Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


The Bank Note proof went to a bidding agent on the floor; it was estimated at $80,000-$120,000.

LYNBROOK, N.Y. – An exceedingly rare proof of an original series $1,000 face charter #290 U.S. National Bank Note, one of only two examples known, sold for $96,050 at a Stamps, Coins & Postcards Auction held May 29th by Philip Weiss Auctions, in the firm’s gallery located at 74 Merrick Road in Lynbrook. The Bank Note proof was the day’s top lot and highlight of the sale.

Original series $1,000 face proof charter #290 U.S. National Bank Note, one of only two known ($96,050).
Original series $1,000 face proof charter #290 U.S. National Bank Note, one of only two known ($96,050).
The $1,000 National Bank Note proof went to a bidding agent on the floor, at a price that was within range (it was estimated at $80,000-$12,000). The Fr. 465 original series face, printed on India paper and mounted on card stock, was dated March 1, 1864, and was hole-punch cancelled. The image, a Chittenden Spinner from the Forth National Bank (New York City) was flawless.

It is known that one other example of the original series $1,000 proof exists, because it is clearly pictured on page 13 of the second edition of United States Paper Money, Old Series, 1861-1923 (published by Limpert’s in 1955). In that note, however, the lower right corner is badly torn and there’s a large hole between the Capitol dome and the right border. The Weiss note was perfect.

But where is that face? Nobody knows. Limpert’s recorded it (without any attribution, by the way), but its whereabouts has been lost to time. A rumor that the note had found its way into the Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution proved to be false. Even they don’t own an example. That left the note in the Weiss sale all alone – a fact that only added to its desirability.

The auction attracted nearly 500 registered bidders, around 60 of whom attended the event live. Internet bidders participated via and (as well as the Philip Weiss Auctions website, Phone and absentee (left) bids were also recorded.

“Overall bidding was brisk, with the highlight lot drawing news attention from local newspapers, TV and the national news outlets,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “It was truly a thrill to handle such a rare National Bank Note proof with quite a back story. A piece like this is in keeping with our long tradition of bringing great fresh material to the bidding, buying public.”

Other highlights included a U.S. cover #6 that sold for $4,068 and a U.S. #106 that gaveled for $1,921 (all prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium). By the time it was all over, the auction had grossed about $400,000. “Prices for stamps and coins were very strong,” Weiss said.

Philip Weiss Auctions has already put this auction behind them and are looking forward to a pair of blockbuster sales lined up for the summer. A Tuesday, June 24th auction (with a 2 p.m. start, Eastern time) will feature toys, toy trains, mechanical banks and toy soldiers. Then a Wednesday, July 23rd sale will have advertising, books, militaria, autographs, ocean liner and historical items.

The June 24th auction will feature an outstanding comic character toy collection brimming with 1930s and 1940s Disney toys such as Rambling Mickey Wind-Up, Mickey Carousel (in the box), Steiff Mickey and Minnie dolls, Popeye toys (including Punching Popeye and Popeye Airplane), Superman toys, Felix the Cat, Charlie Chaplin, and many 1930s-1950s comic character watches.

Also sold on June 24th will be a single-owner collection of mechanical banks, pulled from a Long Island home, where they sat on shelves for 40 years. Examples will include higher-grade and hard-to-find banks like a Horse Race Bank, Johan and the Whale, a Kiltie bank, Lion and the Monkeys, Eagle and Eaglettes, Big Chief Moon, Speaking Dog, Boy on Trapeze and many more.

A tremendous assortment of die-cast toy vehicles will include boxed Dinkys, Corgis, Matchbox and early Tootsie toys. Toy soldiers will feature a large selection of Britains boxed sets and other makers. Trains will include European pieces from the Finger Lakes collection, Lionel, Marklin, Bing and MTH. Also sold will be ‘50s and ’60s model kits in boxes, many of them space-related.

Ocean liner memorabilia in the July 23rd sale will include models, prints and a chessboard made from actual Titanic wreck wood. Historical memorabilia will feature autographs, an early 20th century women’s suffrage movement needlework/tapestry, and many posters, to include a great selection of World War I, World War II, early movies, travel, advertising and other subjects.

Rare books will include first-editions by Jack London, an author-signed copy of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, an important archive of Burke Sweeney art, and a marvelous aviation collection that includes an autograph of Amelia Earhart and a typed letter signed by Arrigo Balboni with a piece of plane fabric from the racing Gee Bee that killed Cecil Allen in 1935.

Also due to be sold on July 23rd will be a Pope John II-worn Zuchetto (gifted to the consignor in 1998), an early Indian Princess cigar store statue, military memorabilia (including uniforms, patches, hats and more), an extensive collection of advertising memorabilia, a collection of Black Americana, and a wonderful Kate Greenaway (1883-1897) collection, to include a signed note.

Philip Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731; or, you can send an e-mail to Philip Weiss at [email protected]. For more information about Philip Weiss Auctions and the upcoming June 24th and July 23rd auctions, log on to