Sensational Pennsylvania’s First National $ 50 Banknote at Stack’s Bowers Auction in March


Through Christophe DahnckeAssociated with currency auctions, Stack’s Bowers Galleries ……

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries March 2021 Las Vegas the sale offers an exciting range of United States currency, from continental notes with marbled edges to high denominations Federal Reserve Banknotes. One of my personal favorites in selling is lot 3527 of Tarzan collection, a 1875 $ 50 National ticket of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in PMG Choice Extremely Fine 45 grade.

Tracking and pricing the census reports this $ 50 as the oldest and only first charter ticket of this Allegheny County Issuing bank. The first charters of the fifties were always heralded rarities, with only 103 documented in the National banknote census. Only 14 are listed as XF or better, and two of them are in museums. The majority of the other 12 have limited auction histories and only one other example even has an image in the database.

The note displays artistic appeal and intricate detailing typical of the era. One would almost want to frame this piece and display it as art given the Americana patterns. To the left is a highly detailed design of Washington cross the Delaware before Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776. The battle will go down in American history and folklore as a risky surprise attack which saw the forces of Washington surprise and defeat the forces of Hesse under the command of Johann Gottlieb Rall. To the right is a drawing of George Washington praying, with Freedom and Justice pictured in the background in front of the Stars and Stripes.

The back of the note represents the “Embarkation of the Pilgrims” from a mural by Robert W. Weir. To the left is the Seal of the State of Pennsylvania, with a bald eagle to the right. The border design is in dark green ink while the center design is in dark black ink. I encourage bidders to carefully consider this opportunity as it may be another 15 years before another first $ 50 charter appears at auction. This intermediate level example offers all the appeal that one could ask for at the assigned level. It is estimated between $ 75,000 and $ 125,000 and is on our website for viewing and pre-auction auction.

Our March 2021 Las Vegas auction is currently posted on our website for viewing. The sale of currencies will take place on Thursday, March 25 at 2:00 p.m. PT. To return your U.S. paper money for future sales, contact a Consignment Specialist at 800-458-4646 or visit For more information on viewing lots or for help when registering to bid, send an email [email protected].

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