Proof of rare bank note sells for nearly $100,000 at Lynbrook auction

The proof of a rare $1,000 national bank The proof of a rare $1,000 national bank note issued in 1864 sold for $96,050 at an auction in Lynbrook. Photo Credit: Philip Weiss Auctions

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The proof of a rare $1,000 national bank note issued in 1864 sold Thursday for $96,050 at an auction in Lynbrook.

The piece of numismatic history, described in the Bank Note Reporter as "flawless and complete," was bought by an agent on behalf of a U.S. collector, said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. The agent was "on the floor," competing against three out-of-state phone bidders, he said.

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Bidding opened at about $29,000 and "started flying right up" in the roughly three-minute session, Weiss said.

The proof, printed on India paper and mounted on card stock, was expected to fetch $80,000 to $120,000, Weiss said on Wednesday.

The proof was of an original series $1,000 national bank note issued on March 1, 1864, by the now-defunct Fourth National Bank of the City of New York. The copy would have been lifted from the plate used to print genuine notes and sent to the U.S. Treasury for design approval, U.S. currency expert Peter Huntoon wrote in a recent issue of the Bank Note Reporter.

Only one other such proof, in less desirable condition, had been known to exist, Weiss said. It was photographed for a 1955 book about U.S. paper money. The piece's whereabouts are now unknown.

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