The finest known 1775 Marbled Border $20 Continental Currency (Fr. CC-9) note has been consigned to the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Official U.S. Currency Auction of the Whitman Winter Expo this November.
A year before our country’s Declaration of Independence and 86 years prior to the creation of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Continental Congress put forth the first anti-counterfeiting feature applied to federally-issued paper money. The technology for this feature was devised by Benjamin Franklin, who furnished the governing body with the paper for the first series of paper money ever authorized by the Congress.
The Series 1775 $20 Continental Currency (Fr. CC-9) is adorned with a marbled color border on the left-most face of the note, boasting swirls of vivid reds, blues, blacks, and yellows. This polychrome color paper serves as an attractive and unique design feature, as well as the primary anti-counterfeiting device conceived by Franklin. His ancillary, but similarly consequential, contribution to the $20 Continental Currency Series was the pair of motifs framed within emblems on the face and back of the note. A human face blowing wind across waves is depicted on the obverse (surrounded by the motto “Vi Concitate” or “Driven by Force”), and ships sailing beneath a large anthropomorphized sun are seen on the reverse (flanked by the phrase “Cessante Vento Conquiescemus” or “When the Storm Dies Down, We Will Rest”).
We have been privileged to accept the finest known example of the series in the Boston Gallery as part of a spectacular consignment made by a long-time client of the firm. The note, certified as “Choice About Uncirculated 58 EPQ Star” by PMG, has a provenance that can be traced back to our 2001 (Stack’s) sale of the Poor Richard’s Collection. Ten years later, the example crossed the block at our 2011 Chicago ANA sale, where it sold for $69,000. In its first appearance in just over 12 years, the piece is sure to attract much attention from advanced American paper currency collectors. The note would be the crown of any paper money collection, and the Boston team will be watching eagerly as the example heads to auction this November.
For more information on our November 2023 Expo Auction visit StacksBowers.com. To consign to a 2024 Showcase auction or to one of our ongoing Collectors Choice Online auctions call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected].