First Auction of American Bank Note Co. Foreign Paper Money and Postage Stamp Printing Plates

(New York, NY) – Historic, intricately engraved printing press plates from the fabled archives of the American Bank Note Company and used in the process of producing 19th and early 20th century foreign paper money and postage stamps will be offered to the public for the first time.

Two dozen plates and dies will be in the auction conducted on March 20 and 21, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland by Stack’s ( of New York City and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

The plates were used for producing bank notes and stamps in the 1800’s and early 1900’s for Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Dutch East Indies, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Russia.

The one-of-a-kind artistic pieces of history were consigned to the auction by Archival Collectibles of Far Hills, New Jersey, which acquired the legendary American Bank Note Company archives in 2005.

“This is art in its original form by some of America’s most skilled and famous engravers. This is the first time American Bank Note Company paper money and postage stamp printing plates for these countries have been made available to collectors. It is engraved treasure,” said Steve Blum, President of Archival Collectibles.

Now located near Philadelphia in Trevose, Pennsylvania, American Bank Note Company was formed in 1858 in New York City by a consolidation of eight leading bank note engravers and printers. Over the years, the firm acquired other companies and their archives.

The March auction also includes engraved plates used for printing American obsolete paper money, stock and bond certificates for automobile companies, firearms manufacturers, record companies and movie studios.

“Many of the printing plates have wonderfully ornate engravings of presidents, allegorical figures and American scenes including whaling vignettes that were used on various bank notes in the 1850’s and 1860’s,” said cataloger John M. Pack of Stack’s.

For information about the auction, contact Stack’s toll-free at either (800) 566-2580 (New York office) or (866) 811-1804 (New Hampshire office), or online at