No Philadelphia ANA auction would be complete without some Benjamin Franklin and William Penn flavor. They pair as an iconic duo of illustrious Philadelphians. The Kensington Collection features several Philadelphia and related items that embody the spirit of these two foundational Pennsylvanians. Kensington was formed over three decades by two separate collectors and their initial notes sold in January 2011 at Stack’s The 52 Collection: Part II sale. This is the fourth and final selection from this cabinet (additional lots are in the ANA/PNG Pre-Show session and our internet only session closing August 14, 2012). Though compact, the Kensington Collection notes offered here are rare to exceptional.
Appropriate to our front cover and introductory pages is a stunning Cataract City Bank, Paterson, New Jersey $10 note (lot 7155). Fire-brick red tinting and high condition make this rarity quite special. Central to the note is an oval framed William Penn Treaty with the Indians vignette, used on very few rare obsolete notes. Rare Philadelphia titles are also included in the collection. Issued notes from City Bank (lot 7219), Consolidation Bank (lot 7220), Girard Bank (lot 7221), Mechanics Bank (lot 7224), Bank of North America (lot 7226), Manufacturers and Mechanics Bank (lot 3354 in the ANA/PNG Pre-Show session), and the Bank of Penn Township (lot 7227) all share the distinction of being issued by banks that redeemed their obsolete notes for Federal Original Series notes; thus they are rarely seen at all. The Kensington examples also boast exemplary condition.
Other Kensington Collection notes are also rare and distinctive. Unique to our knowledge is a Friendly Association for Mutual Interest, Valley Forge $1 scrip dated 1826 (lot 7234) and last auctioned in 2003 for over $1,500. A stunning red tinted York Bank $5 issued note (lot 7235) boasts a custom town view from the period and was published as the plate note in Roger H. Durand’s Interesting Notes About Architecture. This prior pair of obsoletes is amazingly trumped by an exceptionally intricate and early Rhode Island note. A custom vignette by Abner Reed, ‘’Time is Money’’ with Benjamin Franklin standing in his library, graces the center of The Franklin Bank, Chepachet, Rhode Island $3 bill (lot 7236). This treasure is plated in Haxby and the Rhode Island books and is the only example we have seen.
Philadelphia financial history surrounding the Revolutionary War and the foundation of our American Republic revolves around a compact quartet of fiscal forms and documents (lots 7321-7324). From the Kensington Collection is a discovery Fourth of Exchange issued for the immense sum of 29,000 Livres Tournois (lot 7321). This exchange was signed by John Jay, our first Chief Justice, as President of the Continental Congress. The form was emitted to French playwright Caron de Beaumarchais (author of the Barber of Seville?) who was integrally involved with gun running for the American Revolution; ultimately this was payable in France by Benjamin Franklin as Minister for the United States. David Rittenhouse, our first Mint Director, signs an extremely rare Specie Form (lot 7322). Benjamin Franklin’s bold vanity signature graces a handwritten pay voucher to John Nicholson. The final historical document prior to our exceptional United States Federal section is a Franklin printed Privateer’s Form done at his chateau at Passy, outside Paris, while Minister Plenipotentiary to France (lot 7324).
The main ANA Currency session is Wednesday evening August 8, 2012 at 5:00 P.M. in room 109. The 917 lots featured in our superbly crafted catalogue have been cataloged and produced by our team with an emphasis on elegant presentation and historical research worthy of their beauty and rarity. Featured collections include Chester L. Krause Postage Envelopes, Encased Postage from the Collection of Steve Tanenbaum (stellar condition and rarities), Stuyvesant Collection (exceptional New York City obsolete notes), Kensington Collection, and the Tremont Collection of Early Massachusetts Currency. Federal offerings are highlighted by The Watermelon Collection and important selections from the Anderson Collection. Both collections feature stunning rarities not often seen at public sale. Matt Quinn, Peter Treglia and I, plus the entire Stack’s Bowers Galleries auction team look forward to seeing you at the auction. We are here to assist you with your bidding needs whether live, on the telephone or through our interactive internet bidding platform. Good luck in the sale and may all your bids be successful.