Emperor Norton I Note Tied for Finest Printed in San Francisco, CA Featured in 100 Greatest American

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / Paper Money - United States Start Price:7,000.00 USD Estimated At:20,000.00 - 30,000.00 USD
Emperor Norton I Note Tied for Finest Printed in San Francisco, CA Featured in 100 Greatest American
10,500.00USD+ (2,100.00) buyer's premium + applicable fees & taxes.
This item SOLD at 2018 Sep 21 @ 22:52UTC-7 : PDT/MST
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Emperor Norton I Note
Tied for Finest Printed in San Francisco, CA
Featured in 100 Greatest American Currency Notes. California, San Francisco 50 Cent Bond. August 1, 1878. The Imperial Government of Norton 1. S/N 2700. PMG Very Fine 30. Signed by Joshua Norton. Highly Desirable and Rare Emperor Norton I Note - The First "Emperor" of California. This note is issued by THE IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT OF NORTON I. This 50-cent note (bond) was issued on 1 August 1878, promising that the bearer will be paid 50 cents in 1880 with interest at five percent per annum.

This not appears to have been trimmed at the edge, although this does not affect the border or images of the document. The bill measures 9.25" x 4.25" and has some fold creasing. A small crescent shaped piece is out of the bottom and there appears to be some adhesive stains on the back. It is signed by His Majesty himself, Norton I Emperor.

Norton Notes
These notes are known to have nine varieties, issues over a ten year period.
Norton began issuing notes in November 1870 payable at 7 percent interest. These initial notes were printed by Cuddy & Hughes.

The note listed in this sale is a type 6 note. Type 6 notes were issued from January to July in 1878, at 5 percent interest. These notes were printed by Chas. Murdoch & Company. All type 6 notes known are in the 50-cent denomination.
The last known issued note, #3042, was on 8 January 1880, the day the Emperor passed away.
This high serial number suggests that the good Emperor has just over 3,000 notes printed! Of that number, less than 40 are still known to exist, with no more than 11 of any one type.

It was chosen as one of the 100 Greatest American Currency Notes by Q. David Bowers and David M. Sundman. This note is graded by PMG at VF30 tied with the finest known. It was issued in denomination of 50 cents to $100 at a rate of about 300 annually. This is a VERY RARE note that has more character and provenance than most other western notes.

The Emperor Norton Story

Joshua Norton was a businessman who came to San Francisco from South Africa in the 1850's. After making a few real estate purchases with a $40,000 inheritance, he invested in a ship load of rice. He intended to corner the rice market due to the large population of Chinese in the "City". Unfortunately, three other shiploads arrived in the bay shortly thereafter, destroying the rice market and bankrupting Norton.

Whether the financial distaste was the cause of not, Norton left San Francisco for a few years and returned the self-proclaimed "Emperor of the United States and the Protector of Mexico".
Like any good leader of a government, real or imagined, the Emperor had to raise capital to support his government, hence, the Emperor Norton Notes.

No one was really sure if he was insane or just eccentric, nonetheless, he could eat in their best restaurants in town for free, was saluted by the local police officers and much loved by the community. He was also famous for his proclamations and edicts and decrees including the firing of Abraham Lincoln and the Congress; his decree that dissolved and abolished the Democratic and Republican parties because of the party strife now existing within his realm; a decree demanding that Sacramento clean its muddy streets and place gaslights on streets leading to the capitol.

He was also a visionary, ordering that a survey be taken to see if a suspension bridge or tunnel was the best method for joining the cities of San Francisco and Oakland to ease transportation between the two cities.
Evidence of the affection that San Francisco held for this monarch was on clear display when more than 20,000 people attended his funeral in 1880.

This is your chance to own a piece of charismatic American royalty!