John Hancock Rare Faneuil Hall lottery ticket

08 Nov

Rare Faneuil Hall lottery ticket dated June 1765, 3 x 1.75, boldly signed at the bottom in black ink, “John Hancock.” Ticket reads, in full: “Faneuil-Hall Lottery, No. Five. The Possessor of this Ticket (No. 3990) is intitled to any Prize drawn against said Number, in a Lottery granted by an Act of the General Court of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay for Rebuilding Faneuil-Hall; subject to no Deduction.” Matted and framed with a portrait of Hancock to an overall size of 8.5 x 12. In very good condition, with overall dampstaining affecting the appearance of the signature but not the boldness or legibility of ink, and a small central cancellation cut.

In Colonial times, lotteries were a highly regarded method of financing worthwhile projects—such as the rebuilding of Faneuil Hall, the famous Boston marketplace and meeting hall that had been destroyed in a 1761 fire. At the time, such money-making efforts were seen as investments, and were endorsed by local leaders, including John Hancock. Interestingly, Hancock would later come to disdain public lotteries as a method of fundraising, concluding that they encouraged gambling while producing meager results. Although thousands of such tickets were printed in Colonial America, not all were signed by Hancock, and only a small percentage of those signed examples have survived the centuries. This is an excellent example. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in John Hancock


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