The History Bank’s Largest Sale with 350+ Items Goes Live September 1, 2021

Just a reminder to those of you collecting not just studying the World’s Columbian Exposition, as I post this article there is just one month until the opening of our next sale.

Approximately 20% of the items in the sale will be Columbian. Some of them will be included in our forthcoming COLUMBIAN RARITIES book. I’m very pleased with the selection we’ve been able to assemble for the sale.

The Columbian portion of the sale includes medals, tickets and other ephemera. Besides Columbiana we will have a wide range of expo material and other historical items.

On the expo side, we will have more than a dozen different world’s fairs represented, including one of the largest group of items seen in a single sale from the first-ever world’s fair, the Exhibition of All Nations at London’s Crystal Palace in 1851. Two highlights include an original framed photo of the massive glass building and a beautiful porcelain lidded box with the building on the top. Amond the many medals from the fair is an NGC slabbed gem BU medal featuring the Crystal Palace.

The sale will also include items from the little known and little collected first world’s fair held in the United States, New York’s version of its own aptly named Crystal Palace held just two years after the original. I suspect that it is not a well-collected fair because so very few items exist from it. Our sale includes the first we’ve ever seen of a book-length guide to the Exposition. While highly collectible, it also serves as a very rare reference source. We also have a very handsome original engraving of the New York Crystal Palace that would be very impressive framed in a home or office.

Besides expo material, the sale includes Civil War items (from stamps to cannon balls!), numismatic items and other scarce Americana. While we virtually never handle modern medallic art, we have several beautiful contemporary high relief medals in the sale, including one patterned after the rare medal that Harlow Higinbotham presented to World’s Columbian commissioners.

Filling multiple collecting niches is an archive from the 19th century Eastman (as in Eastman Kodak) Business College. The collection is primarily from the Civil War through the 1880s. Among the items is an original diploma, student handbook, Eastman autographed note, a very rare token classified as a Civil War storecard and a rare series of fractional currency notes. One lot is a complete run of the fractional currency, while other lots include single fractionals as well as the school’s privately issued currency from $1 to $10.

The story of the Eastman College is quite interesting and it was unlike similar institutions around the country in that era; most were small schools with commensurately small enrollments. Eastman College was huge by comparison to other 19th century schools teaching accounting, bookkeeping and stenography. The college was a bona fide private college (not just a small school) that turned out hundreds of graduates annually, who were highly sought after by businesses throughout the country because of their high degree of training.

The sale will begin at NOON PACIFIC TIME SEPTEMBER 1 and will be held in two locations online:

  1. The majority of items, all offered at fixed prices, will be in our online store,
  2. Auction items, which will make up 10-15% of the lots, will be posted on Ebay, also going live at noon on the first.

Please contact me with any questions, both general or about specific lots, at:

(425 )481-8818 or at

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