Kingdom of Hawaii (Hawaiian Islands) $10 Certificate of Deposit. Pick 1a
Undated but released in 1880. The so-called Series A issue as all the notes show two large letters A on the face, assumed by most to be a plate position indicator. Payable in Silver Coin. Measuring approximately 73 x 158 mm (2 7/8 x 6 1/4 inches). Beautifully pen-signed by M. Kuaea as Minister of Finance (in Office August 14-September 27, 1880) and Godfrey Brown as Registrar of Public Accounts (in Office 1880-1883). The face of the note is black with a light orange tint, while the back of the note is orange. Engraved and printed by the American Bank Note Company in New York. Encapsulated in a Paper Money Guaranty holder where it is classified Extremely Fine 40, virtually as fresh and bright as it was the day it was put away one hundred twenty-five years ago. The minor handling is the result, no doubt, of its former owner proudly displaying it to friends and associates.
The wonderful design for the dominant vignette on the face showing a cowboy lassoing cattle, was created by James David Smillie, son of engraver James Smillie. He also executed the sketches for the central reverse design, the Hawaiian Coat of Arms, which was common to the reverses of all denominations of the Series A issue. The flanking vignettes on the face of the note, a sailing ship and steam locomotive, were stock pieces in the inventory of ABNC.
As a collectible, the $10 Kingdom note is Extremely Rare with only three issued (and uncancelled) pieces in existence. However, that number is in dispute as one of the notes in the census has not been positively identified. No serial number is listed for it in the Medcalf/Russell reference and its only appearance has been a partial photo (in a collage) on the cover of a catalog about forty years ago. This may well have been an illustration of a Specimen note.
Therefore, the true number known may be ONLY TWO, and one of those (serial No. 2840) is forever off the collector market as it is in the holding of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum in Honolulu. That could very well classify the piece as UNIQUE in private hands. There is also a lone issued but cancelled example in the Hawaii State Archives, also not available to the marketplace, and a few unissued and unsigned specimen or remainder notes, certainly not possessing the special mana of the piece offered here.
These facts, alone, would justify characterizing this as arguably one of the most important pieces of Hawaiian Paper Money in existence. However, another fact that cannot be overlooked is that this note BEARS SERIAL #1- it is the VERY FIRST $10 BILL issued by the Kingdom of Hawaii! Extremely Rare and of historical significance.
XF 40 (PMG).
Sold Doyle New York, Coins, Medals and Bank Notes from the Estate of Samuel Mills Damon, March 23, 2006, lot 2695
C Property of a Private Collector
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