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V18 2015 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 39, September 27, 2015, Article 20

19TH CENTURY NEW JERSEY BANKNOTE PROOFS

Jeff Burke submitted this article about a recent talk by David Gladfelter at the New Jersey Numismatic Society. Thanks! And thanks are also due David Gladfelter for sharing these images. -Editor

“Numismatic Scholar David Gladfelter Speaks at September Meeting of the New Jersey Numismatic Society”

(Note: Special thanks to NJNS members Dave Ginsburg and Dave Bailey for providing me with this information about our speaker).

David Gladfelter was our guest speaker last Monday evening on the topic of Michael Bean's sets of reproduction proofs of early New Jersey bank notes. Mike made the repros directly from the original engraved copper printing plates, using sepia ink and heavy card stock so that these modern repros will not be confused with the rare original notes and contemporaneous counterfeits.

Ray Williams, former President of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), introduced the speaker. Gladfelter gave an engaging presentation on his project to acquire and print proofs from several early 19th century New Jersey banknote plates. Gladfelter purchased two of the plates during a Stacks-Bowers auction. Thanks to Ray’s technological expertise, images of the notes were projected onto a screen for all to see the beautiful vignettes and other striking features. David displayed reproduction proof sheets and an actual copper plate used to print the banknotes! Society members had the opportunity to come forward and examine the copper plate.

David is particularly knowledgeable about the Colonial and Obsolete banknote eras. Among his numerous accolades, he was inducted into the Civil War Token Society Hall of Fame in 2009 (along with long-time NJNS member Ray Williams and others). Gladfelter was a contributor to The Copper Coinage of the State of New Jersey, published in 2004 by the American Numismatic Society.

Trenton Banking Company genuine note
Genuine note from plate position B, issued by the Trenton Banking Co. in 1807

In 2013, David had 25 sets of reproduction proof sheets made from five original intaglio copper plates by Michael G. Bean, a retired plate printer for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Two of the plates were engraved for the Trenton Banking Company prior to 1810. Two plates were engraved for the six State Banks (at Camden, Trenton, New Brunswick, Elizabeth, Newark and Morristown), following authorizing legislation in 1812. The final plate was engraved for the Morris County Bank circa 1836.

The 25 sets of reproduction proof sheets will be donated to various educational and state historical organizations. The NJNS was founded in 1933. This meeting, our 917th, was held at the Madison Township Public Library.

Trenton Banking Company banknote printing plate Trenton Banking Company banknote reproduction sheet
Printing plate and reproduction sheet

David Gladfelter adds:

On pages 50-51 of the ANS Magazine, issue #1 of 2015, you will see two of the repro proof sheets (they have a set). For the talk, I also brought a few surviving original notes made directly from the plates, as well as some counterfeits of notes that have now gone extinct (or, in Jim Haxby's terminology, SENC (for "surviving example not confirmed")).

Mike Bean, the plate printer, often sets up at shows in the Baltimore-DC area. He did a masterly job for me on coaxing these worn-out old plates into one last round on the spider press and the results are spectacular. He used sepia ink to print the repros so that there will be no risk of ever confusing them with the rare originals. Mike is a craftsman and an artist, and a great guy on top of it.

Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2015-09-13 Pogue


Wayne Homren, Editor

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