At my request David Fanning forwarded a copy of the text description of lot 501 in the July 18, 2013 Kolbe-Fanning literature sale. It's a rare pamphlet from W. L. Ormsby. I've never seen one in person. Thanks!
510 Ormsby, W.L. CYCLOIDAL CONFIGURATIONS OR THE HARVEST OF COUNTERFEITERS. CONTAINING MATTER OF THE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE CONCERNING PAPER MONEY. ALSO EXPLAINING THE UNIT SYSTEM OF BANK NOTE ENGRAVING. New York: Published by W.L. Ormsby, 50 Wall Street, c. 1862. 8vo, original printed wraps. 45, (3) pages; 3 slips of paper tipped in on page 26 depicting methods of transferring “exactly coinciding impression(s)… by ‘offset’ alone.” Front wrap and first and last few leaves loose and chipped at outer edges; lacking rear wrapper; signatures loose. Good. (1250.00)
Extremely rare; only the third example, to our knowledge, to come to sale in at least the past thirty-five years. Bitter at not having secured the contract to print Treasury Notes, Ormsby’s screed mercilessly attacks the American Bank Note Company and, to a lesser extent, the National Bank Note Company, whose managers he claims “have but one object in view, viz. to make money.”
He concludes that “In the consolidation of the American system of Note engraving the ‘configuration’ is completed; and in every deceptive compound-cycloidal-loop that has formed it, from the days of Perkins’s ‘stereotype plate’ to those of the ‘Patent Green Tint,’ a Bank Superintendent or other Officer has been inclosed, forming a ‘portrait gallery’ of distinguished—patrons… Within this perfect cycloidal configuration, the counterfeiters are about to hold a jubilee—to reap a harvest. One hundred and fifty millions of United States Treasury Notes—engraved in ‘ten days,’ by patching together material previously used for inferior purposes, and printed in three colors, one on the top of another, making confusion worse confounded, at as much expense as possible—signatures engraved—a legal tender in payment of all debts—as good as gold in thirty-two states, and almost as good throughout the world.—One hundred and fifty millions—all alike—each one of which is destined to wander, without a military escort, through Camps—Cottages—Farms—Banks—Tents—Ranches and Wigwams, until it becomes as ragged, torn, defaced, and soiled as a ‘three years’ traveller in the Arctic regions without supplies.—One hundred and fifty millions of them, destined to be counterfeited in the North all the way to Kamskatka; in the South, to Patagonia; in the West, to China; and in the East, to Jerusalem.”
Sigler 1961. Not in the Fuld Library sales, McKerchar or the Dictionary Catalogue of the Library of the American Numismatic Society. Apparently, John J. Ford's copy, though not marked as such.
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