When is a dog not a dog?

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ColonialCoinsUK

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Tampico-combined.thumb.jpg.2fed20cf5dceb6d929e67ebc9e4efab9.jpg

 

My first Mexican Banco note is a specimen* Tamaulipas 20 Pesos from 1902-1914 (S431s, M522s). As I have now discovered the state of Tamaulipas is on the east coast, bordering Texas and therefore facing the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. Tampico is located in the south east corner of the state and is not only a major port but the largest city, and also where the first branch of the bank was established by the Governor and a group of local business men and as such the back of all the notes in this series reflects the city Coat of Arms.

Only it doesn't, well not quite!

The boatman and the land are fine however the two animals in the foreground on the Coat of Arms are otters as Tampico apparently means 'place of the water dogs' in the Mayan derivative language called Huastec, not surprising given the ideal conditions for the species provided by the marshy coastline. However given the reference to 'water dogs' I guess the American Bank Note Company were not paying complete attention and engraved two 'dogs' instead of two otters. They may not be entirely to blame as I assume the Banco de Tamaulipas management also approved of the design although they may have thought the provided 'coat of arms' was enough description. My note is Series H which is the last series for this denomination and was only partly issued from 21st April 1914, due to yet another change of government, so I expect updating the design was not practical at this point as there was a war on!

Anyone have any further insight?

*Specimens and remainders seem to be almost the only way to get high grade examples of these earlier Mexican notes as the issued notes were widely circulated, were largely recalled and incinerated, and are therefore usually only found in low grades (Fair to Fine and very occasionally VF).

 

 

 

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That's very interesting, I never knew that about the otters/dogs, and I have to say that I love the vignette in the feature photo. :golfclap:

Your comment on specimens being the only high grade examples available makes perfect sense, and for this note is undoubtedly true, but just the opposite can be true with many specimen notes. Circulating notes were often tucked away and either saved or forgotten only to resurface decades latter in uncirculated condition, and specimens were often disposed of/treated harshly because they were nonredeemable or were saved and glued into scrapbooks and the like. doh! I rarely see any Ukrainian specimens from the same period and if they do surface the condition is typically less than stellar. Specimen notes are some of my favorites. 

 

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So far my only note with a train as a key element - from Scottishmoney on CoinTalk :-

'It is an "American 4-4-0" a very commonly used locomotive up until the 1880s in the USA and later in Mexico and incredibly some are still used for yard shunting in Cuba. As traffic increased after the Civil War larger and more powerful locomotives were needed with more tractive effort meaning larger wheel "bogey" arrangements to pull larger trains. Mexican railways largely could get by using the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement unless it was pulled over mountains etc like the Topolobampo Cubre Canyon railroad that needed more tractive pull'

At the moment die varieties on coins looks like a much easier undertaking than differences in medals and banknotes  - the more I find out about each piece the more gaps appear in the references :roflmao:Given the situation with Krause is there anyway to update the Specialised Issues, SCWPM etc as it appears to be full of errors??

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On 2/13/2022 at 3:21 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

So far my only note with a train as a key element - from Scottishmoney on CoinTalk :-

'It is an "American 4-4-0" a very commonly used locomotive up until the 1880s in the USA and later in Mexico and incredibly some are still used for yard shunting in Cuba. As traffic increased after the Civil War larger and more powerful locomotives were needed with more tractive effort meaning larger wheel "bogey" arrangements to pull larger trains. Mexican railways largely could get by using the 4-4-0 wheel arrangement unless it was pulled over mountains etc like the Topolobampo Cubre Canyon railroad that needed more tractive pull'

Yep, saw that response over there. (thumbsu Very interesting stuff, I like.

On 2/13/2022 at 3:21 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

At the moment die varieties on coins looks like a much easier undertaking than differences in medals and banknotes  - the more I find out about each piece the more gaps appear in the references :roflmao:Given the situation with Krause is there anyway to update the Specialised Issues, SCWPM etc as it appears to be full of errors??

Krause was always just a general reference and full of errors, and that's not a knock on them as I'm surprised that all encompassing catalogs such as Krause were as accurate as they were. For specific series you're better off going with specialized catalogs and doing your own research, as you know. 

It's my understanding that all the Krause catalogs are now "maintained" on the Numismaster website, https://numismaster.com/pages/-10012227/paper-money. From the website, 'This is the same respected research that previously filled the pages of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money book series, along with Standard Guide to United States Paper Money.', all the images on the Numismater website seems to be directly form the catalogs as well as the pricing information. I have not tried contacting them but, if their Ukrainian section is any indication, they have done almost ZERO updating since Krause went tits up. I tried a one month membership there, $10 if I remember correctly, and it was a complete waste of $10. I'm being a bit harsh because how difficult can it be to update the website, :pullhair:, it's frustrating that these catalogs are basically being flushed down the toilet. That being said new Pick numbers are still being assigned and those have to be coming from somewhere. 

If I was going to throw away $10, I'd give the Banknote Book a try, https://www.greysheet.com/publications/the-banknote-book-world-paper-money , and/or join the IBNS How to join the IBNS . I just singed up, today. lol I'll let you know how it is. 

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Thanks - I had a look at Numismaster - seems to have even less info than the original catalogue! Unfortunately such errors/omissions in the main reference that people use means that PMG have a few incorrect designations on their labels for some of the notes I have.:frown:

Mexican Paper Money is much much better, with usmex.org even more complete, but then the three sources do not always agree on the basics such as known Series etc. I am trying/failing to resist finding new dates, series, control letters, known number ranges and so on but they seem to be all over the place.xD

It also looks like there are many countries without a specialist reference book either - great opportunity for a collector who may already have a lot of the info.:)

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On 2/13/2022 at 11:02 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

Unfortunately such errors/omissions in the main reference that people use means that PMG have a few incorrect designations on their labels for some of the notes I have.:frown:

Hmm, yes I forgot about PMG's dependency on the SCWPM, etc.. I feel that PMG has gotten better over the years and has leaned more heavily on specialized catalogs for some countries, even putting that catalogs reference numbers on the label with the corresponding Pick number at times. Also, Krause is pretty famous for removing genuine varieties and consolidating Pick numbers. :pullhair: It seems that PMG works closely with whatever remains of Krause and it maybe possible to work with PMG and see if they can get new Pick #'s assigned using the notes themselves and the documentation used in other references. (shrug) This is a path I've been considering and will try once I decide to submit some notes to PMG.

On 2/13/2022 at 11:02 AM, ColonialCoinsUK said:

It also looks like there are many countries without a specialist reference book either - great opportunity for a collector who may already have a lot of the info.:)

Most likely true but I've found many collecting references for Ukrainian banknotes, I just bought two more online from Poland, and I'm actually a little surprised by how many I now own. It's almost a collection in it's own right. lol I think it more likely that there is a need for a specialized reference book, for most countries, that combines all the information from the existing catalogs. As you said the references don't all agree from time to time and they don't all have the same information in them.

Edited by Fenntucky Mike
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