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$5 1889 Note Design
Face Design: Montreal Harbour/D. Maisonneuve
Back Design: Lathework, counters and bank name
This is an extremely rare uncirculated original set of face and back proof notes from La Banque Ville-Marie $5 issue of 1889. (124 years old)
While Canada has a rich history of bank notes issued for circulation by the chartered banks from the early 1800s through to the early 1940s, surviving notes from most issues prior to the 1930s are extremely rare. This is especially true for some of the smaller banks such as La Banque Ville-Marie. For many issues in the 1800s, there are no high grade surviving examples known, and in some cases, no issued examples are known in any grade.
In some cases, one or more original "printer's proofs" have survived as high grade examples of these rare notes. These were the actual first sample notes printed for approval by the bank president and other officials. They are usually one sided notes printed on fine paper, and often set on card stock for presentation. Engravers were sometimes permitted to keep one or more proof samples of their work, and some of these proof notes were saved for many decades by the bank note printing company.
Today, proof notes such as this set serve as amazing time capsules, and are some of the rarest and highest museum quality numismatic items ever available to collectors. There are no uncirculated or even mid grade issued examples of this note known to have survived. Low grade circulated examples have sold for about $5,000.
Banque Ville-Marie, 1872-1899
Established in Montreal in 1872, La Banque Ville-Marie suspended payment on June 25, 1899, when it was discovered that there were fraudulent over-circulation of notes that had not been shown on the government return. In addition, a substantial number of bad debts arising from fraudulent transactions had not been reported. Criminal prosecution was taken against several of them for theft, fraud and the filing of false returns, and the president and chief accountant were sentenced to jail.
• Original Painter's Proof Notes (Front & Back - $5 1889)