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    The Perkins Bank Bill Test
    The First Illustrated Bank Note Detector

    Perkins, (Jacob). Perkins' Bank Bill Test; Consisting of Original Impressions from the Permanent Stereotype Steel Plates of Massachusetts Paper Currency, Executed in Conformity to an Act of the Legislature, Passed March 3, 1809: Together with the Standard Check Plate, Which Will Apply Equally to Every Bank in the United States Which Has Adopted or Which May Adopt This Principle. Newburyport: Published by the Proprietor ... W. & J. Gilman, Printers, 1809. Folio [30 by 18.5 cm], contemporary or slightly later marbled paper covers. (4) pages; blank leaf; 3 blank leaves onto each of which is mounted steel-plate printed bank note designs. The Thomas W. Streeter copy, and one of the highlights of the Eric P. Newman library.

    The Perkins Bank Bill Test is a legendary rarity, lacking from nearly all of the major American numismatic libraries including Champa, Bass and Ford. Even the library of the American Numismatic Society does not have an original. Eric P. Newman acquired this copy in October 1969 from the last of a series of seven sales of the extraordinary library of Americana formed by Thomas W. Streeter; these sales comprise one of the most important book auctions ever conducted in this country. The George and Melvin Fuld library had a copy, sold in 1971 by Frank & Laurese Katen. That copy was most recently sold by George F. Kolbe in 1999.

    Jacob Perkins (1766-1849) was a polymath inventor who as a young man engraved dies for the copper coinage of Massachusetts, the Washington President coins, and for the Washington funeral medal. His invention of a stereotype steel plate for engraving bank notes, and a transfer process by which the various components of the plate could be identically reproduced ad infinitum, are perhaps the most famous of his numismatically oriented inventions. Perkins would go on to develop the press that created the world's first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black. This copy is exceptionally well-preserved and bears an impressive provenance. Plates slightly browned; rear cover with old folds; else fine. The Bank Bill Test features original impressions from the steel plates, and is exceptionally important not only in American numismatics but in the history of American engineering, inventing, and engraving. Estimate $10,000.
    Ex: Goodspeed's Book Shop (1943); Thomas W. Streeter; Parke-Bernet (October 1969).
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 197

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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