An unidentified East Coast collector kicked off his U.S. large-size paper money collection by buying two of the rarest U.S. type notes for $2.1 million each.
Bought were the only 1891 $1,000 Treasury Note known in private hands and the only 1863 $100 Gold Certificate known to be available to collectors, each unique in collector hands.
The private sale was brokered by Heritage Auction Galleries.
Both notes came from the Dr. and Mrs. Edward Dauer collection and were published on the cover of the Dauers' 2003 book American History as Seen Through Currency, published by Heritage.
The 1891 $1,000 Treasury Note, Krause-Lemke No. 1017, Friedberg 379c, is one of only two notes known with this design. The other, which has the same overall design but different signatures, is in the Smithsonian Institution collection. The Dauers acquired the note in the mid-1980s, and its first recorded public appearance was as part of the Albert A. Grinnell collection sold in 1944 when it brought $1,425.
Only three 1863 $100 Gold Certificates are known, and two are held by the Smithsonian. The remaining example, KL-810, Fr. 1166c, stands as the highest denomination 1863 Gold Certificate available to collectors because the only known surviving examples of higher denominations of this series are also in the Smithsonian?s collection.
According to Heritage, the anonymous buyer of these notes has indicated that he will attempt to complete a collection of large-size U.S. notes by type and design now that he has two of the key pieces.
In a market context where surpassing $1 million for a note at auction is front-page news, to surpass $2 million is significant, and to do it twice in the same transaction even more so.
The previous record high price paid for a note was $1,092,500, which was paid in October 2005 in a Lyn Knight public auction.
The news was released June 17 during the International Paper Money Show in Memphis, Tenn.
At the public auction conducted by Lyn Knight Currency Auctions in conjunction with that show, bidders pushed two U.S. type notes past the $1 million mark and a third to over $860,000.
Heritage plans to auction additional notes from the Dauers' collection at its Long Beach auction Sept. 13-16.
For more information, contact Heritage Auction Galleries, 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219-3941; phone (800) 872-6467; Web site www.heritageauctions.com.