Our official United States Currency auction for the ANA
World’s Fair of Money will feature an uncut sheet of (4) Fr. 588 $5 1902 Red
Seal Serial Number 1 Notes from the Citizens National Bank (Charter #8990) of
Macon, Georgia, graded Choice About Uncirculated 58 by PMG.
This uncut sheet of Macon #1 Red Seals is perhaps the best ever
National banknote discovery from the state of Georgia. What makes this
discovery even more exciting is that the existence of this sheet has never even
been rumored. It came into the Stack’s Bowers Galleries New York City office
and was consigned without any of the "fanfare" that usually precedes
the emergence of such a numismatic treasure. Our August ANA auction will be the
first time this sheet has ever been on the market, giving everyone a fair
chance to obtain this top-tier numismatic rarity.
Seasoned collectors will instantly understand the importance
of such a sheet. But for the uninitiated and statisticians, consider the
following: According to the NBN Census, there are just 31 uncut sheets of Red Seals
known. Of that total, only seven sheets bear serial number 1. Several thousand
banks issued Red Seals, yet the number of documented surviving number 1 sheets
is just seven.
From 1945 until mid-2018 there was just a single serial
number 1 Red Seal known to exist from Georgia. It is a lovely example from Fort
Valley whose whereabouts are currently unknown to your cataloger since it was
sold several years ago. In late 2018 Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold a single low
grade serial #1 Red Seal from Hawkinsville. That piece brought $21,600.
Collectors are also fortunate to have an ironclad provenance
on this sheet. It was saved by Eugene Stetson, the signing cashier. His
biography is quite impressive and easily found online, but some highlights are
that in 1905 Eugene W. Stetson founded The Citizens Bank in Macon, Georgia.
Reportedly, he was the youngest president of a U.S. bank at the time. He was
recruited in 1916 by the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, the largest bank
in the U.S. to develop the finance business in the South. In 1919, Eugene
Stetson organized the public offering of the Coca-Cola Company and went on the
Board of Directors and the Executive Committee where he served until his death
in 1959; he was the longest serving member of the Board and of the Executive
Committee when he died. At the request of Averill Harriman, Eugene Stetson in
the early 1930s became Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Illinois
Central Railroad and kept the railroad out of bankruptcy during the Depression.
Stetson rose to become the President, CEO and Chairman of the Guaranty Trust
Company. Before his death he organized the purchase of the J.P. Morgan Bank,
which didn’t have a lot of capital, but had a very good management team. He
died three months after the purchase closed.
Our estimate is quite conservative. Don’t fall in love with
that range and expect to walk away with what will undoubtedly be a front cover
item for as long as banknotes are collected.
The Stack’s Bowers Galleries August ANA will be posted to
our website for bidding within the next few weeks. To consign your United
States and World paper money to a future sale, contact a consignment specialist
at 800-458-4646 or visit StacksBowers.com. For more information on viewing lots
or for assistance in registering to bid, email your inquiry to:[email protected].