Virginia: March 4, 1773-Ashby Notes
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    Virginia Currency

    March 4, 1773 - Ashby Notes (issued September 1773)

    This emission of £36,384 was first issued on April 1, 1773 as Treasurer's Promissory Notes on indented James River Bank forms, as discussed in the previous entry. These makeshift bank forms were be replaced as soon as possible with indented bills of credit. As counterfeits of the previous Virginia printed issues were circulating it was decided to contract Harry Ashby of London to engrave the plates and print these large size notes in London on fine laid paper. The sheets did not arrive arrived in Virginia until September 1773 where they were numbered and signed and then offered in exchange for the bank forms. The denominations issued were: 20s, £2, £3 and £5. The 20s note also carries the £1 designation. Newman states the original copper plate for the £3 note survives.


    £2               Serial Number: 6/532                 VA 03/04/73 Ashby

    Signers: Peyton Randolph and John Blair .

    Size: not available

    Comments: Indented note numbered and signed in black ink. Countersigned on the blank back by Robert Carter Nicholas, Treasurer. No image on the back is available.

    Courtesy of Early American Numismatic Auctions, Inc.   Images used with permission from their on-line auction catalog for the auction of November 16, 1996, lot 441.


    £5               Serial Number: 9/1164                 VA 03/04/73 Ashby

    Signers: B. Dandridge and John Blair .

    Size: 162x120mm (written space excluding indent 130x108mm)

    Comments: Engraved indented note numbered and signed in black ink. The arms of Virginia is displayed at the top of the note. The indent design reads VIRGINIA in gothic type with "TO COUNTERFEIT IS DEATH" below in white. In the scrollwork is ASHBY SCULP on the left and LONDON on the right, signifying Harry Ashby engraved the plate in London. Endorsed on the otherwise blank back by Robert Carter Nicholas, Treasurer. For a detail of the endorsment signature by Nicholas click here. The thin laid paper has several watermarks: in the center is a design consisting of the letter C opposite a reversed C; also along the right front edge is a looped line. To view the endorsed back click here.

    Provenance: Purchased through the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment from the R.M. Smythe public auction no. 207, Chicago Paper Money Exposition, 03/02/01, lot 2130.