Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Curios: The Santa Claus Banknotes

Santa: Bottom right (click to see larger image). Image Source: Heritage Auctions.

Curios is my blog series on weird artifacts that come up on the block at auction houses. In January 2012, in Orlando, Florida, Heritage Auctions will be selling off the Durand collection of banknotes which had special issues with images of Santa Claus printed on them. You know, this was back in the days before people were disgusted by Christmas being emblematic of rampant capitalism. The collection includes counterfeit bills. From the Heritage Auctions announcement:
Heritage Currency is pleased to present The Roger H. Durand Santa Claus Notes Collection as part of our FUN Signature Currency Auction being held in Orlando from January 5 thru 8. Given the fact that most of the notes with Santa Claus vignettes are scarce to extremely rare, this is indeed a fabulous and noteworthy collection. Roger's initial purchase that began this collection took place in 1960 at a cost of $17 — several multiples of what most Obsoletes cost at that time. At that time, there was only one reference on the subject — a five page monograph by John A. Muscalus, Ph.D. published in 1959. That work was followed in 1973 by a publication from Larry L. Ruehlen that ignited the interest of collectors.

There were far fewer notes than there was demand for and the notes are generally prized and closely held, so building a collection was quite the challenge. Although that is still the case, the sale of the American Bank Note Company archives in 1990 did add more material to the marketplace along with Part VI of the Ford sale in October 2004, although the Ford sale consisted primarily of material he purchased at the 1990 sale. The continued interest in the Santa Claus vignettes is evidenced by the fact they took the number 23 spot on the list of The 100 Greatest American Currency Notes list, and the recent auction sale of a circulated Santa Claus note for over $40,000, an amazing price indeed for any obsolete banknote.

May your eyes twinkle and your dimples be merry this holiday season.
Santa: Bottom right (click to see larger image). Image Source: Heritage Auctions.
Santa: Centre (click to see larger image). Image Source: Heritage Auctions.
Santa: Centre (click to see larger image). Image Source: Heritage Auctions.
Image Source: Heritage Auctions.

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