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Berny
Here are a couple of very nice "proofs." Tell us what you think; that is, are they contemporary or proprietary proofs or something else yet?






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sellitstore
are they contemporary or proprietary proofs

Both sure look like proprietary proofs in this scan but the NBN imprint is a bit unusual for ABN proprietary proof, but not unheard of. The card looks modern, and these are clearly do not look like they are on India paper on card, but an in person examination would be needed to confirm this. They simply do not have the look of the genuine old materials used for proof notes.

$3000+ per note is quite a bit if they are modern, and there could be more.

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Andres
They look commemoratives issued by the ABN company not so long ago. If I remember correctly 100 different obselete notes in a green book.
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Tookybandit
I love the $10!
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Berny
Well, the $10 just went for $4406 at Heritage:

"Salem, IL- The Salem Bank $10 November 5, 1860 G10 Proof
A simply spectacular Proof which combines extreme rarity with superlative condition. The Haxby reference notes that circulating notes were printed for this bank, but none were actually issued to the bank because it failed before any could be sent. Consequently, only Proofs should exist for this institution. The Haxby work, however, lists both the $5 and the $10 notes as SENC and NDA (No Description Available) with the printer as the American Bank Note Company. This newly discovered Proof, however, was printed by the National Bank Note Company. It combines a variety of design devices along with ornate counters to create a unified whole that is one of the prettiest designs that we have seen on any Proof note. Mounted on cardstock and in a virtually perfect state of preservation, this piece offers collectors the highest degree of both rarity and grade. PCGS Superb Gem New 68PPQ. Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000."

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Tookybandit
For the buyer's sake, I hope the consigner doesn't have a big stack of these.
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sellitstore
Again, I haven't seen these in person but they sure look modern in these scans. This could be a headache for PCGS and/or Heritage in the future but one that they have both dealt with before. In this unscientific poll, most viewers see these as modern. This does not look like a difficult call. Unfortunately, some of the biggest buyers of these don't really know the material and rely largely on Heritage and/or PCGS attributions.

This "very likely unique" proof note sold in Heritage last night for $3290. Heritage doesn't speak to me or they would have known that I bought another example earlier this year. They don't speak to many other collectors, too. Recently deceased master collector of proof obsoletes, Peter Mayer, didn't speak to them about his holdings, either, so their proclamations using "unique" should certainly be viewed with skepticism.
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Berny
The "very likely unique" proof note statement by Heritage regarding the Pottsville $100 note is really inexcusable since there were two sold at Christie's in 1990. This is especially true since Greg has digitized the whole Christie's catalog.

Getting back to the original issue of the posting, here is the corresponding $5 "proof" (IL-730-G8) sold by Heritage in 2008 for $1265 and described as:

"Salem, IL- The Salem Bank $5 Nov. 5, 1860 G8 Proof. This still-born bank has only two denominations listed in Haxby and both have the "NDA" acronym, No Description Available. Circulating notes were printed, but not issued to the bank. They were all destroyed leaving behind only Proofs. None of the Proofs had surfaced by the 1988 publishing date of the Haxby opus. This is our first encounter with a Proof from this bank and it is a beauty grading PCGS Superb Gem New 67PPQ mounted on card."




It is interesting how Knight described these two notes in 2002 when they were still attached as a sheet:

"IL. Salem. Salem Bank. $5, $10. Sheet of two by ABNC Previously no date available and both SENC Appears to be a later proof; we say contemporary proof sheet. There is no other way to get these. G8 and G10. Proof (1,000-1,500)"


Most people voted these two "proofs" to be proprietary and gave the usual reasons. One additional criteria that I find useful is imperfections in the printing. Proprietary proofs are pulled from plates that are at least 150 years old and have developed imperfections like pits, rust spots, scratches, etc. Thus the first proofs pulled from these plates typically show these kind of imperfections. If future impressions are made for say souvenir programs these imperfections are typically removed.

Looking at these two notes, especially the $5, one easily sees many black spots that were created from pits in the plate. Here is an example that shows these imperfections on an actual plate:



Thus, I believe that these proofs are proprietary (not contemporary). They were probably tested out for potential use in a souvenir program because there were no known notes from this bank. However, I am not aware of their use in any of the souvenir programs. They actually might be unique and therefore have significant value since they might be the only survivors for the bank. Since I have not finished my census of printing plates, I cannot make a strong statement on whether the plate still exists or not. However, most of the plates that were used for souvenir programs were supposedly destroyed after the ABNC made high-resolution images of the plates.

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sellitstore
So what do you figure my proof sheet is worth? $3000 anybody?

And how about a color Illinois sheet with ABN imprint? or VT? All are rare or unique but modern with the potential to have more produced. For that reason, I've never been comfortable about these, no matter how rare.







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Berny
Excellent point Russell!!!!

I presume your Salem sheet is NOT the one from the 2002 Knight auction and that you paid a lot less than Knight's estimate?

As you say, the TPG's and Heritage should be protecting us from these issues by having correct attributions.

So if I had started posting this a few days earlier (like my other post), could this have protected the buyer of the $10 Salem note?

Edited to add: Given the Heritage precedence, your sheet should go for at least $7000, as long as it is slabbed.

I also once got one of those notes "face + tint available" after I bought a similar sheet from that "other person."
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NiceCurrency
This is why I would much rather have an issued obsolete, the proofs never circulated, there's 80 billion different classifications and quite frankly they don't do much for me to warrant their price tags, not to mention there are potentially an unlimited supply out there
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sellitstore
My sheet is on oversized card. I cropped it for the photo. Not shown on the edge is a ball point pen written plate number. It's a second "known" example. I don't think that I have any others but didn't discover this one until this morning. The ones in your post looked familiar, so I checked my pile of 1970s-90s ABN production materials and there it was.

I see these items as somewhat similar to some great numismatic rarities, at least potentially. They could be like 1884 and 1885 Proof dollars or a 1913 Liberty nickel, if no more are produced and there's a good chance that will be the case. Numismatists of the early 20th century saw these coins as contrived or manufactured rarities. The market today views them differently. However, these should never be offered as 19th century items, because they aren't. They are very limited "mintage" modern editions and the promotion and market will determine their value. Questionable rarities, like the 1913 nickel, seem to bring comparable money to the bona fide rarities, with real historical significance, like the Brasher Doubloon.

Will the date of manufacture of these rare proof notes matter or not in the future? In some cases, it doesn't seem to matter now.

So if I had started posting this a few days earlier (like my other post), could this have protected the buyer of the $10 Salem note?

Maybe. It would have helped if I located my example, earlier, too, although it looks like nearly everyone correctly identified these as modern. The real question seems to be "Does it matter if they are modern?" As a collector, to me it does, but this isn't always the case with the big money buyers.

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gsalex


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They look commemoratives issued by the ABN company not so long ago. If I remember correctly 100 different obselete notes in a green book.




Neither of these are part of the ABNC American Paper Money Collection of obsolete reprints, nor do they appear on any intaglio souvenir card I'm aware of. I'm leaning more towards proprietary proofs from the era, even after what I've read here. Two reasons -- these are cut very close, which is not typical for modern reprints. The other is that the holder states that these were "mounted on card," which would indicate they were printed on india paper and then mounted, or printed onto india paper laid over card stock. Hard to say without examining them. On the other hand, original proofs were usually punch cancelled and these aren't. So I'm still on the fence.
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sellitstore
So I'm still on the fence.

Why? I believe that I have offered definitive proof as to what these are.

Please allow me to use your comments to straighten out a few misconceptions.

Neither of these are part of the ABNC American Paper Money Collection of obsolete reprints, nor do they appear on any intaglio souvenir card I'm aware of.

Correct. This plate was among many that were prepared, impressions taken, then didn't make to cut for use in an ABN commemorative program.

I'm leaning more towards proprietary proofs from the era, even after what I've read here.

I think that you mean "contemporary" (old) rather than "proprietary" (modern).

Two reasons -- these are cut very close, which is not typical for modern reprints.

Any proof can be trimmed. What is to stop owners of proprietary proofs from trimming them to make them look old. One can not use this as a criteria to determine age.

The other is that the holder states that these were "mounted on card," which would indicate they were printed on India paper and then mounted, or printed onto India paper laid over card stock.

The holder is wrong and most proofs on India paper and on card were NOT produced as you describe. The card was used as a backing for the India paper while printing in order to get the sharpest possible impression. We know this to be the case as one can peel the India paper from the card (many in the ABN archive were falling off the card when we discovered them in 1989) and see a sharp embossed impression of the note underneath. They were definitely printed this way. This is not true from all proofs on card. For example many Durand proofs from around 1840 are printed directly on card, but most 1850s-60s era proofs are printed on India backed with card when printed.

On the other hand, original proofs were usually punch cancelled and these aren't.

Perhaps most were punch cancelled by many originals aren't. This is not a determining factor for age. I haven't seen any of these modern proofs punch cancelled, yet. Couldn't someone punch cancel them to make them look old? Again, you can't use punch cancels (or lack) as a determining factor.

Lyn Knight got the attribution right in 2002. I suspect that PCGS made an honest mistake and Heritage just went with what the holder said.
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Cinch
One of the Salem Bank $10s, the type that you guys were discussing here, is coming up for auction at Heritage and it's listed as a proprietary proof.

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GregAlex
Interesting item! Be sure to post the price realized. Thanks for giving this thread a bump.
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