Auction Preview: Bunker Hill Bank of Charlestown, Massachusetts $2 Proof

Our upcoming November Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo in Baltimore will feature a number of fascinating obsolete banknotes. One such note that I’ve found to be interesting is a rare $2 Proof from the Bunker Hill Bank of Charlestown, Massachusetts. 

The note (Haxby MA-470 G18) was produced by the New England Bank Note Company of Boston using the Patent Stereotype Steel Plate process. It is printed in black on white India paper and features a depiction of Liberty seated with a shield and staff in a die vignette at the left. At center is a vignette featuring the Bunker Hill Monument. Featured in a frame in the right end of the note is the portrait of General Joseph Warren. The notes were issued during the 1830s-40s.

The Bunker Hill Bank was founded in 1825 and eventually became the Bunker Hill National Bank of Charlestown, Massachusetts. The bank is named for nearby Bunker Hill and the famous Battle of Bunker Hill fought in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War on June 17, 1775. While the battle resulted in a technical victory for the British their losses were heavy with over 200 killed and 800 wounded. Colonial forces were encouraged by their success in repelling two full assaults by a well organized and vastly more experienced fighting force. 

The colonial casualties were around 450 with 140 killed. Among them was General Joseph Warren who is featured on the $2 Proof. Warren was president of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and had received a commission to Major General on June 14. During the battle he deferred command to more experienced officers and served in the battle as a volunteer private. He was killed during the third and final British assault. 

In 1842 the Bunker Hill Monument was completed. It is a 221-foot granite obelisk that commemorates the first major battle of the American Revolution. The monument is part of the National Historical Park in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The $2 Proof from the bank we offer in our November auction grades About Uncirculated. It displays some minor traces of previous mounting on the back but is otherwise well printed on bright India paper. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,000 to $3,000. 

We are currently accepting consignments for our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo in November, as well as other auction events in 2016. To include your items in one of our auctions, contact a consignment director at 800-458-4646 or visit our website at For currency related questions please contact Peter Treglia at [email protected] or Brad Ciociola at [email protected]

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