Fascinating Ephemera to Cross the Block at November Expo Auction

Including One of Three Known 1795 $1000 U.S. Treasury Bonds

“Numismatic-adjacent” material is a personal point of interest for me as a collector, and I relish the opportunity to handle items that fall just beyond the scope of coins, paper money, tokens, and medals. Such ephemera can often have a deep, intriguing history and, under the right circumstances, bring significant premiums due to their obscurity and scarcity. Both the internet-only and live sessions of our November 2023 U.S. Currency Auction feature unique examples of numismatic-related paper ephemera that are sure to pique the interest of paper money and exonumia collectors alike.

The internet-only session offers two lottery tickets from the late 1790s and early 1810s. One is from Boston, Massachusetts, issued to raise funds for the purpose of repairing Plymouth Beach (lot 21474). The other originates from Reading, Pennsylvania, produced to raise money toward building a stone bridge over the Schuylkill River (lot 21476). Also offered is an advertising note “for silver & copper-tipped boots and shoes” (lot 21479), a transportation ticket authorizing the travel of a Confederate soldier in the Tennessee Army during the Civil War (lot 21477), and a detailed vignette of former Secretary of State William L. Marcy that appeared on 1880 and 1891 $1000 Silver Certificates (lot 21481). Also interesting are currency notes from Union Volunteer Infantry forces in Michigan during the tail-end of the Civil War (lot 21475), scrip from a California mining company in the 1860s (lot 21478), and a 1873 Sewerage Certificate Bond from the D.C. Board of Public Works (lot 21471).

The most impressive of these paper offerings is found in the live session: a scarce 1795 $1000 Treasury Bond (lot 20001). The purpose of the bond, issued by the United States Register’s Office to the merchant firm “Arthur Cramond & Co. of London, was to bolster public credit and address the redemption of national debt. Significantly, the bond was signed by Joseph Nourse, who served as the first Register of the Treasury from 1781 to 1829. The notary seal of Robert Henry Dunkin is affixed on the bottom left of the bond.

Graded Choice VF-35 by PMG, the bond measures 7.25 by 13 inches and is adorned with elegant signatures and calligraphy in bold ink. The cataloger of the bond remarks that it is one of only three that they are aware of and the first the firm has ever handled. The November U.S. Currency auction is sure to attract spirited bidding, and I look forward to following the action on the many “numismatic-adjacent” items crossing the block in both sessions.

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