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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #1 
Some of the most eye catching and ornately engraved items were those that the bank note companies produced to promote themselves. These were essentially advertisements that were either given to potential clients or posted (usually framed) in prominent places for customers to see. These were intended to impress, but also used as tools for salesmen to point out vignettes and ornaments that a client might want to use on their own products. This type of material is cataloged in “The Catalog of Printers' Test Notes” by Roland Rollins. Although these broadsheets and such are not traditionally considered test notes, they often served the same promotional purpose.

I often come across these sheets when I'm searching for souvenir cards and forerunners. I thought it would be interesting to post some of these on their own thread. Here are some images I've captured recently -- they are not part of my collection.

ABN poster 8.5x11.jpg  ABNC ad card in Spanish.jpg  ABNC Cincinnati ad card.jpg  BABN sheet.jpg  Brooks Bank Note front.jpg  Continental ad card Washington.jpg  Homer Lee ad card Washington.jpg  Toppan Carpenter ad card.jpg 

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CurrencyDen1

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The British American broadside is a beauty!  The catalog number for this is BABG-141b.  The reason the alpha prefix is BABG is that B A Bank Note Group is the other name they went by.  Best guess with the board officers listed at the bottom is 1866.  The huge sheet is 130x208mm.  The BABG-141a red version of this note is 222x299mm!  The b variety is the most sought after, fetching $4000.

The Brooks broadside BBNG-112 was produced about 1895.  No mention of dimensions in the sale, which was about $200.

The Homer Lee is HOME-111a.  Both the "a" and "b" variety (green) are seen at auction somewhat regularly and fetch about $415.  No one has listed the dimensions on this note either!

The Toppan Carpenter broadside, TCC-111 is one of 3 known notes cataloged to date.  The firm was formed in 1845, so that's the oldest the note could be.  Again, no one is listing the dimensions for me!  (I'm not REALLY taking it personally).  Not a common note, yet sold for a bargain around $900 on last sale.

Some of the others may be business or trade cards, which I do not list in the catalogs.  Boy would that open the dam for a bunch of nice samples!  It is difficult to tell these sometimes unless the seller lists the dimensions or pronounces the piece a business card.  

I saved the best for last!  Greg is already listed in the acknowledgement section of the work in progress - 200 Years of North American Bank Note Promotional Sheets & Test Notes, a catalog tentatively set for release in March 2020.  He added a slew of British American Bank Note calendars and several other broadsides.  His latest find is his first post here!  The ABNC broadside sports the Philadelphia address and is an impressive new addition for the catalogs.  The new listing is ABNC-542, joining another broadside with the Philadelphia address.  Thanks Greg!

I add now another British American broadside, BABG-142a even larger than the beauty Greg listed.  It measures 254x381 and last sold for about $3500.
BABG-142a.jpg 



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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #3 
Oh my, that one I would love to see in person. What a superb layout!

You mention that you don't list trade cards or business cards in the catalog. Some of these promotional pieces are hard to categorize - how to you draw the line?
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CurrencyDen1

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Reply with quote  #4 
So true, many promotional pieces are difficult to decide whether to include in my catalogs or not.  If a promotional piece is already attributed with another group, it's a definite ban.  I am not an expert or active in other groups, so some pieces may slip through and need to be removed as found.  After all, the central point of my catalogs is to provide a standardized numbering system for numismatic pieces not presently cataloged.  I do not list business cards.  While there is a need & place for these to be cataloged somewhere, I don't because there is usually only lettering with no vignettes since they are so small.  At best, many have a company logo.  Trade cards COULD fit into the catalogs: larger with some vignettes.  Certainly they are promotional or advertising in nature.  Of course trade cards produced by security printing firms for other firms will not be included.

Here is the latest find (yesterday).  It is presently on auction here:
https://auction.archivesinternational.com/Republic-Bank-Note-Company-ND-ca-1920-30-s-Plate-Destruction-Final-Proof_i33446360

It is personally my favorite of the 4 known Republic promotional notes.
RBNC-131.jpg 

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CurrencyDen1

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Reply with quote  #5 
Here's my latest acquisition (today!) from Archives - Bradbury-Wilkinson William Hogarth test note.  
BW-282a, reverse “Industry and Idleness” .  This wide margin version is 151x239 mm, valued at $300.  Couldn't pass it up bidding it up to $56.50 with postage!
BW-282f.jpg  BW-282r.jpg 

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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #6 
I really like the ornate engraving on that one! You might want to also post it on this thread:
http://www.papermoneyforum.com/post/anyone-collect-test-notes-8298855
And I also saw that Republic BNC sheet on the AI sale. There's some nice stuff there this time.

On this forum you will tend to find a mindset that test notes follow the appearance of an actual banknote, while broadsheets and adverts are their own animals. Since banknotes are more specific to paper money, those threads usually show up on the main forum. If you do a search for "test notes" you'll find other topics.

Personally, I like them all!
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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #7 
Here are a couple of items that are usually referred to as "calendar headers" although I don't think I've seen any calendars with them attached. Perhaps there were other uses for them.

ABNC header ad.jpg 
Dominion BN header 2.jpg 



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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #8 
This one is currently on eBay -- BUT, unfortunately, it is only a photograph of the broadsheet. It's also a little cropped at the bottom.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Durand-Co-Sample-Sheet-1800s-Photograph/202696914387?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055359.m1431.l2649

Still, it's a beautiful sheet and I don't see it in the catalog.

Durand & Co.jpg 

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CurrencyDen1

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Reply with quote  #9 
The original note does exist.  DC-111 sold for $235.  Here is the real note.
DC-111.jpg 

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CurrencyDen1

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Reply with quote  #10 
The newest find of a bank note printer related firm producing promotional or test notes notes is Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company.  This makes 225 such firms attributed.
They focused on lithography, embossing, Albertype process printing, typesetting, copper and steel plate printing, and photolithography. At its height, Forbes Lithograph Manufacturing Company had over 70 presses located in Boston, New York, Chicago, and London, and staffed more than 600 workers, including 60 designers, artists, engravers, and lithograph artists. 
The only bank notes produced were during WWII, but those produced were of substantial quantity - 4,000,000,000+ Allied military notes....
FORB-101.jpg 

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GregAlex

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Reply with quote  #11 
Forbes! I've heard of them. Forbes put secret marks on the Allied Military Currency they printed, to distinguish it from AMC printed by the Russians. There's some great info about it on this old thread:
https://www.papermoneyforum.com/post/help-with-mpc-8597198?highlight=forbes+secret&pid=1296493793
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