN-45 G20). Haxby Plate Note. Woman with banner. Fine. [6]. Estimate $750 to $1250. Realized – $4250

Lot# 457 – MI. Flint River. Genesee County Bank. $2. July 1, 1837. (L-FLI-5-3 Lee Plate note; Haxby MI-175 Unlisted; Bowen Unlisted). Maiden seated at center; children with dog in large circle at right. It is rare that a Michigan bank note escaped detection by both Bowen and Haxby , but this is an example in hand. A note of great rarity and importance, Bowen listed several denominations of notes on this bank as being unique or rather difficult. Strong pen signatures, serial number and date make this an attractive note as well. The solid condition is very presentable, and means this note will be securely impounded a great Michigan collection for a long time. RW&H. Fine. Estimate $600 to $800. Realized – $2300

Lot# 313 – MA. Harwich. Bank of Cape Cod. $4. Oct. 1857. (MA-660 G8 SENC). Trumbull’s Signing of the Declaration at top center. Good, wear hole at center folds. Estimate $350 to $450. Realized $3250

“We were very pleased at the level of bidding activity at this sale.” said Mary Herzog, Vice President of R. M. Smythe & Co. “Our pre-auction estimates are based on the latest market prices. To see realized prices as high as these may signal a significant upsurge in consumer interest for obsolete currency.”

Realized prices listed, unless otherwise noted, do not include the 15% buyers premium. A complete catalog of all 1162 lots including photos and realized prices can be viewed online at:

Accredited media interested in scheduling an interview to discuss this release or past or upcoming auctions are encouraged to contact Mary Herzog at 212-943-1880

About R. M. Smythe & Co.
R. M. Smythe and Co., established in 1880, buys, sells, and auctions coins, paper money, stocks and bonds and autographs at their corporate headquarters at 2 Rector Street in the heart of the Financial District in New York City. To order a catalog, to contact any of the firm’s specialists, or to make general inquiries, call 212-943-1880 or 800-622-1880, or visit the firm’s website at:

Category: Auction News

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