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Newman 1890 $100 Watermelon leads

Marking its auction debut, a $100 1890 Watermelon Note from the Eric P. Newman Collection—one of just 35 $100 Watermelon Notes known to exist—is expected to bring $150,000+ in Heritage Auctions’ Central States Numismatic Society Currency Signature Auction, April 22-28 in Chicago.

“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.’”

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 being offered at public auction for the first time.

Appearing for the first time at auction will be this $100 Watermelon Note from the Eric P. Newman Collection.

Appearing for the first time at auction will be this $100 Watermelon Note from the Eric P. Newman Collection.

Reverse of the $100 Watermelon note featuring its namesake, the watermelon-like zeroes.

Reverse of the $100 Watermelon note featuring its namesake, the watermelon-like zeroes.

A $50/$100 double denomination Brown Back from Kansas City, Mo., 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 1945.

A rare double denomination $50/$100 being offered for the first time in 70 years.

A rare double denomination $50/$100 being offered for the first time in 70 years.

While the obverse is denominated as a $50, the reverse is that of the $100.

While the obverse is denominated as a $50, the reverse is that of the $100.

Many examples of the Midwestern frontier obsolete bank notes and scrip from the Newman collection are described as exceptionally historic and of the highest rarity, including a $1 note issued by Clark, Gruber & Co. from Leavenworth, Kan. It’s estimated at $25,000+.

This $1 Clark, Gruber & Co. note is not only rare, it’s also linked to the Denver Mint.

This $1 Clark, Gruber & Co. note is not only rare, it’s also linked to the Denver Mint.

“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,” according to the cataloger. “That very Denver office would later become the Denver Mint.”

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, is estimated at $25,000+, and an 1860 serial No. 1 State Bank of Iowa $1 from Dubuque “is considered the greatest of all Iowa Obsoletes for both its rarity and outstanding condition.” It’s estimated to bring  $10,000+.

The only Minnesota “Santa Claus” note known to exist.

The only Minnesota “Santa Claus” note known to exist.

A Superb Gem $2 proof from Madison, Wis., printed on India paper, features a full color portrait of James Madison flanked by a farmer and an Indian (est. $4,000+).

Additional highlights from the CSNS Currency Signature Auction include:

• 1928 $1,000 Gold Certificate, PCGS About New 50.

• 1935B $5 Silver Certificate, PCGS Gem New 66 PPQ.

• 1775 $20 Continental Currency “displaying a unique marbled-edge unique to the date and denomination.”

• 1934 $5,000 PMG Choice Uncirculated 64EPQ.

Items being sold are from the collection of the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, a Missouri not-for-profit corporation, and have been assembled over a period of 90 years. According to cataloger, “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.”

For additional information, visit www.HA.com.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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