EX- ALBERT A GRINNELL NOTES?


Back in 1943 Albert A Grinnell decided to sell his collection... Max B Mehl handled the first part of the Grinnell sale. That first part decided to be the last part.

Here's more information. (Courtesy of the Harry Bass Foundation)

In June 1943, B. Max Mehl sold some coins and other items from the Grinnell cabinet, somewhat misleadingly indicating that this was the most extensive collection of United States currency, which it was, but Mehl was not selling it! There must have been a disagreement between Grinnell and Mehl, for the main paper money collection was consigned to Barney Bluestone, a Syracuse, NY, dealer who had been a coin dealer since about 1926 and a second-tier coin auctioneer since 1931. Bluestone did indeed handle many fine items in his own time, but his catalogues were not particularly memorable, and only the most dedicated scholar is apt to know much about him today. Sold in a series of seven sales from 1944 through 1946, the Grinnell Collection auctions attracted only about a half dozen active bidders at each event. William Donlon later recalled that the only buyers on hand were F.C.C. Boyd, Harley Freeman, James Wade, Richard Safflin, and Herman K. Crofoot, in addition to Donlon himself. Of course, these names were in themselves a formidable line-up.

In this instance, it is probably correct to say that the Grinnell Collection is more famous in retrospect-it has achieved legendary status among modern scholars-than it was during the time of the sale itself. And, its status in history is certainly justified. Today we can only reflect upon the treasures that were offered, playing to an audience that numbered just a handful of bidders. Today in 1999 we can only read and, perhaps, weep at what the Grinnell Collection contained, this being but a sample: 35 National Gold Bank notes, one $100 "Watermelon" Coin Note of 1890 and two $1,000 "Grand Watermelon" Coin Notes, 3,300 National Bank Notes (including 750 from Grinnell's home state of New York and 260 from his adopted state of Michigan), and 43 examples of major currency errors, including two sheets of notes with $10 faces and $5 backs which, offered in the final sale, realized $3,550 each, or probably as much as a 1913 Liberty head nickel would have been worth at the time!



Below from the Usarare.com Library of paper money is Albert A Grinnell's PERSONAL COPY of the First Auction that was done by Max Mehl in 1943........plenty of notations and mark up's as to what he had into the coins & notes are written throughout the catalog. He seemed to be very disappointed as to what the coins and currency were hammering at.

Soon after in 1944 through 1946 Barney Bluestone handled the rest of his auctions.


Hey Jesse.... If im not mistaken your 1882 $10.00/$20.00 GA Double Denom's. Shown here. LOT#1874

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So..... Post your Grinnell Notes...



LOT #4884

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LOT #4885

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*FANCY SERIAL NUMBER SPECIALIST*


STRONG BUYERS OF ALL FANCY SERIAL NUMBERS PLEASE OFFER US!


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Comments

  • daveudaveu Posts: 1,524 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for sharing the catalog and the information. Those are a couple of very nice notes you have.
  • MaxcrushaMaxcrusha Posts: 8,388
    he owned the 2nd sheet of 1934 $5 silvers (the first sheet is unknown)... someone cut it up a few years ago

    this is the 3rd note from the sheet... lot # 5872

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  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 3,887 ✭✭✭
    Great story, Billy - the Grinnell sales are also, I believe, about the only auction catalog that has experienced a re-print. It was done 25 years after the sale (by Bill Anton and Morey Perlmutter) to provide a new generation of paper money collectors an opportunity to have a copy of these scarce catalogs.
  • vibr0nicvibr0nic Posts: 2,030 ✭✭
    Great post. Would love to see more pages from the book if there is anything interesting in there. Thanks for sharing.
    I like large size currency and silver dollars.
  • the auction was in 1943. Do you think the war affected prices in any fashion? I am thinking items sold for less than they would have if not for the war. Any thoughts?


    Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers are always free)
  • MaxcrushaMaxcrusha Posts: 8,388
    in 1943 the coins started to go but according to the perlmutter book, the currency auction happened in 7 tranches:

    11/25/44
    3/10/45
    6/16/45
    10/16/45
    3/2/46
    6/29/46
    11/30/46

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  • MaxcrushaMaxcrusha Posts: 8,388
    how about a sheet of gem 1928 Richmond $50 FRN's #'s E00000001A thru E00000012A, for example

    WOW !

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  • 0882208822 Posts: 5,021
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    Nobody Pays More! image
    Trophy National Banknotes
    redseals, brownbacks, statistical rarities, entire state and regional collections, first charters, no. #1 notes!
    ---------------------------------------------
  • mashmash Posts: 2,199 ✭✭✭
    Wow, post more pics of the catalog?
    is the oldest us currency heavy auction catalog out there?

    Also, i've seen a lot of big currency collector names thrown around on the boards...who are the biggest of the bunch? (dead collectors only)
    Buying uncut sheets and 1914 stars! message me
  • bonkroodbonkrood Posts: 2,626 ✭✭✭
    No notes but some infomation...

    Albert Avery Grinnell was part of the piano-manufacturing Grinnell Brothers* family, although the founding Grinnell brothers Ira and Clayton preceded him by a few generations.

    A.A. Grinnell was also a respected numismatic — a collector of coins and currencies. From an account of an American Numismatics Association meeting in August 1940:

    At 3:30 it was still raining, and at that hour the party boarded buses and private cars for the Detroit Golf Club, where we were the guests at a complimentary dinner given by A.A. Grinnell, a member of the Detroit Coin Club and one of our best-known collectors. At each place had been placed an aluminum token struck for Mr. Grinnell for the occasion. The obverse bore the bust of Lincoln. The reverse read: ‘Life Member No. 20, ANA Albert A. Grinnell, Numismatist, 1515 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.’ The dinner was one of the most enjoyable features of the entire convention, and Mr. Grinnell was congratulated on all sides for being an ideal host.

    Edited to add pictures:

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    image Steam Power
  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 3,887 ✭✭✭
    the auction was in 1943. Do you think the war affected prices in any fashion? I am thinking items sold for less than they would have if not for the war. Any thoughts?

    Actually, the post-war coin boom really got started in 1943. Abe Kosoff sold a major collection of coins that year - I believe the name was the Higgy Collection - and that sale jump-started the coin market which had been in the doldrums since the Commemorative craze petered out in the late 1930's.

    Also, here's an original copy of the catalog that featured his New York nationals:

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  • << <i>Actually, the post-war coin boom really got started in 1943 >>

    That seems unusual considering rationing and shortages and the emphasis on investing in war bonds. I would have thought that discretionary spending for collecting and hobbies would have been very tight.


    Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers are always free)
  • delistampsdelistamps Posts: 4,284 ✭✭✭


    << <i>No notes but some infomation...

    Albert Avery Grinnell was part of the piano-manufacturing Grinnell Brothers* family, although the founding Grinnell brothers Ira and Clayton preceded him by a few generations.

    A.A. Grinnell was also a respected numismatic — a collector of coins and currencies. From an account of an American Numismatics Association meeting in August 1940:

    At 3:30 it was still raining, and at that hour the party boarded buses and private cars for the Detroit Golf Club, where we were the guests at a complimentary dinner given by A.A. Grinnell, a member of the Detroit Coin Club and one of our best-known collectors. At each place had been placed an aluminum token struck for Mr. Grinnell for the occasion. The obverse bore the bust of Lincoln. The reverse read: ‘Life Member No. 20, ANA Albert A. Grinnell, Numismatist, 1515 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.’ The dinner was one of the most enjoyable features of the entire convention, and Mr. Grinnell was congratulated on all sides for being an ideal host. >>



    Here's the token...


  • << <i>Great story, Billy - the Grinnell sales are also, I believe, about the only auction catalog that has experienced a re-print. It was done 25 years after the sale (by Bill Anton and Morey Perlmutter) to provide a new generation of paper money collectors an opportunity to have a copy of these scarce catalogs. >>




    Bob...


    Yes the hardcover reprint book...................Greg posted some pics of his. Here's a signed copy by the one author BILL ANTON. It was purchased that way.
    Book number #7 of a #1000.



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    *FANCY SERIAL NUMBER SPECIALIST*


    STRONG BUYERS OF ALL FANCY SERIAL NUMBERS PLEASE OFFER US!


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  • Bluestone did sell the Grinnell collection in seven sales, and later sold bound sets of the seven catalogs - just as Anton and Perlmutter reprinted it. There was, however, an eighth sale on March 15, 1947, which was a "cleanup" sale of Grinnell's notes - the unsolds, no bids, and returned lots, as well as some minor leftovers. Bluestone numbered his sales, but the eight Grinnell sales were not part of the numbered sequence, and the eighth "cleanup", while entirely Grinnell, was not included in the bound sets, nor in the reprint sets.
    Martin Gengerke
    Reliable, accurate census data
  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 3,887 ✭✭✭
    That seems unusual considering rationing and shortages and the emphasis on investing in war bonds. I would have thought that discretionary spending for collecting and hobbies would have been very tight.

    Just repeating what the late Abe Kosoff said in an interview in Coin World many years ago...
  • Prices realized from 1943 Max Mehl Sale.

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    There was close to #1300 lots of paper money in this first catalog put together by Max Mehl in 1943. Still a major selection of currency was auctioned off that day. With the notations listed in his personal catalog it was clear that he was not happy with the results.

    At the bottom is another great notation.....

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    LOT #1987

    Here's a cut sheet of 1923 Series $1.00 S.C A17-20D. Which is lot #1987 in this catalog. Lot #1953 is a cut sheet of 1899 Series $1.00 Silvers with the same serial numbers. #17-20. You would of thought it would of been mentioned in the catalog by Mehl, as Grinnell writes (matched set). This set realized $5.00

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    Here's an old newpaper clipping talking about paper money.

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    *FANCY SERIAL NUMBER SPECIALIST*


    STRONG BUYERS OF ALL FANCY SERIAL NUMBERS PLEASE OFFER US!


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  • << <i>Here's a cut sheet of 1923 Series $1.00 S.C A17-20D. Which is lot #1987 in this catalog. Lot #1953 is a cut sheet of 1899 Series $1.00 Silvers with the same serial numbers. #17-20. You would of thought it would of been mentioned in the catalog by Mehl, as Grinnell writes (matched set). This set realized $5.00 >>

    WOW!!


    Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers are always free)
  • numbersmannumbersman Posts: 2,929 ✭✭✭
    Ex-Grinnellimage
    Collector of numeral seals.That's the 1928 and 1928A series of FRNs with a number rather than a letter in the district seal. Owner/operator of Bottom Line Currency
  • Grinnell Lots 1682-1686

    $10 & $20 from the same sheet

    $50 & $100 are a 50-100 two-specimen sheet


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    NJ.Bridgeton
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    "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." -Dostoevsky
  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 3,887 ✭✭✭
    Just picked up a couple of new additions for the library and thought they fit in this thread. First, here's a copy of Barney Bluestone's "cleanup sale" from 1947:

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    According the PR List, the total sale proceeds were around $42,000. The original mailing envelope with the catalog had 4 1/2 cents of postage - my, how times have changed since 1947!

    Also this is an original hardbound catalog of the seven Grinnell sales of 1944-46. It was the official copy kept in the Stacks library until the library was dispersed:

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    It has a little wear on the binding from being yanked off the shelf improperly over the years (Martin, did you do that?) so, one of these days, I'll take it to a bookbinder for a little repair work.

    Does that mean if someday I get the book slabbed, it would only get an "apparent" grade? image
  • Nice selection of books Bob. Great notes displayed.


    Grinnell LOT #5374



    FIRST SOLID 9'S PRINTED ON A SMALL SIZE SILVER

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    *FANCY SERIAL NUMBER SPECIALIST*


    STRONG BUYERS OF ALL FANCY SERIAL NUMBERS PLEASE OFFER US!


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  • << <i>Great story, Billy - the Grinnell sales are also, I believe, about the only auction catalog that has experienced a re-print. It was done 25 years after the sale (by Bill Anton and Morey Perlmutter) to provide a new generation of paper money collectors an opportunity to have a copy of these scarce catalogs. >>


    Actually there have been other reprints, notably in coins, not paper. Also many catalogs have been sold after the sale, with the prices realized printed in, and one Kagin sale was given a second printing when they ran short. The first catalog had a color cover, the "reprint" black and white. The 1958 ANA catalog by Kosoff had the Maurice M. Burgett collection of Fractional Currency. The Fractional section was reprinted after the sale, including photographs. which did not appear in the original catalog!
    Martin Gengerke
    Reliable, accurate census data
  • delistampsdelistamps Posts: 4,284 ✭✭✭
    Were the prices realized printed in the 1971 reprint version of the catalog? Does anyone know what the original price of the reprint was?
  • 2ndCharter2ndCharter Posts: 3,887 ✭✭✭
    Were the prices realized printed in the 1971 reprint version of the catalog? Does anyone know what the original price of the reprint was?

    Yes, they were and the original price of the reprint was $25 postage paid.
  • goldengolden Posts: 3,954 ✭✭✭

    I have a few of the Grinnell notes in my collection.

  • Have three number 1 notes. Grades are 68 68 and 69................

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