Choice 1878 "Wide Format" Norton I 50 Cents NoteEx Ford CollectionSan Francisco, California. The Imperial Government of Norton I, March 11, 1878. 50 Cents at 5% Interest 1878. PCGS Currency Very Fine 25 Apparent. Mounting Remnants on Back.There are a few distinct Norton I note types (as in the defining 1962 Fred B. Marchkhoff listings) and this among the rarer in our opinion. It exceeds its technical grade visually and is one of the most attractive examples we have seen or auctioned. The Norton I notes are iconic American Currency Notes and to this day, fascinating San Francisco historical artifacts.Uniface, printed on bond paper. Very wide, broader than last, note. Lithographed without imprint at base, possibly Charles A. Murdock & Co. [per Marckhoff article]. At the upper left, half-length Norton I portrait in uniform. The California State seal at the upper right under "UNITED STATES". Titles at top center with outlined "NORTON I" at top center. Obligation below with the note due in 1880, with conversion to 5% interest bonds. The note could be extended by the holder for 20 years at 7% interest. Marckhoff General Type 5. Hand dated March 11th, 1878 with written serial number 2533. Boldly signed at the lower right "Norton I Emperor". This is different series than last in size, vignette structure and obligation. When cataloged in the Ford XX sale, we considered it to be rarer than the last type which seems accurate based upon sale's appearances in the last forty hears. Few surveyed collections have had an example from this series (the Newman example had not been enumerated in the census and was not sold until November 2018). The note is lightly wrinkled with some glue remnants on the back that do not affect the face and noted as "Mounting Remnants on the Back." This realized an epic price for a Norton I note in Ford XX at $34,500. Its eye appeal exceeds its technical grade in our view and it is worth a premium compared to others that have appeared infrequently on the market. A significant historical note with elite pedigree.Estimate: $10,000 - $20,000.Provenance: Ex Ford Part XX, October 2007, lot 3037 at $34,500.00; previously from Norman Shultz, June 10, 1964.