Sunday, March 29, 2015

$100 1890 Watermelon Note expected to bring $150,000+

A $100 1890 Watermelon Note from the prestigious Eric P. Newman Collection is expected to bring $150,000+ in Heritage Auctions' Central States Numismatic Society Currency Signature Auction April 22-28 in Chicago. The banknote is just one of 35 known to exist.

Watermelon note

The Watermelon Treasury Notes, so named because the zeros printed on the backs resemble watermelons, are highly sought-after by collectors. The Newman example is one of the very few to have survived circulation, and is being offered at public auction for the first time.

$100 Treasury Note

"The coveted Eric P. Newman Collection pedigree has set the standard in coins and we expect a similar response when these rare and truly historic pieces of currency are finally brought to public auction – in some cases for the first time in their history," said Dustin Johnston, Director of Currency Auctions at Heritage. "This entire auction is set to redefine the phrase "fresh to market."

A $50/$100 Double Denomination Brown Back from Kansas City, Missouri will be offered for the first time in 70 years (est. $100,000+). This is one of only two known $50/$100 Double Denominations, and the first to be sold at public auction since June of 1945.


Many examples of the Midwestern frontier obsolete banknotes and scrip from the Newman collection are exceptionally historic and of the highest rarity, including a $1 note issued by Clark, Gruber & Co. from Leavenworth, Kansas; it is considered a giant of the entire Obsolete note canon (est. $25,000+). This 1862 note directly links the founding of the bank and note issuance in Leavenworth to the eventual office in Denver that printed $5 Denver Gold demand notes known as proofs and remainders. That very Denver office would later become the Denver Mint.

Santa Claus banknote

The only Minnesota "Santa Claus" note known to exist, a $1 vignetted type note features the Type III style Saint Nick prominently in the center (est. $25,000+) and a majestic serial No. 1 American $1 banknote from Dubuque, Iowa, from 1860 is considered the greatest of all Iowa Obsoletes for both its rarity and outstanding condition (est. $10,000+). A Superb Gem $2 proof from Madison, Wisconsin, printed on India paper features a full-color portrait of James Madison flanked by a farmer and an Indian (est. $4,000+).

Items being sold are from the extensive collection of Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (a Missouri not-for-profit corporation) and have been assembled over a period of 90 years. Proceeds of the sale of all items will be used exclusively for supplementing the Society's museum operations and scholarly numismatic research efforts and for the benefit of other not-for-profit institutions selected by Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for public purposes.

Highlights from additional collections offered during the CSNS Currency Signature Auction include, but are not limited to:
  • A stunning $1,000 1928 Gold Certificate, About New 50, PCGS.
  • A Gem New 66 PPQ, PCGS, $5 1935B Silver Certificate, tied with only one other example at the very pinnacle of the PCGS census.
  • A handsome, high-grade, $20 1775 Continental Currency, displaying a unique marbled-edge unique to the date and denomination.
  • An uncirculated $5,000 1934 Note, graded Choice Uncirculated 64 EPQ, PMG, a stand-out note with truly exceptional paper quality.

This auction will open for bidding soon at