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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Spink Smythe sees world record prices paid for obsolete currency at April 9th sale

MANHATTAN, NY – Spink Smythe’s April 9th sale featuring part 14 of the Schingoethe collection was an outstanding success with realized prices on some notes breaking world records. The jewel of this sale was a Brigham Young signed Kirtland note (see photo) which had a presale estimate of $10,000 to 15,000 and sold for $47,500, smashing the previously held world record for this type of note by tens of thousands of dollars. Bidder interest was not just limited to the Kirtland note. Strong buyer interest in this auction was reflected in their bidding as buyers pushed prices well beyond presale estimates for many obsolete currency rarities, including:

Lot #1356 – Presale estimate $1,250-2,500. Realized $6,500
NY. /Albany. /Bank of the Interior. $100. January 2, 1858. (NY-70 G16a). Green overall lathework. Proof on India paper. Haxby Plate Note. Sidewheel steamship. Woman standing with spear and shield. Small state arms. RWHE. EF.

Lot #1842 – Presale estimate $2,500-4,000. Realized $7,000
RI. /Providence. /Globe Bank. $50. 18__. (RI-305 G62a; Durand-1379). Proof on India paper mounted on card. Navigation reclining with book, globe and dividers. Bold full green overprint. ABN. R-7. Choice Uncirculated, well centered.

Lot #1996 – Presale estimate $1,500- 3,000. Realized $8,000
UT. /Great Salt Lake City. /Thirteenth Ward Assembly Rooms. Certificate of One Share of stock. Jan. 15, 1863. Rust 217. Rust Plate Note. Allegorical woman with sword standing. Signed by Franklin Wooley and Edwin Wooley. Fine, corner tip off.

Lot #1999 – Presale estimate $750 – 1,250, Realized $13,000
UT. /St. George . /St.George Stake Tithing Store House. 5 . Sept. 17, 1895. (Rust unlisted, same series as Rust 234). Light yellow. Beehive. Grapes on the back. Ex. Criswell/Stanley Gibbons. NASCA 1982. VG.

Lot #1987 – Presale estimate $3,000-6,000. Realized – $9,000
UT. /Salt Lake City. /Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd RR. $10. Jan. 15, 1874. (Rust Unlisted). Red protector and “10”, green back with maidens. Serial No. 18. Plate A. Train rounds bend. Indian warrior, left. Athena standing, right. Payable at the Salt Lake City National Bank. Not in the Mormon & Utah Coin and Currency book by Alvin Rust, nor in the legendary John F. Ford Jr. Collection. An important Rarity. Fine.

Lot #1971 – Presale estimate $10,000-15,000. Realized – $47,500
UT. /Kirtland . /Reissue-Kirtland Safety Society Bank. (Rust 69). Regular issued Kirtland $3 note printed by UBSH.Train coming over hill. Medallion busts in each corner. Dated March 8, 1837 in Kirtland and signed by /Joseph Smith, Jr/. and Sidney Rigdon. The note was reissued in Salt Lake City and countersigned on the face by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Also, signed by N.K. Whitney and with the secret mark of “TB” for Thomas Bullock. Embossed seal of the Twelve Apostles. Only 23 Reissued $3 notes were authorized and logged in the Church’s records. This serial number 4635 is listed in the Rust census. This note is stunning and one of the finest we have seen. It is clearly superior to the Ford VI lot by perhaps two grades. A boldly impressed seal and vivid brightness. Light wrinkling, the note is nearly full Very Fine-Extremely Fine. On eye appeal, it might be judged finer. Likely not to need an upgrade. There may not be a true uncirculated note of the reissued series due to the usage and circumstance. The reissued notes were quite historic in that Young made “them good as gold” as was promised back in Ohio by Joseph Smith. The Kirtland notes raised much controversy in the 1830’s era politics of Ohio and the advance of the Mormon religion. However, there is no doubting the significance of this paper money issue as one of the most famous in American annals of finance through paper promissary loans.

Lot #1978 – Presale estimate $7,500-12,500. Realized – $16,000
UT. Great Salt Lake City. Desert Currency Association. $2. March 4, 1858. (Similar to Rust 87, but hand signed). Series A Note. Printed on thin, frail white paper. Book and plow flank title. Typeset, large ‘2” at the right. Handwritten signature of Brigham Young. Another historic and rare issue of note. The series was created to use in payments to defenders against the impending Johnston’s Army incursions by the Federal Government. These notes were backed by livestock and the majority of this typeset issue, Series A, B and C, were burned and replaced by the copper plate notes with vignettes. Generally, these are rarely offered. This example, has much body to it. Small body hole. For the issue, Fine-Very Fine is the proper classification.

“The Schingoethe sale of obsolete currency exceeded our expectations and reinforced our belief in the strength of the market.” said Caleb Esterline the Auction Director of the Schingoethe catalog for Spink Smythe. “There was particular interest in high quality obsolete proofs as well as engraved issued notes with color. New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio consistently sold above the estimates. Scarcer states such as Minnesota and Missouri were extremely competitive. The star of the sale was the selection of Utah notes with many records being set. Lot 1971 was a world record price for a Brigham Young signed Kirtland note surpassing previous sales by tens of thousands of dollars. The strong demand was infectious and the high quality notes all exceeded our expectations.”