The South Carolina Department of Archives and History is auctioning, in sealed bid format, 317 lots of obsolete currency during the month of May. The Archives had 40 boxes worth of currency (now down to about 36 boxes) dating from the 1820’s through the 1860’s, all of which was issued by The Bank of the State of South Carolina; the bundles were sealed in 1880 when people redeemed the notes for state bonds, and we have recently started opening the bundles and selling many of the notes at public auction. This auction includes fractionals and whole-dollar notes of every denomination, as well as plate sets, similar note sets, and even uncut sheets, on the back of which are whole railroad bond notes. One $1 note is signed by Confederate General and SC Governor Wade Hampton, and some notes were previously unknown to the numismatic community. All of the proceeds will go to preservation efforts (storage and equipment, non-acidic document folders, etc.); it’s a great gift for the agency to have during a budget crisis.
You can check out all the auction details on our website http://www.palmettohistory.org/currencyauction/index.html which includes a PDF file of the entire catalog with color images of every lot being sold. Anyone planning to be in the Columbia area on May 3 and/or May 26 should stop by the SCDAH to actually see the notes live (more details in the catalog), but most bidders will likely use the catalog as their only guide.
It’s May (believe it or not), so it’s on!