$1 Proof

Mercantile Bank, Salem


The bank was organized around 1826 and remained in business until becoming the Mercantile National Bank of Salem in 1865. The $1 design features a busy harbor scene and an odd allegorical vignette of a woman seated with what appears to be an incense burner. Rather uniquely, apparently the entire design has been entered according to an Act of Congress in 1860 by the bank rather than by ABNCo. This was a common practice by the bank note companies to register vignettes, much like the copyright process. Not in the 1990 ABNCo Archives sale, but illustrated in Proof form in Haxby, this note may well be his plate note based on the placement of the POCs. We suspect there are only a few of these as there have been no public auction appearances in at least the last decade (written in 2022).
Formerly of the Charles R. Pease, Jr. Collection