For immediate release
February 02, 2007

Engraved Treasure
American Bank Note Co. World Notes Printing Plates Offered For First Time

(New York, NY) - Historic, intricately engraved printing press plates from the fabled archives of the American Bank Note Company and used in the process of producing 19th and early 20th century world bank notes will be offered to the public for the first time. A dozen paper money plates and dies will be in the auction conducted on March 20 and 21, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland by Stack's (www.Stacks.com) of New York City and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

Argentina. Provincia de Buenos Aires. 1881. 50 Pesos (not listed in Pick).

The plates were used for producing bank notes for Argentina, Bolivia, China, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Russia.

The one-of-a-kind artistic pieces of history were consigned to the auction by Archival Collectibles of Far Hills, New Jersey, which acquired the legendary American Bank Note Company archives in 2005.

"This is art in its original form by some of America's most skilled and famous engravers," said Steve Blum, President of Archival Collectibles.

Now located near Philadelphia in Trevose, Pennsylvania, American Bank Note Company was formed in 1858 in New York City by a consolidation of eight leading bank note engravers and printers. Over the years, the firm acquired other companies and their archives.

Now located near Philadelphia in Trevose, Pennsylvania, American Bank Note Company was formed in 1858 in New York City by a consolidation of eight leading bank note engravers and printers. Over the years, the firm acquired other companies and their archives.

Bank note-related printing plates in the Stack's auction will be::

Russia. Provincial Government. Government Credit Note. 1919. 250 Roubles (Pick-40A). - A superb piece, visually striking and important.

Argentina. Provincia de Buenos Aires. 1881. 50 Pesos (not listed in Pick). The steel plate measures 5.5 x 3.25 inches and is apparently a progress plate for a design that was not adopted. While several notes were released with the issue date of November 8, 1881, the 50 Pesos denomination is of a different design, though there are some similarities.

Bolivia. Banco Nacional de Bolivia. 1877 Sucre issue. 5 Bolivianos (Pick-S200). Steel. 5 x 3 inches. Imprint of American Bank Note Company. A progress plate for this issue, this plate features only the central vignette and partial legends found on the final note which is catalogued in Pick as issued in Proof, and Specimen format.

China. The National Commercial Bank, Ltd. 1923. 1 Yuan (not listed in Pick). Face plate and back plate. Steel. 7.5 x 5 inches each. Imprint of American Bank Note Company on both. Believed to be intended for a foreign bank in China that was never opened. The face plate is in Chinese, while the back is in English.

Colombia. Banco Hipotecario de Bogota. Certificate header. Cylinder die. Steel. Height: 4.25 inches; Diameter: 2.75 inches. The cataloger, John M. Pack of Stack's, states: "Currency was printed under this title with a series date 1881, as catalogued in the Pick world paper money volume on specialized issues. These were not however issued, and all are listed only in Proof or Specimen format. The present die seems to be a header for a stock or bond certificate and likely dates to the same period."

Colombia. El Banco de la Republica. 1935. ½ Peso (Pick-384). Face plate and back plate. Steel. 7.5 x 5 inches each. Imprint of American Bank Note Company on both. An important pair of plates, a complete design for the 1935 regular currency issue of Colombia. "The printed notes themselves are scarce, with good catalogue value, but these plates are unique," said the cataloger.

Colombia. El Banco de la Republica. 1938. 1 Peso (Pick-385). Steel. 7 x 4.5 inches. Imprint of American Bank Note Company. Face plate for the 1938 commemorative issue in honor of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Bogota.

Guatemala. Comite Bancario de Guatemala. 1899. 25 Pesos (Pick-S193). Steel. 9.5 x 5.5 inches. Traces of green ink remain in the recesses, probably from a later Proof impression. The finished notes were in black ink. The highest denomination issued of this series, which included as a much as six million Pesos. Whatever the actual amount issued, it is believed that enough were redeemed that by 1925 only about one million pesos remained outstanding.

Nicaragua. Banco Nacional de Nicaragua. Series of 1938. 1 Cordoba (Pick-82). Steel. 7.75 x 4.5 inches. Imprint of Hamilton Bank Note, New York.

Paraguay. 1920 and 1923. 1,000 Pesos (Pick-155). Face plate and back plate. Steel. 9.25 x 9.5 inches each. Imprint of American Bank Note Company on both. "A beautiful, large pair of plates for a high denomination note, the highest issued in the series," said the cataloger.

Russia. Provisional Government. Government Credit Note. 1918. 25 Roubles (Pick-38). Steel. 7.5 x 5 inches. "A prize for the collector of anything Russian, an artifact likely never seen before by any collector," according to the cataloger.

Russia. Provincial Government. Government Credit Note. 1919. 250 Roubles (Pick-40A). Steel. 8.25 x 5.5 inches. The cataloger writes: "No imprint, but noted in Pick to have been engraved by American Bank Note Company. It is further noted that this issue was printed in the United States and that most of the notes were never released by the Provisional Government. This denomination as well as the 50, 500 and 1,000 Rouble notes are listed only as Proofs. A superb piece, visually striking and important."

The March auction also includes engraved plates used for printing foreign postage stamps, American obsolete paper money, stock and bond certificates for automobile companies, firearms manufacturers, record companies and movie studios. Many of the printing plates have wonderfully ornate engravings of presidents, allegorical figures and American scenes including whaling vignettes that were used on various bank notes in the 1850s and 1860s.

For information about the auction, contact Stack’s toll-free at either (800) 566-2580 (New York office) or (866) 811-1804 (New Hampshire office), or online at www.Stacks.com

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For immediate release
January 31, 2007

Engraved Treasure
American Bank Note Co. Postage Printing Plates Offered For First Time

(New York, NY) – Historic, intricately engraved printing press plates from the fabled archives of the American Bank Note Company and used in the process of producing 19th and early 20th century foreign postage stamps will be offered to the public for the first time. A dozen philatelic-themed plates and dies will be in the auction conducted on March 20 and 21, 2007 in Baltimore, Maryland by Stack’s (www.Stacks.com) of New York City and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

A two-subject brass die dated 1892 featuring designs of Ecuador 1 and 2 Centavo stamps unlisted in Scott.

The plates were used for producing postage stamps, newspaper stamps, revenue stamps or as experimental designs for Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dutch East Indies, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and perhaps also for a European colony in Africa.

An engraving for a larger than usual four Centavos stamp of Argentina with the inscription, LEY NACIONAL DE SELLOS/REPUBLICA ARGENTINA, around the symbol of the country. Unlisted in Scott, the cataloger believes it probably was a revenue stamp.

The one-of-a-kind artistic pieces of history were consigned to the auction by Archival Collectibles of Far Hills, New Jersey, which acquired the legendary American Bank Note Company archives in 2005.

“This is art in its original form by some of America’s most skilled and famous engravers,” said Steve Blum, President of Archival Collectibles.

Now located near Philadelphia in Trevose, Pennsylvania, American Bank Note Company was formed in 1858 in New York City by a consolidation of eight leading bank note engravers and printers. Over the years, the firm acquired other companies and their archives.

Philatelic-related printing plates in the Stack’s auction will be:

An unfinished El Salvador multiple vignette die for 1892 1, 10, 11, 20, 25 and 50 Centavos denomination stamps (Scott #60, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68 and two unfinished designs

An American Bank Note Company experimental steel die depicting a framed portrait of an indigenous African man. The cataloger believes this was a proposed design element for possible postage use by a European colony in Africa. The die’s original wrapper with a green proof impression is hand dated May (18)98.

An American Bank Note plate featuring an unlisted 40 Reis denomination postage stamp of Brazil with the same design of the 100 Reis Scott #A14 of 1878 – 1879 depicting Emperor Dom Pedro.

Two dies with designs of 1889 Brazil newspaper stamps, the 200 Reis (Scott design N1) and 700 Reis (also Scott design N1). The stamps were issued in 1889 and the design was also surcharged for regular postal use in 1898.

A die for the Colombia 1956 5 Centavos commemorative in honor of Javier Pereira (Scott #669) who said he was born in 1789 and claimed to be 167 years old when the stamp was issued.

A two-subject brass die dated 1892 featuring designs of Ecuador 1 and 2 Centavo stamps unlisted in Scott. A die with the design of an Ecuador 1 Sucre stamp unlisted in Scott, but with the design is similar to some regular issues of the 1880s and 1890s. The original paper wrapper is included with a green proof impression of the die dated 1893.

A steel plate for the 1946 Ecuador 20 Centavos (Scott #RAC3), an air post tax stamp for domestic letters or packages carried by airplane.

An unfinished El Salvador multiple vignette die for 1892 1, 10, 11, 20, 25 and 50 Centavos denomination stamps (Scott #60, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68 and two unfinished designs without denominations). It is the largest number of stamp vignettes, eight, on a single plate seen so far by the cataloger.

A die featuring the 1945 – 1946 Netherlands Indies (Dutch East Indies) 7½ Cents stamp (Scott #254). And a die featuring a Nicaragua 50 Centavos unlisted in Scott but similar to the design of a Telegraph stamp issued in 1900. The cataloger notes that the layout and borders are the same as Scott Design 05, but this die has a different central vignette and the word, Telegraphos, along the left and right borders rather than, Oficial, as found on the stamp listed in Scott.

The March auction also includes engraved plates used for printing foreign and American obsolete paper money, stocks and bonds certificates for automobile companies, firearms manufacturers, record companies and movie studios. Many of the printing plates have wonderfully ornate engravings of presidents, allegorical figures and American scenes.

For information about the auction, contact Stack’s toll-free at either (800) 566-2580 (New York office) or (866) 811-1804 (New Hampshire office), or online at www.Stacks.com

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Previous Press Release:
"$3 bill printing plates on auction block " July 31 2006
"Tons of Engraved Treasure " December 9, 2005


 

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