Exceptional Bank of New York Serial Number 1 “Lazy Deuce” Offered in May Rarities Auction with Sotheby’s

An exceptional Serial Number 1 Original Series “Lazy Deuce” from the Bank of New York, National Banking Association of New York, New York will be offered in Stack’s Bowers and Sotheby’s upcoming Rarities Auction on May 20 in New York City.

This fantastic National Currency note has been graded and encapsulated as Very Fine 25 by PCGS and boasts bright paper, dark inks and a boldly printed red overprint that beautifully presents the all-important Serial Number 1 above the Treasury Seal at top right. This example is one of just four Serial Number 1 Lazy Deuces known from the state of New York and one of only around 40 from the more than 1,000 National Banks across the country that issued the note type.

The “Lazy Deuce” is among the most popular design types in all of U.S. currency, ranking #4 in the survey for The 100 Greatest American Currency Notes. The design is famous for the large numeral 2 on its side, spanning from upper left to center, a style unique on federally issued currency but utilized during the obsolete banking era. An allegorical vignette at left, known as Stars and Stripes, depicts a young woman seated by the sea and holding an American flag. The back features a historical vignette with a detailed scene of Sir Walter Raleigh Introducing Tobacco to America. The state seal appears at left while an eagle is seen at right.

The Bank of New York traces its roots back to 1784. Its constitution was written by Alexander Hamilton and he was largely responsible for its early success. The bank was opened with a capitalization of $500,000 and was located at the Walton House in Lower Manhattan. In 1792 the bank became the first corporate stock to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange and was also the first to issue a loan ($200,000) to the U.S. Government. The bank received its national charter, #1393, on July 7, 1865, and issued a total of $22,521,850 in National Currency before being liquidated on July 27, 1922.

This note is lot #39 of the Rarities Auction and carries an estimate of $35,000 to $55,000. The Stack’s Bowers and Sotheby’s Rarities Auction will be held May 20 beginning at 11:00AM EST. View this and the rest of the Rarities Auction at

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