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Smythe Memphis sale at $4.5 million

A small-size $1 1928D star Silver Certificate and a Montgomery $1,000 Confederate note topped Smythe
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A small-size $1 1928D star Silver Certificate and a Montgomery $1,000 Confederate note topped Smythe?s July 5-7 auction in Memphis, Tenn., at the annual International Paper Money Show.

Montgomery notes were the initial issues of the Confederate States of America before its capital was moved from Montgomery, Ala., to Richmond, Va. Four denominations were part of the Montgomery issue: $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. All are highly sought.


This particular Montgomery $1,000 was from the Dr. Douglas Ball collection. Before his death, Ball had graded it extremely fine plus, cut canceled. Memphis sale catalogers called it very fine, cut canceled. It realized $60,375.

The 1928D $1 Silver Certificate is the only star, or replacement, example that has been graded uncirculated by a third-party grading firm. It is graded Gem Uncirculated-66 EPQ by Paper Money Guaranty.

Star notes were issued in place of notes damaged during production. Compared to regular notes, few star notes were produced. Even fewer have survived the years.

Smythe sale catalogers said about 15-20 1928D star Silver Certificates exist, tending to be in fine condition when offered for sale. This prime example sold for $60,375.

Leading the large-size type offerings was a 1918 $500 Federal Reserve Note from the Dallas district graded Extremely Fine-45 EPQ by PCGS Currency. This piece was previously part of the Dave Rickey collection, which was sold in October 2005 by Lyn Knight. This time out it brought $43,700.

A 32-note uncut sheet of small-size Series 1953 $5 Legal Tender Notes, described by catalogers as the first sheet of the first run of 1953 $5 Legal Tenders. The last note on the sheet was autographed by the official signers, Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey and U.S. Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest. Overall the sheet was graded almost uncirculated with some corner bends and a trace of paper clip rust on note No. 1. The condition is almost irrelevant, catalogers said, ?as you can never obtain a better example of this unique sheet.? It sold for $42,550.

An obsolete note from the Herb and Martha Schingoethe collection realized the next highest price in Smythe?s sale. It was a $5 issued by the Arsenal of the Nauvoo Legion Association, Nauvoo, Ill., and dated Oct. 8, 1844. Notably, it bears the signature of Brigham Young. Graded extremely fine by catalogers, it realized $32,200. Another Nauvoo note, a $1 issued by the Nauvoo city treasurer, dated Jan. 1, 1842, and described as fine, sold for $20,700.

Overall, Smythe?s Memphis auction realized $4,479,893. All prices reported here include buyer fees of 15 percent for most bidders and 20 percent for eBay Live bidders.

For more information, about this or future Smythe auctions, contact Smythe, 2 Rector St., 12th Floor, New York, NY 10006; telephone (800) 622-1880.

Images and prices realized are also available at the firm?s Web site at