Sensational Pennsylvania First Charter $50 to be Featured in March 2021 Auction

Our March 2021 Las Vegas sale features an exciting array of United
States currency, from marbled edge Continental notes to high denomination
Federal Reserve Notes. One of my personal favorites in the sale is lot 3527
from the Tarzan Collection, an
1875 $50 National from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in PMG Choice Extremely Fine 45

Track and Price’s census reports this $50 as the earliest and
the only first charter note from this Allegheny County issuing bank. First
charter fifties have always been heralded rarities, with only 103 documented in
the National Banknote Census. Only 14 are listed as XF or better, and two of
those are in museums. The majority of the remaining 12 have limited auction
histories and just one other example even has a picture in the database.

The note displays art-like appeal and intricate details which
are typical of the era. One would almost want to frame this piece and display
it as art given the Americana motifs. At left is a highly detailed design of
Washington crossing the Delaware before the Battle of Trenton on December 26th,
1776. The battle would go down in history and American folklore as a dicey
surprise attack which saw Washington’s forces surprise and defeat Hessian
forces under the command of Johann Gottlieb Rall. At right is a design of
George Washington praying, with Liberty and Justice represented in the
background in front of the Stars and Stripes.

The reverse of the note depicts the “Embarkation of the
Pilgrims” from a mural by Robert W. Weir. At left is the seal of the state of
Pennsylvania, with a bald eagle at right. The border design is in dark green
ink while the central design is in dark black ink. I encourage bidders to
consider this opportunity carefully as it may be another 15 years before another
First Charter $50 makes an auction appearance. This mid-grade example offers
all the appeal one could ask for at the assigned grade. It is estimated at
$75,000 – $125,000 and is on our website for pre-auction viewing and bidding.

Our March 2021 Las Vegas auction is currently posted to our
website for viewing. The Currency sale will take place on Thursday, March 25 at
2:00 PM PT. To consign your U.S. paper money to future sales, contact a
consignment specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit For more
information on viewing lots or for assistance in registering to bid, email to:
[email protected].

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