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Rate this 4 volume set
Excellent 75%  75%  [ 3 ]
Good 25%  25%  [ 1 ]
Fair 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Poor 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 4
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:03 pm 
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Full Title: Standard Catalog of Obsolete Bank Notes 1782 - 1866
Author: James A. Haxby
Published: 1988
Publisher: Krause Publications Inc
4 volumes
ISBN-10: 0873410432
ISBN-13: 978-0873410434

This is the definitive work on the subject, and is highly sought after by serious collectors and dealers.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:16 pm 
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I've added my vote to the poll, and unfortunately had to rate it only "good". After spending a great deal of quality time with the four volumes, I've found a number of errors, and a great number of entries for which there is insufficient information to make the entry meaningful. One wonders why Haxby would list so many entries with nothing more than "Unknown" for the date and imprint, and "NDA" in the description. If you know nothing about a note, why pretend you know anything? Too many wily individuals can use such open-ended entries to give provenance to otherwise obviously spurious notes.

But when the information is there, it's brilliant. And for the most part, the information is there along with a low resolution B&W image. More than enough to attribute most notes.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Greg,

I have mixed feelings about the NDA, UNL, etc. I suspect that most of this information came from counterfeit detectors, Registers, and archival material. I also speculate that he might have much other information that never made it into the first edition.

Re: "If you know nothing about a note, why pretend you know anything?". But knowing the existence of a note is significant information. As an example, NH-70, the New Hampshire Bank lists all notes as NDA, Unknown description, and SENC. It does list denominations with separate issues for the 1800's and the 1810's. He probably gathered this information from some historical account of the the Strafford Bank, NH-75, which succeeded NH-70. Having the "unknown" information for NH-70 is still useful.

Re: "Too many wily individuals can use such open-ended entries to give provenance to otherwise obviously spurious notes." Have you actually seen this occur? I am amazed at how few "modern counterfeits" of obsoletes there are out there. This, of course, will change as obsoletes are becoming more valuable. As you know, we are seeing this with the "modern proofs" being misrepresented.

So the question is whether it is better to have none of this information (which took many hours to collate) presented or to have this information such that others can hopefully be inspired and add to it for later editions of the volumes. I suspect that his second edition (which seems to be in limbo) has benefited from input that he might not have received if he had not included the NDA, etc stuff in his first edition.

Also, does this information help the authors of the state books to look into more detail of these notes?

Re:"This is the definitive work on the subject (March 19)". I thought that the state books were the definitive catalogs?

Since you have perused many of the state books, do they fill in some of this information?

Given that this is a general and not a specialized catalog, I stand by my original vote of Excellent. I think the only other vote was mine.

_________________
Bernie


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:56 pm 
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Ok, here's an example. In the July 2, 1840 entry of the Ohio Bank Commissioners' Reports, A.J. Smith, cashier of the Granville Bank testifies that there was, among other notes in circulation, $200 worth of $100 notes. Now, nobody's ever seen one of these, and nobody has any idea what it looked like, or who printed it, etc. But you can't (in my opinion) just pretend it didn't exist, either. So Haxby and Wolka both list it as NDA. As far as Ohio is concerned, this is exactly where most of the NDA listing came from, because the BCRs give plenty of information and are readily available (as long as you can get to Columbus). It's not, however, going to give all the information a collector would ideally want.

In my opinion, the Haxby set needs to considered in context. It was a herculean effort that nobody has even tried to replicate. For most states, all that was available before hand was Wismer's paperback works. I still use mine on a regular basis, for the pictures more than anything else.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:01 pm 
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The state books vary in their usefulness at filling in the gaps. For example, they may list the imprint associated with a note or they may not. It was pretty clear to me that they didn't take what I think of as a structured approach to compiling the data. Rather, they seemed to just note what they knew and leave the rest to your imagination. One book, for example, had imprint information onl maybe one out of every ten notes.

However, they did have information on some types of notes (scrip, for example) that Haxby excluded. They might also contain information about stock certificates, bank drafts, and so on. The one thing most of them do have that Haxby doesn't is rarity information. However, they don't all have consistent rarity scales, so you need to know what the scales mean for the rating to be meaningful. I may look for some way to consolidate the rarity scales later.

Anyway, the point I was making about Haxby's listings of notes about which he knew nothing was that they are treated no differently than notes about which he knew everything. The have a G-number just like the fully described and imaged notes. That doesn't make any sense to me. I've noticed that auctioneers trying to catalog a note by a particular bank that doesn't fit any of the "known" descriptions will assume their note is the note described by very open-ended G-number with "Unknown" and "NDA". Christie's did it several times, Stacks has done the same, and I'm sure the other auctioneers make the same assumptions. Many different notes may easily be attributed to a single G-number simply because it is so poorly described. Haxby ought to have used a different number for notes about which he knew nothing. A U-number, perhaps.

- Greg


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:37 am 
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Here's a Haxby Set on eBay with an opening bif of $699.


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