April 02, 2013

Two fast-approaching Boone auctions on a short fuse

I've always been a big fan of Mario Boone's catalogs and thoroughly enjoy every one I get. Unfortunately, I don't often have a lot of lead time to get the word out.

This time, I received two catalogs. The first represents the 50th (!) sale by the Scripophily Center and boasts 1500 lots of world stocks and bonds. The majority of lots are illustrated, and all are in full color. Like all Boone catalogs, sale items are fully indexed so collectors can quickly discover items in their areas of interest (both country-wise and specialty-wise.)

Numerous certificates represent North American railroads. I've already spotted a previously unrecorded bond-
sized scrip certificate from Canada. There are 60 lots from North American railroads. As expected, there are quite a few familiar faces, but advanced collectors will spot several that are seen very infrequently.

Among those are items like an 1889 stock certificate from the Utah Midland Railway. There were only 2500 shares authorized, and Mario is offering #9 for 494 shares.

Some railroad specialists only collect certificates from actual operating companies, but even they will be attracted to a fine example of a stock certificate from the Union Railroad Safety Gate Company. While not horribly rare, these certificates are so attractive that they always find ready buyers. I'm guessing this one will see a good sale price.

Another serious rarity is an 1863 bond of the West Hoboken & Hoboken Passenger Railway Co. It's always hard to predict sales of early bonds like this. Sometimes they go for a lot of money; sometimes they don't. I'll be very interested in the behavior of this item.

The more I look, the more I see that I'm sure will interest my readers: an 1870 bond from Selma & Gulf Railroad. An 1889 bond from the Piedmont Cable Company. An 1892 stock from Pueblo City Railway, etc.

Instead of reading this, you might want to look at everything in the sale at www.booneshares.com. The sale will take place in Antwerp, April 5, 6 and 7 so there is no time to waste.

Included in the sale is a special collection of notable items that Mario has separated into a second catalog titled the Golden Jubilee Auction. While primarily consisting of world rarities, the catalog still includes a few rail-related pieces from North America.

As far as I am concerned, the "biggie" that overshadows all the other lots is a bail bond issued against Jay Gould and and signed by both Jay Gould and Erastus Corning. This is an incredible piece of American corporate history representing the culmination of the Erie Wars between Gould, Fisk and Commodore Vanderbilt. (Gould was arrested in Albany, NY in 1868 upon Vanderbilt's insistence and Gould immediately produced the $500,000 bail!). Boone's minimum start price is 12,000 Euros. Oh, boy! What will this thing sell for?

Archives International Auctions, part 14

Archives International Auctions will hold its 14th auction at its office in Fort Lee, New Jersey April 16. This sale will feature approximately 1,150 lots, and like most recent AIA sales, leans very heavily on unassailable items from American Bank Note Company and its predecessors.

About 18% of the lots involve stocks and bonds and about 10% involve security printing ephemera. The remainder of the sale represents U.S. and world paper money. Huge numbers of specimens make an appearance, especially among the world notes. In my mind, the top-notch showpiece of the sale is a presentation proof of a $10 1890 U.S. legal tender with General Sheridan. Terrific! (This is the note shown on the cover, at left.)

Obviously, I am most interested in the selection of railroad stocks and bonds. True to form, previously unseen specimens are the order of the day among Archives International's offerings. Of the hundred lots being offered, I suspect there are 40-50 certificates I don't yet have cataloged. (Many are multi-item lots, consequently the number of certificates available exceeds the number of lots.)

To me, standouts among railroad stocks and bonds are "new" bonds from the Union Pacific, but collectors will all have their own favorites. An unlisted bond of the Eastern Railroad of Long Island ought to attract attention. (Long Island-related collectibles are always popular.) So should three bonds from the Central Pacific, one of which is a bond for $2,941,000. Another very interesting piece is an 1870 proof from the Northern Pacific. Regardless of collectors' individual interests, there ought to be something for everyone.

If you have not already received a catalog, contact Archives International Auctions right away by phone at 201-944-4800 or by web at www.archivesinternational.com. As typical, you may bid in person or by mail, fax, phone or internet.

Archives International's catalogs are always very well produced. Items are well illustrated and most are given lots of "breathing room." Because of the presentation style, the catalogs tend to be very thick and will probably become collectible in themselves. Make sure you get yours while they are still available.