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Lot # 754 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

One Dollar Silver Certificate Signed by Babe Ruth and Ken Strong

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,320

One-dollar Silver Certificate (Series 1935A) signed by both Babe Ruth and Hall of Fame football player Ken Strong in black fountain pen on the front. Ruth's signature, on the right side of the bill, grades "3/4," while Strong's, located on the left side, grades "8." This bill is new to the modern collecting world and was only just recently discovered by our consignor while going through some old family boxes that had been in storage for decades. While a dollar bill might seem to be a very unlikely item to have signed, and few examples for Ruth exist (this is just the third authentic example we have seen in years), there is a very logical explanation for how and why a person would have Ruth sign currency. People often encountered Ruth unexpectedly, either on the street, at a railroad station, at a restaurant, etc., and during those chance meetings, an autograph was always a souvenir that was practical and requested, and Ruth was always happy to oblige. But often there was no ball or photo or sometimes anything to sign. Most people at least had a dollar bill with them, and this came in handy for signing on at least a few occasions. Both Ruth and Strong, who played for the New York Giants, were frequent guests at various off-season banquets over the years and it is likely that this bill was signed at one such affair. All Ruth-signed dollar bills are extremely rare. This is a particularly unusual example as it is a Silver Certificate. Silver Certificates, which could be redeemed for their equivalent value in silver at the time, were common during the 1930s, especially one-dollar notes. Congress abolished Silver Certificates in 1963 and all redemption in silver ended in 1968, but they are still legal tender today. As a point of reference, the only other Babe Ruth signed one-dollar silver certificates previously offered by REA appeared, respectively, in our May 2009 (Lot 976; realized $3,525) and our April 2014 (Lot 906; realized $5,925) auctions. The offered bill is a circulated note and displays toning, numerous creases, and a tiny tear along the upper border. In Good condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $1,320


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