Welcome to our third offering from the most extensive, most rarity-laden collection of paper money by design types ever formed or presented at auction. The first part, sold by us in March, is now an indelible part of numismatic history. The second part was held as part of the World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia in August and saw record prices with a realization totaling over the high estimates. If the term "once in a lifetime opportunity" is applicable in numismatics, here is the ideal example!
This collection is the result of many years of careful study, connoisseurship, and patience by Joel R. Anderson. As have the majority of those who have formed great numismatic collections, Joel began his interest as a teenager.
As was related in the first catalog, by 1963, working with his older brother Charles, Joel was quite versed in the basics. In that year in Washington, DC, long-sealed vaults in the Treasury Building were opened. Revealed were thousands of 1,000-coin bags of Morgan and Peace silver dollars dating back to 1878, including key issues and rarities, many from the Carson City Mint. The Andersons were on hand and purchased a large quantity for face value, as did many other collectors and dealers. By March 1965 the coins had been dispersed, except for some Carson City coins held back for later sales.
Behind the scenes the Andersons continued their involvement, eventually adding a line of coin supplies to their other businesses. The Anderson Companies, based in Florence, Alabama, became important in many fields ranging from entertainment to retailing, including as the main supplier of goods to WalMart during its growth era under Sam Walton. In 2003 Whitman Publishing Company was purchased from St. Martin’s Press. The rest is history. Since that time Whitman has issued over 300 different books on a variety of numismatic subjects. Among many other distinctions, Whitman is the official book supplier to members of the American Numismatic Association.
In the meantime, Joel pursued his varied interests in numismatics, forming a great collection of coins by design types and entering the realm of paper money, a field that has continued to be a specialty for a long time. He has worked with leading dealers in the field, has attended conventions, and has become deeply involved in other ways. In the publishing realm, his firm greatly supports the numismatic hobby by producing many coin reference books and by hosting the popular Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expos, held three times a year and always among the most popular of such events.
In forming his collection of large-size federal currency Joel had as an objective obtaining the finest-condition example of every major large-size federal paper money design from the first widely circulated issues of 1861 to the 1920s. In addition, within a given type, major changes of certain other features (such as Treasury seals) were collected.
By careful study and by reaching to acquire rarities when they became available, he set many price records at auction, including the first million-dollar note, the famous $1000 "Grand Watermelon Note" offered in the present sale. In numismatics, yesterday’s records have a way of becoming today’s bargains over a long period of years, and since then other notes have crossed that barrier.
Each note has been kept with care over the years. PCGS Currency has been tapped to certify each piece, providing a basis that is understandable not only to long-term specialists, but to newcomers as well.
Q. David Bowers created narrative and descriptions in the first two catalogs and in the present one, following a framework laid out by Peter Treglia, Brad Ciociola, and other Stack’s Bowers Galleries experts, in consultation with Joel. As in our first two auctions, this sale features diverse notes of various series, from popular and affordable (as many types are easily enough obtained) to incredible rarities.
Part III includes many landmarks in addition to the $1000 "Grand Watermelon." The sale starts with the 1861 $10 Demand Note with "for the" handwritten, the very finest of only five known examples, one of which is in a museum. As we have done for all other notes, its provenance is given, a list often including great names of the past, now the Anderson name, and then yours. We have also added information about the history of each series. As a suite of catalogs, when completed a set of the Joel R. Anderson Collection sales will be an essential part of any numismatic library.
Legal Tender Notes include many favorite vignettes such as those nicknamed Woodchopper, Jackass, and Bison. The Spread Eagle note, Lot 3013, is an outstanding example of what is one of the most dramatic designs in American currency. While the Anderson collection is memorable for having the rarest of the rare, there are many that will be very affordable to a wide audience.
Interest-Bearing Notes come next—a series so rare that most collections lack even a single specimen. The 1879 $10 Refunding Certificate, Lot 3024, the only one in private hands, is one of many "now or never" opportunities in our series of Anderson Collection sales. Silver Certificates include the $1 "Educational Note," History Instructing Youth, one of the most popular 20th century designs—affordable and beautiful. The $2 and $5 "Educational Notes" follow.
As detailed in our August sale, Silver Certificate of Deposit Notes, the 1878 and 1880 predecessors to the regular Silver Certificate series, are another rarest of the rarest issues. This sale includes two varieties of the ultra-rare "triple signature" notes. Series of 1890 Treasury or Coin Notes with their ornate backs are memorable in this sale, including the mentioned $1000 "Grand Watermelon Note" that made history years ago. Our congratulations go in advance to its next owner!
Gold Certificates are next, followed by a selection of National Bank Notes. The sale concludes with two fabulous double denomination notes—each worth of a special exhibit in a museum.