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 Post subject: Unique Impressions
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 9:41 pm 
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I'm back from my business trip. As I indicated previously, I used some of the time (in flight time mostly) to do some research using the Christie's data. I'm not sure if I intend to publish an article yet, but I am tempted. My hangup is that the more I think about it, the less confident I am about my conclusions.

Anyway, I already have a working title (Unique Impressions), I have the raw data, and I have a pretty good idea how I want the article to unfold. All I have to do now is extract the data from spreadsheet format to readable text and write the article around the data.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 9:49 pm 
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So what is your conclusion?

Bernie


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:01 pm 
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The thing I'm trying to understand is whether any of the proofs listed in the Christies sales constitute unique examples of a listed type. My initial conclusion was that if a specific type was listed as SENC and there was only one of that type in proof form, that would constitute a Unique Impression.

The more I thought about it, however, the more it occurred to me that it's MUCH easier to disprove uniqueness than to prove it. Moreover, since some proofs were released before the Christies sale, and the likelihood is that there would be overlap with the types released at the Christies sale, some portion of the notes that met the above criteria would not, in fact, be unique impressions.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:36 pm 
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Yes, uniqueness is essentially not provable.

In this case, even though Haxby might list a note as SENC, we know that he did not see all of the ABNC proofs. This is verified by the many proofs that are in Christie's but not in Haxby, either as UNL or SENC.

Additionally, we know that there were a significant number of pre-Haxby proofs. So although Haxby might have listed one of these as SENC, there could be multiple copies. As I stated on May 6, a pre-Haxby CAA catalog had a proof that was neither in Haxby nor in Christie’s. Again there could be multiple copies.

Regarding the title “Unique Impressions”. Do you mean “unique proof impression” or “only surviving impression? Certainly if the proof was unique and Haxby listed the note as SENC, this does not mean that no issued notes existed, only that none had been seen by Haxby up to 1988. I own quite a few SENC notes, both proofs and issued ones. I will try to investigate if my issued SENC notes also have proofs.

Thus I totally agree that uniqueness is virtually impossible to prove.

Bernie


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:43 pm 
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I forgot to add in my previous post that both Stacks and Harmers have auctioned proofs after Christies and there might be more to come. Some of the plates also came with proofs. So again, Uniqueness is difficult.

Bernie


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PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:37 pm 
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Are you considering a Christie proof like the attached one as being potentially a unique impression?

This was listed in Heritage as:

Quote:
Brownsville, PA- Monongahela Bank $10 G20 Hoober UNL Proof A very rare early Proof which is unlisted in Hoober and listed in Haxby with the notation "No Description Available." Uncirculated, mounted on paper stock.


Haxby lists it as PA-40-G20 and this note is “unique” in Christie’s catalog.

No, I do not have an issued note of this one. I am still looking.

Bernie


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 12:22 am 
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So here is an SENC note listed in Heritage:

http://currency.ha.com/common/view_item ... c=pr#PHOTO

Brooklyn, NY- Long Island Bank $1 Sept. 6, 1841 G2
An extremely rare Brooklyn note which is listed as SENC in the Haxby reference. This note comes from the earliest issue from here, and is signed as President by G. Lefferts, a prominent Brooklyn leader whose name is commemorated in present day Lefferts Boulevard. Fine-very Fine, with a couple of reverse repairs which affect little.

This is an issued version of Haxby NY-325-G2 listed as SENC.

Now the Christie’s catalog shows two of these and not one. If it listed one, would you potentially have considered this to be unique. But since an issued note actually exists, it would certainly not be considered a unique impression?

Bernie


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:04 am 
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The definition I'm looking for could best be thought of as a proof note for which no issued notes exist. The most intuitive explanation is that the bank either didn't select that printer to do the work, or it went bust before the printing was complete. Another description of the definition would be the only surviving pull from the completed printing plate.

The PA-40 example you showed would fit the preliminary data filter... listed as SENC and only one example was listed in Christie's.

I'm not really sure why this crystalized as the idea I wanted to pursue. I noted that there were hundreds of notes for which only 1 example was listed in Chritie's, and hundreds more that were listed as SENC. I was curious about the overlap of the two sets, and wanted to know whether there was any significance in that overlap. I feel certain there is... but also feel we need more filters to get to something really meaningful.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 8:05 am 
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What is interesting about the PA-40-G20 note is that not only did I want it for the Bridge vignette, but I did think at the time (01/07) that it might be unique because it was listed as NDA in Haxby and I had looked it up in Christie’s where I did see it as the only one listed. That is, I bid much more aggressively to obtain this potentially unique impression. Of course, now our spreadsheet would make these bidding decisions much easier.

However, there could certainly be an issued note in somebody’s hands out there. It always surprises me on how many SENC issued notes surface. These can be sitting in collections for decades (like the Muscalus collection of Buffalo notes) before seeing the light of day at an auction. I have also seen many notes (and stock certificates) in the many museum and historical archives that I have visited in the Niagara area. I have even bought several SENC issued notes on ebay, which is why I aggressively search the site daily.

I will think more about your thoughts regarding the different imprints and uniqueness associated with the banks using a different printer for the issued notes.

Bernie


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 11:28 am 
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By the way, there may also be other proofs out there that got released before Christie's big clearance sale.

And therein lies the rub... until we have a more comprehensive listing of what has been released and what is out there, we'd just be guessing about what is unique and what isn't

So it occurred to me that the most intelligent approach is to look at this in reverse. Instead of getting to the end of the road and describing what's there, we can take the reader on the journey with us. Let's document what we know now, and openly acknowledge where we anticipate there are gaps in our knowledge.

As we move toward filling those gaps we can advance the story. As others help us fill those gaps they can become part of the journey.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:10 pm 
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Regarding: “By the way, there may also be other proofs out there that got released before Christie's big clearance sale.”

The first attached proof from the Bank of Trenton, TN (TN-235-G4) is listed in Christie’s as being unique. Notice that it is mounted on card just like Christie says.

The second attached proof from the same bank is certainly a different proof since it is not mounted and the cancellation holes are obviously different.

For TN-235-G4, Haxby lists this note as a proof only. Remember, if he knew of an issued note, he would ignore the proof. Thus he only “saw” a proof of this note. If he had not seen a proof, he would have listed this note as SENC. I believe that the note he saw probably is the second attached note. This does not mean that there were not other copies of this particular proof!

Yes, there are many other proofs out there before Christie’s sale!!!

Bernie

P. S. What is the status of NASCA catalogs?


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 Post subject: Re: Unique Impressions
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 10:01 am 
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I've been doing more thinking about this potential article, and have continued processing the raw data. I noticed that there were a few among the notes that I flagged that were unlisted in Haxby... and the thought occurred to me that there might be another group of unique impressions... those not listed by Haxby with only one example noted in the sale. I'll start a second pass through the data to try to filter those into a collection.

Anyway, among the ones listed by Haxby as SENC with only one example in the sale, I found about 970 individual notes. I've split those into a separate worksheet so I can see if other examples (either released or proof) came up for sale before or since, altering either the SENC status or the unique state of the proof.

I'll continue working on the data now, removing the Haxby numbers for the notes not listed as SENC/unique, so that I can compile the list for the article.

If you have any other thoughts about how I could move forward with this article, I'd love to hear them.

- Greg


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 Post subject: Re: Unique Impressions
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 12:00 pm 
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Proofs that are unique in Christie could come from the following Haxby categories:
1. SENC
2. Unlisted
3. Listed as proofs.

I add the last category because in principle a unique proof listed in Christie could also have been the same unique proof that Haxby “saw”. Remember that these would probably have been listed as SENC if he had not seen a proof. Unfortunately we don’t know when Haxby saw a proof, whether or not it was unique. So if a note is unique in Christie and observed as proof only in Haxby, can we consider the proof unique? Probably not since my own TN-235-G4 above is a direct counter example. So, I don’t think that category 3 can be included.
However, I do suspect that this category would have some “unique impressions”.

Also, how good was Christie in terms of the SENC connection? You note that there were about 970 listed as SENC in Christie’s sale. Where they good about always listing a proof as SENC when it was SENC? Have you done any cross checks?

I am still looking for counter examples. In particular SENC notes that are not SENC anymore but that were unique in Christie’s.

If you have an outline of the paper, then I could comment more easily.

Do you only want to concentrate on the “Unique Impressions” in this paper? Since uniqueness seems to be impossible to prove, an alternative title might be “Unique Impression?”

To set the stage for “uniqueness” I would think that some census plots (like I showed earlier) would be useful?

Bernie


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 Post subject: Re: Unique Impressions
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 12:06 pm 
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Oh, by the way, do you consider unique proofs but with different imprints as unique impressions? Likewise for OP’s and dates? That is, can these three varieties create unique impressions?

Bernie


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 Post subject: Re: Unique Impressions
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 12:14 pm 
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I have not yet done any cross-checks of the SENC listings. I'm working at it from the other angle, at the moment... making sure that all the notes I've captured as "uniques" are in fact listed as SENC. That's obviously a smaller (and more integrated) effort, since it only involves checking the 970 notes. (as opposed to the 19,580 other notes).

I haven't actually written an outline for the paper yet. I want to get my data and my thoughts a little more structured before I commit to an outline. Essentially, I see the paper including these elements:

1) Brief description of the database project
2) Cursory overview of the data with some personal observations and impressions
3) Discussion of relative rarity of proof notes (most common types and least common)
4) Definitions of "unique" and methods of disproving
5) List of current findings
6) Indication of work to be done with invitation for others to participate and provide their data

- Greg

P.S. To your last question, I do think that if a particular Haxby reference number shows one with OP and one without, that constitutes two unique impressions. So the short answer is yes.


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