SEG Presentation: Vignette prints of the Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Discussion in 'Paper Money' started by gsalexan, May 23, 2011.

  1. harrync

    harrync Well-Known Member

    A little late to the show, but here is one I picked up a few months ago. monticello.jpeg monticello 1.jpeg
    I think you can make out the 6 1/4 x 4 3/8 die impression. In case you can't make out the pencil notes, there is "Monticello" and "J.C.Benzing" on both front and back. [Benzing was the engraver.] Also on the back, upper right, is "Year Engraver finished original die Jan. 20 1928." Not sure where the Jan 20 came from, but all the other info is available on the BEP website.
    TheNoost and USS656 like this.
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. harrync

    harrync Well-Known Member

    And three other cards I picked up at the same time. The White House NE view is numbered 939864A, is identical to the card still recently available from the BEP. Says by R. Ponickau, finished Jan 5 1905.

    The BEP building is a somewhat different version than the current one. Number 610611A [Printed vertically at left; all the other cards had the number horizontal at bottom. All the cards show a die impression.]

    And a very different view of the Supreme Court, number 915265A.

    BEP White House NE.jpeg BEP Building.jpeg BEP Sup Ct.jpeg
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
    gsalexan likes this.
  4. harrync

    harrync Well-Known Member

    Looks like the same card I posted on the thread today [Sept 27, 2020 - late to the show again]. Most likely it had a number on the back which has been trimmed off.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  5. harrync

    harrync Well-Known Member

    Going through my cards I found two more "old printings" of the White House NE view. One is number 939865A - one number higher than the one I posted earlier - hey, "consecutive serial numbers"! And they were bought years apart. The other is number 593660 in brown ink. I think the BEP building card I posted was also in brown ink.

    Just in case you don't have copies of the most recently available BEP building and Supreme Court cards, I will post scans of them below. The BEP building card is on slick tan stock; I also have it on mat-like white stock, but without the "Bureau of Engraving and Printing" imprint. So many varieties of PV cards. BEP building 2.jpeg BEP Sup Ct 2.jpeg
    gsalexan and SteveInTampa like this.
  6. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    These are all very interesting! I didn't really understand what those blue impression numbers were until about five years ago, when someone at the BEP Historical Research Center explained it to me.

    The numbers were a way to log "working proofs" that were printed for various production reasons. The numbers were noted in big logbooks, starting in the 1870s. The proofs were supposed to be returned or destroyed, but obviously many of them were kept. Around 1900, the Bureau restarted the numbering in a new set of logbooks. No one seems to know what became of the earlier books -- they may be somewhere in the National Archives. Impression numbers that end in "A" may actually be a third reset of the numbering, although that's a little uncertain.

    I have two proofs that match yours, Monticello and the BEP Bldg., with very close impression numbers. I will dig those up tomorrow -- I was able to obtain specific dates on those two. I think the notations on your proofs are just background details, not the dates they were actually pulled.
  7. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    The impression number on my Monticello is 940642A and it was pulled Jan. 2, 1948 -- so probably just a few months after yours. The BEP Building proof I have is numbered 610603A -- exactly eight impressions before yours! My guess is they pulled a batch of those proofs as give-aways. I don't have a precise date for that one, but I would guestimate it's from the late 1930s. And that would put your Supreme Court proof at around the mid-1940s, though the clothing looks a little earlier.

    Peter Huntoon provided me with a list of the logbook volumes, showing which numbers correspond to the span of dates. It's not complete, but it does help narrow down the year for many of these blue numbers. Somewhere in the early 1920s the numbering restarted, but the A suffix doesn't show up until the 1930s.

    Proof impressions grew exponentially around the 1920s. In 1904, the Bureau was averaging roughly 4000 proof impression per month. By 1911 that number was up to 4600 a month, then 5,500 by 1921. But by 1928 they were averaging over 45,000 proof impressions per month. The most likely explanation is the production growth of National Bank Notes and stamps.

    Here are examples of how the typestyle changed over the years. The first impression number is from the 1880s, the second is 1921, the last is 1948.

    Impression numbers.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  8. JonJay

    JonJay New Member

    Hi all I have some of theses I would post them but not sure with the way this forum works for adding images
  9. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Welcome to the neighborhood, JJ!

    As long as you're not trying to sell them (forum rules), it isn't that hard. However, you might want to start your own thread since this one is fairly old. Just use the "Upload a File" at the bottom and select the images you want to post. You might have to use additional posts if you have a lot of images.
    USS656 and SteveInTampa like this.
  10. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    I, for one, would be interested in seeing your scans. And I think there may be others who continue to monitor and respond to this thread, even though it's no longer very active.

    Welcome to the forum!
    USS656 and midas1 like this.
  11. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    In that case, go for it, JJ!
    midas1 likes this.
  12. USS656

    USS656 Here to Learn Supporter

    Ditto! Would love to see what you have!
  13. harrync

    harrync Well-Known Member

    A little late to the show [the original post was just over seven years ago] but thought I would add that "The Centennial" was also used on the $1000 bond of the "Loan of 1925" [issued in 1895 - Hessler X170D], mostly in its original form with the Liberty Cap. The cap may have been removed on the silver certificate to appease Southerners; it is generally believed the cap was removed from the Statue of Freedom on top of the Capitol for that reason. In the Roman Republic, the cap was given to freed slaves, not something [former] slaveholders might appreciate seeing on their currency or on the top of the Capitol. Perhaps with the bond they just didn't think it necessary to go to the trouble of modifying it, since they would mostly be held by big city northern banks. [It is also speculated that the $500 coin note was never issued because it featured Gen. Sherman.]
    gsalexan likes this.
  14. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    This thread has always been one of my faves, but I don't get back to visit very often. Let's bump it up with an interesting addition. This vignette is titled Return of Peace -- here she is in her original form on a proof I own.

    Return of Peace cu.jpg

    In 1869, the BEP decided to use her on a $50 Legal Tender note...but with one minor alteration. Apparently, they was dissatisfied with the little statue of Mercury she is holding, so that was replaced with a new one. This proof is from the Smithsonian's BEP Certified proof collection:

    Return of Peace on unissued 1869 $50 Treasury Note.jpg Unissued 1869 $50 Treasury Note.jpg

    This was a very attractive design, but ultimately it didn't match the format that the Bureau decided to go with for the series. So they scrapped it at the last minute and redesigned. Here is the result -- thankfully, they kept Peace. But guess what -- they still didn't like the statue of Mercury! So they re-engraved it for a third time. The final product appears on Fr. 151.

    Return of Peace on issued 1869 $50 LT.jpg

    $50 1869 US Note.jpg
    SteveInTampa, TheNoost and Dave M like this.
  15. Dave M

    Dave M Francophiliac

    It would be fun to know what the debates were about how Mercury should look :)
    gsalexan likes this.
  16. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    I knew this was a BEP portrait when I spotted the blue numbering on the back. But this is not the official portrait, which must have been engraved a few years later. Let's see if anyone can identify this gentleman.

    Justice X.jpg
  17. SteveInTampa

    SteveInTampa Always Learning

    It looks a lot like Justice Edward White
  18. gsalexan

    gsalexan Intaglio aficionado

    Right you are! It is Chief Justice Edward D. White. By my estimate, this print was pulled around 1912. However, it is different than the later BEP portrait, which the Bureau used to sell as part of its Chief Justice series.

    PV-108 Justice White.jpg
    Pickin and Grinin likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page