The Significant Notes from the John J. Ford Colonial Currency Collection, Part 1, will be offered live online by Kagin’s Auctions on Saturday May 20, 2023, at 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT). The 145 lots constitute almost 40% of the entire 375 notes of the whole sale. The balance of the lots will be sold on September 23, 2023.
The notes were purchased from the John J. Ford finest-ever colonial currency collection sold by Stack’s Inc., during five auctions from May 2004 until March 2007. “Expert cataloger Bruce Hagen spent hundreds of hours researching and superbly presenting these notes for Stack’s almost two decades ago,” explained Donald Kagin, president of Kagin’s Auctions. “These notes have now been independently graded by PCGS Banknote, and our erstwhile expert cataloger, Frank Van Valen, has skillfully modified, augmented, and edited the original listings.”
Ford began assembling his collection of early American money in the 1940s. They are examples of the types of money printed in the colonies in the mid-1700s and used by the public for daily commerce or to pay soldiers fighting in the Revolutionary War. A great many of the Ford notes, especially the exceedingly rare pre-1760 notes, were imaged in 1967 for the standard reference work, The Early Paper Money of America by numismatic scholar and collector, Eric P. Newman. These “plate notes” typically represent the finest-quality specimens known for a particular variety.
All 13 original colonies and Georgia, along with a few private scrip notes, are represented. Fully 59 of the notes being offered throughout both sales are Newman catalog plate notes, with 30 of them appearing in the first sale.
Part 1 offers 145 lots alphabetically arranged by colonies, including Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. Highlights include exceedingly rare Newman plate notes, including a Connecticut July 12, 1709, three-shilling (s), a Georgia March 25, 1762, one-pound “Fort and Battery” note, a Massachusetts Contemporary Counterfeit May 31, 1710, 20s, a New Hampshire April 3, 1755, 10s or 2/3 of a dollar, and a New Jersey March 25, 1724, 6s. An incredible finest-known Newman-plated Massachusetts October 18, 1776, $5 printed by Paul Revere and John Gill in PCGS AU-55 will undoubtedly highlight the entire sale.
Also offered in Part 1 are a dozen of the immensely popular Paul Revere-printed Massachusetts November 17, 1776, “Sword in Hand” notes, including a 16s in PCGS AU-55 Details — another Newman plate note. These notes depict a Colonial-era man holding a sword in one hand and a copy of the Magna Carta in the other. Scores of the New Jersey notes are printed with the warning “To Counterfeit is Death.”
To register to bid, go to auctions.kagins.com. For more information about the auction, please send an email to or call 888-852-4467.
Press release courtesy of the Professional Coin Grading Service
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