Museum-quality small size presentation set highlights currency auction

Henry Herrick Bond Presentation Set of Small Size Federal Currency Specimens $1-$10000. (Twenty-two notes total.)

Henry Herrick Bond Presentation Set of Small Size Federal Currency Specimens $1-$10000. (Twenty-two notes total.)

An extraordinary Complete Denomination Presentation Set of 11 Small Size Currency – consigned by the family of Henry Herrick Bond, who served as the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and led the changeover from large size to small size American currency – is expected to sell for $500,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Currency Auction Aug. 12-17, held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association Convention in Chicago.

“The 11 face and 11 back specimens are accompanied by a scrapbook of photos, letters, clippings and archival material depicting the career of Mr. Bond,” said Allen Mincho, Director of Currency Auctions at Heritage Auctions. “Not only is this archive a one-of-a-kind treasure, it’s a valuable look inside the life of the man who undertook a massive challenge and a Treasury career that spanned two presidents.”

Bond was the Harvard-educated lawyer who accepted an appointment from President Coolidge in 1927 to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon. At the Treasury Department, Bond assumed supervision of the Bureau of Internal Revenue as well as coordinating the transition from large size currency to small, which occurred on July 10, 1929. The enormous changeover required redesigns for Legal Tenders, Silver Certificates, Gold Certificates, Federal Reserve Bank Notes, Federal Reserve Notes, and National Bank Notes: 31 designs across all types and including all denominations. Though the extant of the changes was massive, by mid-1929 issuance of the Series 1928 notes began, followed by Series 1929 Nationals and FRBN’s a month later.

As the date approached, the Treasury was besieged with requests for the new money from well-connected businesses and individuals. It was decided that the first sheet of the new currency would be placed in the archives of the Treasury Department and the second presented to President Hoover for distribution to the President and his cabinet.

Bond tendered his resignation in August of 1929, just a month after the transition was complete. “He was presented this rare, complete wide-margin set at a special retirement party, a true glimpse of the admiration the Bureau and his coworkers had for Bond’s commitment and hard work on this project. The term “museum quality” is one which is often found in auction catalogues, often without any real justification, but it is absolutely applicable here,” Mincho said.

The auction features another lot tied to Bond’s collection: an 1800-1 $5 1929 National Bank Note “Model” (est. $75,000+). Bond was presented with this note, which Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) has labeled as a card-mounted proof a “Model” for the Series 1929 National Bank Note issue, and it is arguably the very first Series 1929 example ever produced.