PMG Certifies Incredible 1811 Venezuelan Uncut Sheet

Posted on 12/11/2019

The historic ultra-rarity from Latin America is being offered in a NUMISUBASTAS.COM auction in February 2020.

Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) recently certified a rare uncut sheet of five 1811-dated second issue Venezuelan 1 Peso notes (Pick# 4A). Graded PMG 35 Choice Very Fine, the uncut sheet will be offered in NUMISUBASTAS.COM’s February 7-8, 2020 auction at Margarita Island, Venezuela.

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Notes like this one hold a special place in the hearts of Venezuelan paper money collectors. The August 27, 1811-dated uniface series of Estados Unidos de Venezuela (United States of Venezuela) represents the first paper money issued by Venezuela after its declaration of independence from Spain. This declaration, made on July 5, 1811, marked Venezuela’s initial attempt at independence, which was defeated.

General Francisco de Miranda proposed the issue, which was approved by the Supreme Congress of Venezuela under an August 27, 1811 law in the amount of 1 million pesos (with the peso valuation being set at 8 reales to 1 peso). On November 18, 1811, the notes were released into circulation in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 pesos. On November 23, a supplemental issue of 2 reales denominated notes was authorized.

There are three different and distinct issues of the 1811-dated Venezuela 1-peso note, described in “Billetes de Venezuela” by Richard L. Rosenman. All issues were printed with wooden plates by Juan Baillio and Luis Delpech, the owners of a printing press in Caracas.

The first issue (Pick #4) has the printed signatures of Roscio, Blandin and Tovar with a handwritten serial number. As the first issue was extensively counterfeited, a second issue was authorized on February 7, 1812 (Pick# 4A) bearing the printed signatures of Sata, Alustiza and Yarza. The design elements of the second issue were slightly changed from the first – the most noticeable change being the printed “Un Peso” denomination located to the left of the seal design, while in the first issue it was located below the seal design on the left.

A third issue with the same design as the second issue but with the printed signatures of Yarza, Sata and Salicrup was issued about two months before the fledgling Republic fell on July 25, 1812 and royalist forces occupied Caracas. Although Venezuela initially declared independence in 1811, Spain resisted and the war for self-government continued for more than a decade until the country achieved full independence in 1821 under the leadership of Simon Bolivar, the famous “Libertador.”

Given the brief lifespan of the third issue, they are considered the rarest. However, because the victorious royalist forces under General Monteverde recovered as many notes as possible and had them burned in the city of La Victoria in 1812, all 1811 series notes are challenging to find. To date, in additional to this uncut sheet of five, PMG has graded five examples of Pick# 4 (first issue) and three other examples Pick# 4A (second issue).

It is astonishing that this uncut sheet survived in such a high state of preservation. As the PMG 35 Choice Very Fine grade suggests, the paper is strong with bold print. This uncut sheet is pedigreed to the Tomas Stohr collection and was last offered in public auction in Caracas by NumiSur in November 2005, selling uncertified for $6,000 plus commission. Expectations are for this sheet to bring considerably more in today’s market.

To learn more about the NUMISUBASTAS.COM auction and view the catalog, visit www.numisubastas.com. Bidding can be done via email, telephone or live in the auction room. The auction house can be reached at info@numisubastas.com.


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