Canadian notes, including 30 from late collector Harry Eisenhauer, highlight FUN show

More than 130 Canadian banknotes crossed the block in Orlando, Fla., this January as part of Heritage Auctions’ World Paper Money Signature Auction.

Held in conjunction with the annual Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention, the auction offered 64 notes from the Rick Johnston Collection plus another 30 from the Harry Eisenhauer Collection, all of which sold.

The top-earning lot from the Eisenhauer Collection was a $20 note (BC-9a) from the Bank of Canada’s inaugural 1935 Series in Choice Uncirculated-64. With a serial number reading “A000008,” it brought $48,000 US, including buyer’s premium.

Born in Lunenburg, N.S., in 1938, Harry Eisenhauer was a tireless advocate of Canadian numismatics.


Numismatist Bob Graham, who worked with his friend Harry Eisenhauer over 30 years to the research and compile banknote registers that have since been donated for publication in the Canadian Paper Money Society Note Registry, shared this obituary with CCN.

Well-known Canadian banknote collector Harry Eisenhauer died at his home in Saint John, N.B., on Jan. 16, 2020, at the age of 81.

As a youngster, he soon displayed exceptional musical talent and enjoyed playing his classmates’ song requests at recess on the school piano in Mahone Bay, N.S. Like many kids in similar circumstances, he set his sights on a career as a professional musician. To achieve this, he graduated from the Royal Canadian Navy School of Music in 1958 and served in various Canadian Armed Forces bands for 31 years, playing clarinet and piano.

Harry’s long and eminently successful collecting career began with stamp collecting at the age of nine. He was fascinated by the beautiful engraving on many of Canada’s early stamps, particularly the 1929 50-cent “Bluenose,” which was built in his birthplace of Lunenburg.

This appreciation for exquisite engraving attracted him to collecting Canadian paper currency, which he began in 1968. Over the next 40-odd years, he was able to build one of the most important collections in Canada and derived a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction in the process. His special interests were notes of Newfoundland and the Maritime provinces as well as the 1935 Bank of Canada issue. He was consistently supportive of fellow collectors, always encouraging others, especially young people, and he was as excited for friends who acquired a special note as he was when successful himself.

Harry soon became involved in organized numismatics, holding many executive positions in the Canadian Paper Money Society, and was founding president of the Fredericton Numismatic Society. In recognition of his contributions to the hobby as guest speaker, financial supporter and researcher, he received a number of accolades, including honorary life membership in three local or regional groups.

His legacy continues in the numerous note registers he painstakingly compiled and published. A barrage of health problems resulted in Harry’s withdrawal from the hobby several years ago.

Memorial donations to the J. Douglas Ferguson Historical Research Foundation would be welcomed.


The highest-earning lot from the Johnston Collection was an 1861 Westmorland Bank $2 note (Charlton #800-12-04c) in Very Fine-25. Bearing the signature of John Trites as cashier, this note brought $4,080 US, including buyer’s premium.

A resident of Doaktown, N.B., before moving west to Calgary, Johnston’s collection features two other banks – the Commercial Bank of New Brunswick and the Central Bank of New Brunswick – and was built over more than 30 years.

Altogether, the World Paper Money Signature Auction realized $1.748 million US.

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