RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif., — Early American History Auctions has launched a new Internet auction site for its latest Colonial currency auction closing July 24. The site was launched for the benefit of clients seeking a world-wide community of American history collectors. As a result, no color catalog was printed for the 79-lot sale.
Early in the sale bidders favored a colorful 30 shillings note "Printed by B. Franklin." It was printed in two passes of Franklin’s press, one in red and the other in black. Each time a different color ink was used the first printed sheet would have to be lifted and hung up to dry, before it could be placed back down for the text of the second color to be added. Printing in two colors was more than double the amount of physical work and time needed to accomplish the job, for the printer. Thus, the use of two colors was rarely incorporated into the currency design.
The note, printed on Benjamin Franklin’s own press in 1760, is expected to sell for $2,500 to $3,000.
A Continental "six dollars" note printed in Philadelphia on Nov. 2, 1776, is expected to bring between $1,500 to $2,000. The uncirculated note has superior paper quality and red and brown signatures and serial number.
The auction uncovered a number of scarce and interesting pieces of currency, including a Georgia Colonial 20 shillings note from 1773. The note, typeset printed in deep black and red, is expected to sell for $3,500 to $4,000.
One of the top lots is No. 32, another Georgia rarity. The five shillings note printed Oct. 16, 1786, retains a vibrant, bold appearance and carries a pre-auction estimate fo $6,000 to $8,000.
Early American History Auction’s Internet only auction closes at 5 p.m. PST July 24. Bids may be placed at www.earlyamerican.com.