1775 "Allegorical / Gunpowder" Political Propaganda Issue Political Woodblock Vignette Note By Thomas Sparrow
Provincial Convention of Maryland. July 26, 1775. Two Dollars and Two Thirds of a Dollar. Thomas Sparrow Engraved "Allegorical / Gunpowder" Woodcut vignettes, Propaganda and Political Revolutionary War Issue. PMG graded Choice Fine-15.
Fr. MD-75. An important 1775 early Revolutionary War Maryland paper money rarity. A historic classic Colonial American "Patriotic Propaganda" issued note engraved by Thomas Sparrow. Unique in style, this issue is shown illustrated on page 174 of the current 5th edition of THE EARLY PAPER MONEY OF AMERICA" reference by Eric Newman. Very collectible, as the face side is particularly clean and well printed. The holder notes repaired, as there conservation to restore the upper corners and some small thins from old mounting traces. This note appears even in circulation, Signed by "Robert Lloyd Nicols" in brown ink at bottom right. The reverse side appears well above average for this issue, with its details and designs upon the paper.
This note's Allegorical vignettes displayed on both front and back are totally unique in their designs as compared to any other Colonial era currency. The vignette at the upper half on its face side displays a Hand-engraved woodblock printed vignette which has a "Folk Art" appearance. At right, a female figure holding a Liberty Cap on a pole, representing AMERICA, is shown trampling on a scroll marked "SLAVERY" having a column of American troops marching behind her. That vignette also shows King George III of Britain setting fire to an American city with a torch, while also symbolically trampling upon the Magna Charta. The right side border cut design includes the text: "An appeal to HEAVEN." The left side border text reads: "Pro Aris et Focis" which translated from Latin reads: "for altars and the hearth." The reverse side is entirely given over to a vignette signifying Peace and Liberty. A choice Four Dollar denomination of this issue sold in May of 2004 for over $16,000 in the John J. Ford Jr. Collection Auction, Part III. A very rare Two Dollars and Two Thirds denomination which is lacking in most all collections. This July 26, 1775 Maryland "Allegorical / Gunpowder" Propaganda issue is considered to be one of the most prized, historically important and desirable Revolutionary War era paper money notes.
Eric Newman states in his reference, "The Early Paper Money of America" that this specific issue was brought about pursuant to a resolve of the Maryland Convention to promote the manufacture of gunpowder.
The face displays a propaganda-filled woodcut, engraved by Thomas Sparrow, which depicts Britannia receiving a petition of the Continental Congress, "CONG PETI" from a female figure representing America.
America is trampling on a scroll marked SLAVERY and is holding a Liberty Cap in front of American troops carrying the flag of Liberty, LIB; and on the left, George III is trampling on the M(agna) CHARTA and applying a fire brand to an American city which is under attack by a British fleet.
The side border cuts carry AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN and PRO ARIS ET FOCIS (For altar and hearth). On the back side, the figures of America and Britannia are shown achieving peace, PAX TRIUMPHIS POTIOR (Peace is preferable to victory), LIBERTY, T. SPARROW and FG (Frederick Green, the printer).