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Baltimore’s Six Napoleons 70th Anniversary Bank Note

Baltimore’s Six Napoleons 70th Anniversary Bank Note

“I desire to possess a copy of Devine’s Napoleon and am prepared to pay you ten pounds for the one which is in your possession.”

– The Adventure of the Six Napoleons (SIXN)

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Click on either side of the bank note to see it in more detail.

sixn-pinThe Six Napoleons of Baltimore celebrated their 70th anniversary with a banquet on Saturday, September 17, 2016. The Fourth Garrideb was well represented at this dinner with 8 members attending — Greg Ruby, Denny Dobry, Dr. Robert Katz, Ira Brad Matetsky, Dennis Dorsch, Debbie Clark, John Baesch and Dr. George Vanderburgh.

At this meeting, Dr. Katz gave the keynote presentation, Dr. Vanderburgh underwent the Musgrave Ritual to become a full-fledged Napoleon, and Ruby became Commissionaire XXXIII for the group.

The Six Napoleons take their name as a result of six men attending their first meeting in 1946 and to honor the famous Baltimore socialite, Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte. For a brief period, Betsy was a sister in law to Napoleon Bonaparte. You can read more about her HERE.

Every attendee at the banquet received a packet of handouts prepared by Gasogene (and a Garrideb) Frank Mentzel, who had to miss out on the festivities due to illness.  Included in that packet was the above pictured bank note. The note concept was conceived by Greg Ruby and the artistic work was carried out by Denny Dobry. The denomination was decided to be 10 pounds, as that is the amount paid by Holmes for final Napoleon bust. In addition, the Six Napoleons have a few Secret Service agents on its membership rolls and we neatly sidestep the counterfeiting issue with that change….

This commemorative bank note’s design was based on a Series 1915 Federal Reserve Bank Note pictured below and was a large size note, when compared to today’s currency. National Currency was changed to Canonical Currency, while Federal Reserve Bank Note was changed to Baker Street Bank Note. The secured notice was changed to refer to the French gold in the City & Suburban Bank from The Red-Headed League. Signatures for the Treasurer and the Secretary of the Treasury were swapped out for the autographs of Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. The bank officer signatures were swapped out for the autographs of the Gasogene and the Harker, Bill Hyder. The mismatched serial numbers represent the date the story took place (according to William S. Baring-Gould’s chronology) and the date the story was first published in Collier’s.

The back of the commemorative bank note has a vignette of the Baltimore skyline, circa 1946, and a rendering of a bust of Napoleon that was created by one of the earliest members of the group. The text at the bottom of the note is a slightly modified version of the conversation that Mr. Sandeford had with Holmes when he delivered the bust.

Congratulations to the Six Napoleons of Baltimore on their 70th anniversary!

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