For most of the time paper money has been a neighborhood of earthly society, it’s been used as an idea for artists to make copies. Sometimes such copies function a way of providing an outlet for a purely creative result; at other times a less honorable goal has been the rationale for the existence of such images.
In recent years there have been two individuals who reached some personal heights through their pen-and-ink copies of varied notes, using as their subjects variety of U.S. and selected world pieces. Both of those highly talented individuals are gone now, but they did have some years as contemporaries. During their extended years, their work was available to collectors and anyone else curious about such artistic endeavors.
The first of those is James Stephen George Boggs (1956-2017), who made really exceptional copies of notes then attempted to use them to get goods and services. His main goal was to possess his creative pieces accepted as works of art; he would offer one then ask to get the change (in regular currency) plus the receipt, all of which he would mark with appropriate annotations showing that a completed “transaction,” as he called it, had taken place. A full transaction constituted his conception of an entire work of art.
On the opposite hand, Tim Prusmack’s (1962-2004) approach was much different. His works of art were mostly amazingly on the brink of the originals but with some very obvious yet subtle telltale signs that they were indeed copies. sometimes he would create his own near-currency designs. One would need to look twice to make certain that no actual note was being mimicked.
He had no desire to undertake anything almost like what Boggs was doing. He would get a table at some folding money show, usually, the large, annual FUN Convention held in Florida early within the year. There he displayed various pieces of his exquisite artwork. i think he gained quite following over the few professional years of life he had. Certainly, the strength of the aftermarket may be a good indicator of this example . In fact, Prusmack’s renditions earned him the title of “The Mozart of cash Art” and his works became referred to as Money Masterpieces.
Now let’s discuss some aspects of Tim’s impeccably detailed works of art. The range of subject notes that he chose to render together with his own hand was quite wide. It encompassed both large and small-size U.S. currency plus selected samples of world notes also . There was absolutely no attempt on his part to present these pieces as anything but personal artistic achievements. They were all uniface, each bearing its number (most to a maximum of 250) and his signature on the plain back. On some occasions he would sign the margin on the face of his art; moreover, his facsimile signature would in every case be found within the usual areas where official signatures would seem on the real notes.
Creativity also played a robust part in his artistic development. Illustrated is one among his self-made $2 notes dated Series of 2001. This fantasy portrays Robert E. Lee at the left and three horsemen at the middle . Signatures are Lee and Prusmack. The serial numbers are ANA2001, presumably the convention where he introduced this piece.
Tim had some fun together with his work also. He might put the incorrect date on a replica, or name the printer as Bureau, Engraving, and Prusmack. Of course, all his pieces felt smooth since they weren’t engraved, albeit they’ll have appeared so.
One can regret his untimely demise while within the midst of making an entirely new series of miniature notes. In a billboard, he touted this new group because of the Statehood Quarter paper money Collection. He had titled the notes as Statehood paper money, imitating true paper money. Offered was a full set of fifty that was to conclude in 2008. (I wonder what he would have through with the flood of quarter designs from recent years.)
At first glance, you’d need to look carefully to ascertain exactly what Tim had done. He had drawn the reverse designs of the varied Statehood quarters and placed these images as singles on his fractional notes. These he combined with famous historic personalities.
Shown are two of those Statehood pieces, both showing Jefferson at left but each with a special Statehood quarter image at right. I don’t have any information on how extensive this collection became before Tim’s death at only 42.
There was yet one more dimension, literally, to the present Statehood set Tim was offering. An oversize rendition he called Studio size (14” by 7 ¼”) was available for any State quarter one wished to get. the entire made for every of these was 50 pieces, and their cost was $100 a bit or three for $250.
At this point, I don’t recall ever seeing any information on the precise number of subjects he chose to emulate or invent. If anyone comes across such an inventory, I might be most grateful to receive that information.