American Bank Note Archive Series

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by gsalexan, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    A couple weeks ago I completed a collection that I've been working on for probably 10 years: The American Bank Note Archive Series. I had a budget I was determined to stay under or I could easily have done it sooner. The last year (1992) was the hardest to find. In honor of this momentous occasion, I thought I'd post some pics and give some background on this set.

    The ABN Archive Series is a set of six portfolios, issued from 1987 to 1992. Each contains 12 panels of intaglio engraved vignettes and portraits compiled from the company's vast collection of images. Each panel features from five to 10 different engravings, organized by theme. These show up in ABN products everywhere -- obsolete and world banknotes, stocks, bonds, stamps, souvenir cards. Some of these were originally engraved as far back as the 1830s.

    ABN 92 Archive cover sm.jpg DSCF3321.JPG DSCF3322.JPG DSCF3327.JPG
     
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  3. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    In addition to their pure artistic beauty, the portfolios are a researcher's dream. Each panel comes with an information sheet with the title of the vignette, when it was engraved and the original bank note firm, often the engraver's name, and frequently a list of items the image appeared on. Many of the major auction houses reference these sets as they do write ups for various currency lots.

    The six year sets are each printed in the color ink indicated by their cloth bound portfolio case -- light brown, green, blue, black (the 1990 case was white), maroon, and dark brown. They were sold by subscription, originally at $150 per set. The price increased over the years and by 1992 collector interest was flagging. I don't have production figures for that final year, but I believe under 1,000 were printed. Here are figures for the other years:

    1987 - 1,100
    1988 - 924
    1989 - 3,500
    1990 - 2,000
    1991 - 1,000
    First Americans 92 Archive sm.jpg First Americans info 92 Archive.jpg Iron Horse 92 Archive sm.jpg Iron Horse info 92 Archive.jpg Steamships 92 Archive sm.jpg Steamships info 92 Archive.jpg Two Three Four 92 Archive sm.jpg 2 3 4 info 92 Archive.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  4. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Sweet stuff Greg. I especially like the 'Iron Horse' series of vignettes.
     
  5. krispy

    krispy krispy

    In this post are a few more details on these sets borrowed from Ken Barr's site:

    American Bank Note Company "Archive Series"

    Each set included twelve 8 1/2" x 11 1/4" pages of vignettes, with between four and ten vignettes per page.

    All of the vignettes are different, totaling 502 different over the entire six year span.


    1987 Archive Series (light brown) (96 vignettes on 12 sheets)

    1988 Archive Series (dark green) (82 vignettes on 12 sheets)

    1989 Archive Series (dark blue) (79 vignettes on 12 sheets)

    1990 Archive Series (black) (82 vignettes on 12 sheets)

    1991 Archive Series (maroon) (83 vignettes on 12 sheets)

    1992 Archive Series (dark brown) (80 vignettes on 12 sheets)
     
  6. krispy

    krispy krispy

    I love the work and the history of the firm, American Bank Note Company!

    I have all of these sets except for the last year (1992) in my collection. I have just been able to add the 1990 set and have yet to scan the plates, but with the creation of this thread I will do so soon and add images of the plates to this thread. I haven't scanned all the associated information contained in these sets, just the vignettes.

    A note of warning to collectors, some sellers on auction sites sell these vignettes trimmed out individually, for very inexpensively priced resale. In doing so they make these 'complete sets' rarer and rarer. In my opinion, selling the vignettes like this is a tragedy and such sellers shouldn't be patronized. I hope others agree and refrain from buying any like this which they come across to help suppress this activity.

    Anyway, I hope you all enjoy these portfolios and this chance to see them complete, as much as @gsalexan and I do!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
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  7. krispy

    krispy krispy

    American Bank Note Company - Archive Series - 1987

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  8. krispy

    krispy krispy

    American Bank Note Company - Archive Series - 1988

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  9. krispy

    krispy krispy

  10. krispy

    krispy krispy

    American Bank Note Company - Archive Series - 1991

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  11. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Breathtaking............
     
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  12. Dave L

    Dave L Junior Member

    Wow! Absolutely amazing! I never realized that those were anything other than handouts at paper money shows - which I've never been able to attend. What an amazing collection. Congratulations on completing your set, and thank you for sharing them.
     
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  13. MKent

    MKent Well-Known Member

    Impressive Thanks for sharing
     
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  14. midas1

    midas1 Exalted Member

    spectacular! They are truly works of art.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
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  15. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    +1 But not all of these trimmed out vignettes sell cheaply. I've seen some go for $25-35 each and on two occasions individual China stamp reprints have brought more than $300 -- easily more than the value of the entire portfolio. Clearly the collectors thought they were buying some type of proof version of the stamp. Sadly, that's what keeps unscrupulous dealers chopping them up.
     
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  16. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Stunning collection.
     
  17. Dave M

    Dave M Francophiliac

    Thanks Greg and Chris for collecting these all up in one place. They're really a beautiful production of ABNC (I wish BDF had a similar set) and I bet they only get harder to find.
     
  18. Urban_Lawyer

    Urban_Lawyer Half dollar nerd

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this wonderful collection.
     
  19. krispy

    krispy krispy

    American Bank Note Company - Archive Series - 1990


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  20. krispy

    krispy krispy

    Now all I need to do is find the 1992 set and I'll have a complete collection like Greg! Might take a while but I'll be on the look out for it. :)
     
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  21. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Nice looking set! And I'll add a tag. Not many people are aware that ABNCo offered a sales incentive for the 1987 (I think) portfolio. Early subscribers got a special one-sided print of a 1919 Czechoslovakian 1000 korun note, printed in brown ink. Alas, I don't own a copy but here is an approximation of it (minus the specimen punch cancel). If you happen to see one of these on eBay, you'll know where it came from. And feel free to let me know. :) Czech 1000 korun.JPG
     
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