The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 32, August 9, 2015, Article 18


Here's a press release for the upcoming September Holabird Western Americana sale. -Editor

Holabird 2015 September sale Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC has an auction Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 that includes 58 national bank notes issued in Nevada, including 18 rare large size notes.

Peter Huntoon, who has written about currency for more than four decades and was one of the authors of the 1973 book “The National Bank Note Issues of 1929-1935,” said Nevada national bank notes are rare because there were relatively few banks and most of those banks were small. Nevada had only 16 issuing banks, for instance, while California had 509.

“That’s one of the scarcest states in the country,” Huntoon said. “Alaska is the only state smaller with three.”

Auctioneer Fred Holabird called the Nevada notes raw and said only one of the 58 national bank notes has been professionally graded. He described them as being from an old Nevada collection.

McGill National Bank Note face

The single most valuable appears to be a large, uncirculated $10 note from Nevada’s McGill National Bank. Holabird said it may be unique. “It might be worth $50,000 today. The bidders will tell us.” Holabird said.

When the McGill bank closed in 1934 there was only $1,210 in national bank notes outstanding, Holabird said. “They got almost all of it back,” he explained.

In small notes the auction also includes one $10 note and two $20 notes from the McGill bank, all Type 1 with low serial numbers.

There is a large $10 First National Bank of Winnemucca note Holabird described as a gem. There are also two large $50 notes. For small notes, there are two $5, two $10 and a $20, all type 1. The bank had $9,855 outstanding in notes when it closed in 1935.

The First National Bank of Winnemucca was reportedly robbed by Butch Cassidy but that was never proven, Holabird said.

For the First National Bank of Ely there is one $5 in a large note, two $10 and one $20. Holabird said the $10 notes have different signatories. Ely and neighboring McGill were one of America’s largest copper mining camps that produced about $400 million in metals before World War II.

For small notes, there is one $5 and two $20, all type 1, from the First National Bank of Ely. For the Ely National Bank, there are two $20, both type 1, and two $10 notes, a type 1 and type 2. First National Bank of Ely had $49,000 outstanding in notes in 1935 and Ely National Bank had $43,050 outstanding.

In large notes for the Reno Farmers and Merchants Bank, there is a $10 and a $20. For the Reno National Bank there are three $50 and a $100, some signed by Nevada mining financier and historical figure George Wingfield.

In smaller notes, there is a First National Bank of Reno $10 type 2 note, PCGS 64, high grade and uncirculated, Holabird said. For Reno National Bank, there are four $50 notes, including low serial numbers, and a type 1 $100 with serial number 6, probably owned by one of the bank’s original officers.

In the last of the large notes, there are three $10 First National Bank of Elko notes, all with different signatures, and two $20, also with different signatures. In smaller notes, there are $5 and $10 notes, and Elko had $2,180 out in small notes and $6,262 in large size when it closed in 1932.

In smaller notes, for the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Eureka, there are two $10 notes, one type 1 and one type 2, and three $20, all type 1, all with low serial numbers. Eureka was a silver mining camp, producing about $65 million before World War II.

For Lovelock there were two $10, one type 1 and one type 2, and a type 1 $20. Lovelock was the commercial center for mines in the mountains north of town that included Seven Troughs and Mazuma.

For the First National Bank of Tonopah, there was one $10 and one $20, both type 1. Tonopah was another major Nevada mining camp with about $150 million in gold and silver production before World War II.

So many large denomination notes are unusual, Holabird noted. “They’ll keep a $5 note as a collectible before they ever keep a $100 note,” Holabird said. “They’re going to cash that $100 in quick.”

The low estimate for the sale is $1 million to $2 million, Holabird said. Other items being auctioned include:

  • One of the best collections ever assembled of western Mechanics Fair and Agricultural Medals, highlighted by a Gold Mechanics Institute medal for replica of a steamship.
  • California fractional gold pieces. About 100 from several collections, including some rarities. These are very small pieces with a face value of 25 cents, 50 cents and a dollar.
  • More than 100 other numismatic collectables, including American coin rarities set in sterling silver made by San Francisco silversmith George Schreve, including a rare 1891 Carson City dollar set into a small tray.
  • Large selection of facsimile currency and advertising notes.
  • A major selection of Montana tokens from the Bob Svoboda collection that Holabird Americana is selling over a year.

Fred Holabird also sent along this list of additional items of interest in the sale. Thanks. -Editor

The sale features the strongest and largest section of numismatic collectibles seen in memory – hundreds of lots. A few of the categories:

  • George Schreve, San Francisco silversmith, made coin – in – silver items. He often used rare or scarce coins such as CC Dollars. The sale has more than ten Schreve pieces.
  • South American Coin art. About a dozen pieces of Peruvian-Bolivian design from the 1870’s-80’s of tribal art on native cloth. Pieces contain as many as hundreds of “Spanish” and SA silver pieces.
  • Coin bracelets and jewelry. A number of unique pieces, showing off the beauty of coin design
  • Coin dispensing machines from the 1800’s to early 1900’s. Staats and other brands that include gold coin troughs
  • Banks. Toy banks, many from the West.
  • Real Coin art, from pop-ups to encasements, circa 1880-1910
  • Love tokens
  • Glass coin art
  • Original photographs (and postcards) of various Mints and money, c 1860-1910

For more information on the sale, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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