December 08, 2014

Another Fabulous Sale from Fred Holabird

The latest sale from Fred Holabird will take place in Reno, Nevada over three days, starting December 9 at 8am. If you collect anything from the U.S., but particularly from the American West, then I guarantee there is something in the sale for you.

In fact there is so much in the sale that the only good advice I have is to get a catalog for yourself. Contact Holabird's Western Americana Collections at 775-851-1859 or visit Fred's site at

This particular sale is titled, The Art, Brewery, & Collectibles Auction, but I have to tell you, even that title does not do the offering justice! The sale includes 2169 lots. The catalog is entirely in color and illustrates essentially every lot – INCLUDING multi-item lots. (I applaud Fred for showing entire lots; I really don't know why other sellers refuse!)

If you will go to, you will be able to see large views of all lots. By "large", I mean images many times larger than typical auctions. Fred and I are in full agreement on this. Online illustrations cost nearly nothing. It only makes sense to use the whole screen. In other words, show bidders as much as humanly possible. Thanks, Fred!

(Here is a picture of a multi-item railroad lot from my computer monitor, 11 inches tall.)

So what's in the sale?

  • Saloon-related artifacts, bottles, artwork, broadsides, bungs, mugs, glassware
  • Nevada artwork (prints and oils)
  • Historic maps
  • Exposition ephemera and souvenirs including badges, postcards, spoons, tickets
  • Presidential photos and autographs
  • Firearms
  • License plates
  • Auto stocks
  • Air industry stocks
  • Books and directories
  • Civil War covers and photos
  • Alaska photos, brochures, postcards, stock certificates
  • Bodie, Tahoe, Donner (Nevada) photographs and ephemera
  • Charles M. Russell sketches and photos
  • California postcards and ephemera
  • Nevada postcards and ephemera
  • Green River fish fossil specimens
  • Gold balances
  • Arizona stock certificates, postcards
  • Colorado stock certificates, photos, claim maps, atlases
  • Michigan mining stock certificates
  • Montana postcards, stock certificates
  • Nevada stock certificates, photographs, mine reports, checks
  • Oregon stock certificates
  • Utah stock certificates
  • Oil stock certificates (many locations)
  • Coins
  • Obsolete currency
  • Confederate currency
  • Fractional currency
  • Colonial currency
  • Scrip
  • Saloon tokens
  • Wells Fargo lanterns, locks, ephemera, bag sealers
  • Strong boxes
  • Railroad passes (large selection)
  • Railroad certificates, artwork, locks, ephemera
  • plus gobs of material too diverse for me to list

Again, if you collect anything from the American West, grab a catalog and visit Holabird's Western Americana Collections website as soon as possible.

October 13, 2014

Archives International Auctions, sale 21

Dr. Robert Schwartz is now presenting his 21st sale since 2007. Like all recent Archives' catalogs, this catalog is in full color and the majority of lots are illustrated.

Gross statistics: This time, there are 1,450 lots offered, of which at least 420 are related to stocks and bonds. Of that number, 178 are related to railroads and all but one are North American companies. About 24 lots are multi-item lots and always represent excellent buying opportunities.

As typical, Schwartz is offering numerous specimens, all of which are rare to highly rare. Collectors beware! Specimens like these often represent the ONLY opportunities to acquire ANYTHING from many of these lines. If anyone is a specialist in a certain family of companies, I warn you to strongly consider looking at Schwartz's offerings.

When we are talking about rarities such as these, it's hard to pick stand-outs. A certificate that is special to one person might have no meaning to someone else. The best thing I can recommend is for everyone to check the online catalog as soon as possible.

A special message to my European readers. Unlike European sales, Archives International does NOT list minimum starting bids. Instead, minimum bids for scripophily are 60% of minimum estimates, and are, therefore, substantially lower than European norms. Buyers' commissions are 18% of the hammer price and there is no Value Added Taxe (VAT).. I strongly recommend European collectors check out this sale.

For those readers who live within easy distance of New York City, be aware that all scripophily-related lots will be sold at the Museum of American Finance at 48 Wall Street starting at 10:30, Saturday October 25. All remaining lots (lots 450 to 1450) will be sold Tuesday, November 4 at the Archives International Auctions office in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Contact Archives International Auctions by phone at 201-944-4800 or through its website for a copy of the latest catalog.

October 02, 2014

Mario Boone auction 53, November 1

Mario Boone will hold his 53rd auction Saturday November 1, 2014 at the Atomium in Brussels. This sale includes 1,289 lots of which 75% are European issues. The highlight of the sale is a lot of 560+ certificates from collector Jacques Simar, all involving the career and businesses of Belgian entrepreneur, Baron Edouard Empain.

In this sale, only 113 lots involve North American companies and only 18 are railroad-related. Minimum bids for most certificates are strong by U.S. standards, but well in line with European standards.

If anything seems underpriced, it is an 1871 $1000 bond from the Mobile & Montgomery Railroad. The scarcest item seems to be an 1834 stock certificate from the Philadelphia Germantown & Norristown Rail Road Company. An item with unrecognized rarity is an 1851 Carroll County, Ohio aid bond for the Carroll County Rail Road. The certificate offered is one of only four known to me and last sold in 2005 for about the same amount as the starting bid.

As usual. essentially all lots are illustrated and the entire catalog is in color. If interested in this sale, be sure to contact Mario at as soon as possible. You may also see all lots in color at

September 23, 2014

HWPH Auction coming up in mid-October

The latest catalogs to arrive come from HWPH (Historisches Wertpapierhaus AG). Once again, Matthias Schmitt is offering some nice certificates including a 40-piece collection of American Express certificates, with about half signed by James Fargo.

The focus of this sale is primarily German material and to a lesser extent, Russian certificates. However, as usual, Herr Schmidt offers a substantial number of North American certificates. Of the 1,996 lots in the sale, 248 are North American (including Central America and Cuba.) Of that number, 63 lots are single-item railroad certificates plus 6 more multi-item lots.

As usual, the sale is divided into three catalogs. Auktion 35 and ’50 Highlights’ is the live auction to be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 in Wiesbaden. The live sale totals 898 lots. Auktion 36 is the online auction and includes 1,098 lots. You may see the entire sale online at Unlike most auctions, HWPH online images are large enough to see details.

To give you an idea of the selection, I have included names of all North American railroads involved in the sales.

Please contact HWPH online or at +49-81-06-24-61-88 to get copies of catalogs from the sale.

Akron Canton & Youngstown Railway Co New Jersey Junction Railroad Co.
Atlantic Mississippi & Ohio Railroad Co New York Rutland & Montreal Co
Bedford & Bridgeport Rail Road Co New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad Co
Bellefonte & Snow Shoe Rail Road Co New York Westchester & Connecticut Traction Co
Bellingham & Northern Railway Co New York & Ottawa Railroad Co
Broad Top Improvement Co Newfoundland Railway Co
Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co Panama Rail Road Co
Chartiers Railway Co Pecksport Connecting Railway Co
Chartiers Railway Co Penn Van & New York Railway Co
Chesapeake Ohio & Southwestern Railroad Co Peoria & Oquawka Rail Road Co
Chicago Brazil & Ohio River RR & Coal Co Philadelphia & Atlantic City Railroad Co
Cleveland Columbus Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway Co Pittsburgh Cincinnati & St Louis Railway Co
Columbus Piqua & Indiana Railroad Co Port Reading Railroad Co
Compañia del Ferro-Carril Cienfuegos Villa Clara Potosi & Rio Verde Railway Co
Compañia de Tranvias y Fomento de Ciego de Avila Pullman Railroad Co
Farmingdale & Squan Village Rail Road Co Reading Co
Fitchburg & Worcester Rail Road Co Schoolcraft & Three Rivers Railroad Co
Galveston Houston & Henderson RR Co South Mountain Rail Road Co
Georgia & Florida Railroad Southern Pennsylvania Iron & Railroad Co
Government of Honduras Syracuse Binghampton & New York Railroad Co
Grand Junction Rail Road & Depot Co Terre Haute & South-Eastern Railroad Co
Illinois Iowa & Minnesota Railway Co Texarkana Shreveport & Natchez Railway Co
International Railroad Co Tivoli Hollow Railroad Co
Lackawanna Rail Road Co Toledo Tiffin & Eastern
Louisville New Orleans & Texas Railway Co Town of Cherry Creek (NY)
Memphis & Little Rock Railway Co Town of Schroeppel
Milwaukee Terminal Railway Co Uniontown & West Virginia Railroad Co
Mobile & Alabama Grand Trunk Railroad Co Virginia & Southeastern Railway Co
Mobile & Ohio Car Trust Wabash St Louis & Pacific Railway
Montana Railroad Co Warren & Ouachita Railway
Naugatuck Railroad Co Winfield Texas & Gulf Railway Co
New Haven & West Haven Horse RR Co

June 17, 2014

Antique Cigar Label Art by David Beach

Here is a book I want all my readers to buy. Not because it has anything to do with collecting stocks and bonds, but rather because it is an incredibly well-done and beautiful book that every paper specialist needs to have on the shelf. You don't need to collect cigar box label art to appreciate the beauty and rarity. But by having the book (and being a collector), I suspect you'll be drawn to more than one piece of this wonderful artwork.

If you've ever looked at boxes of cigars in humidified show cases, you've probably been unknowingly attracted to one box or another. That was no accident. No matter whether you're a cigar smoker or not, even if you hate cigars, you've probably noticed the artwork on the inside lids of cigar boxes.

As collectors, of course, we're not talking about modern artwork. We're talking artwork created from lithograph stones in the 1870s through roughly the 1910s. Like the stocks and bonds we collect, cigar box labels run the gamut from "common" (meaning 500 or more) to unique or nearly so. Unlike our collectibles, cigar box labels appeal to a wider swath of people. With a greater audience, rarities tend to be several times more expensive than we are used to.

If you've been around the stock and bond hobby for awhile, you're already familiar with David Beach. As a major dealer in rare stocks and bonds, David has helped contribute to my project over the years, especially with some of the greater rarities that I would not otherwise know about. However, you may not know that David is also a very "big" collector and dealer of cigar box labels. All types of labels. All rarities. All price ranges.

I am especially recommending this book because I've certainly seen my share of guidebooks over the years, covering a huge range of subjects. From cactuses to currency. From guitars to collectible maps. I don't know of ANY other specialty catalog with such high-quality, full-color printing. The book is hardcover, 8.75" x 11.25" (22.2 x 28.6 cm), 160 pages with color on every page. (The book was designed by Wayne Baxley.) By my count, there are from one to twenty-five illustrations per page, totalling about 1,245 photos.

In general, David covers the types of labels that were used (or meant to be used) on the inner lids and the outer ends of cigar boxes. Although there are fewer of them in existence, he also covers labels used on tobacco crates and on tobacco caddies. He does not cover small cigar bands.

While cigar boxes from that period DO survive, many are in distressed condition as are many of the labels they carried. The labels that survive in good condition tend to be labels that were unused. Some were no doubt remainders, but the bulk of the super-rarities tend to be examples rescued from sample books. Like our collectible stocks and bonds, some also originated as printers' proofs.

David indicates the apparent rarity of every label. He uses an 8-point scale ranging from R1 as the rarest to R8 as the most common. He also offers price estimates, which as I have warned time and time and time again, is one of the most thankless endeavors any cataloger can possibly attempt. As David told me, the prices in his book were meant to reflect price predictions based on prices that existed at the time. Since then, however, prices have collapsed in most collecting fields including stocks and bonds and cigar box labels. I just checked several prices in David's 2009 book against prices he currently offers on his web site. In general, David's current prices are about 50% to 70% of his published catalog prices. That is pretty much the difference between prices in the second edition of my catalog and my current estimates.

Collectors of cigar box labels tend to specialize by themes and there are many to choose from. Some of the more popular themes include sports, patriotic, romance, fantasy, travel, music, police, firemen, military, ethnic, naughty women, risque, men's club, humor and famous people. Practically any subject you might think of. I'm, of course, drawn to train themes but there are definitely many other industries to focus on. .

I've shown the cover of Beach's book at the top, but if you want to see more, David has images of all pages in the book on his web site. Start here: He also has posted an index of all labels in his catalog on his web site.

You may acquire Antique Cigar Label Art from eBay (search for "Antique Cigar Label Art" in Books > Antiquarian Collectible), Amazon, AbeBooks or Alibris. (ISBN 978-0-615-33036-5). The book is usually priced in the 25 to $40 range. Personally, I recommend buying the book directly from David. All authors like us appreciate hearing from our readers and, Lord knows, we're never going to get rich writing catalogs and specialty books!

Finally, be sure to check out David Beach's website at Click on "Cigar Box Labels" at the top right to see galleries of some of his fantastic items.

June 03, 2014

Spink Smythe Auction 320, June 17

The latest Spink Smythe auction catalog 320 just came in. This latest offering is part of the "Collector's Series" series and offers a wide array of items including coins, currency and stocks and bonds.

You may view the catalog online, of course, or purchase a copy directly from Spink.

The downside is that stock and bond lots in The Collector's Series are limited in number – only 174 lots this time. The upside is that because the lots are hidden inside a predominately coin and currency-related auction, competition for lots might be greatly diminished.

41 of the 174 scripophily lots are related to North American railroad. 15 of the 41 lots are multi-item lots. I always like multi-item lots because of the opportunity to acquire certificates for excellent prices.

As expected, there are several serious rarities, but because so few North American railroads are illustrated in the catalog (only four!), I suspect they will go largely unnoticed by all except the obsessed. Standouts include Waverly & New York Bay RR (lot 1608) with only four examples known to me. The Liberty & Vienna RR certificate (lot 1602) is almost equally scarce, but a more attractive piece. An issued version of a stock certificate from the East Line & Red River Railroad Co. (lot 1595) is probably three to four times more common than the other two, but tends to sell for about the same or more because of its coloration and its origin from Texas.

Lot 1597 offers two certificates (#2 and #3) from the Engleside Railroad. Okay, the certificates are not terribly attractive (vignettes of Washington and Franklin), but these two items represent one-eighth of all the certificates likely issued for this company. Scarcer still is a stock certificate from the Grassy Island Coal & Rail Road Company (lot 15980. This is one of only three certificates known to me. I like this item because of the vignette of a mine shaft at left that takes up 60% of the height of the certificate.

Lot 1604 is a certificate from the New Jersey Junction Railroad Company, signed by John Pierpont Morgan as trustee. These certificates are relatively common, but because of Morgan's signature, these certificates have been selling for roughly $400 in the last couple years. Having said that, though, let me remark the two highest prices I have ever recorded have occurred in the last two years. ($1,200 in June, 2012 and $1,300 in January, 2014.) Amazingly, both bonds were sold on eBay!!! I mention those prices not to entice you to bid more, but to indicate that Spink's estimate of $300 to $500 is spot-on.

Let me digress for a moment and tell you about a stunning mining-related certificate (lot 1582) from The Gold Mining Company. I can't remember encountering a less informative corporate name. The company was incorporated in West Virginia and issued a certificate for its gold mines in northwestern Arizona in 1895. What makes the certificate special is its size (14.25" x 7.25") and a detailed map in brown underprint covering the entire width. The mining area sits in Mohave County, about halfway between Kingman and the Grand Canyon. The map covers an area from the Music Mountains west to Mineral Park, replete with wagon roads and rail lines. This is a stunning certificate and appears on the back cover of the catalog.

May 23, 2014

Spink Auction in Switzerland, June 7

Spink has a sale (#SW1012) of "Bond & Share Certificates of the World" scheduled for June 7, 2014 in Lugano, Switzerland. The sale will offer 380 lots. Twenty-four lots represent North America of which eight are related to railroads. Six are illustrated.

Before ordering the catalog, you may want to peruse the offerings online at Descriptive text for all North American lots are in English. Price estimates are in Swiss francs.

Among the American railroad certificates, the standout is probably a French temporary bearer certificate (certificate provisoire au porteur) for a $500 bond of the Central Pacific Railway (lot 367). I have only seen one previous reference to such the certificate (CEN-686-O-35). It is blue and black and was printed in Paris in 1911. It strongly resembles Dutch certificates for the period which were issued to invest in American railroads. I have always called this certificate a "receipt" and feel comfortable with that description.

Another item of interest is a stock certificate from the Louisville New Orleans and Texas Railway Co., dated 1891. Certificates of this company rarely sell for more the $50 these days, but this one (lot 372) was issued to and signed by Collis P. Huntington.

Those of you with more diverse interests will possibly be intrigued by a three-item lot of currency sized stock certificates for the Litchfield Mine, the San Antonio Mine and the Norwich Mine, all owned by American Mining Company. All three were charter by the state of Vermont and issued in the early 1850s. Also notable is a $100,000 bond issued in 1901 upon foundation of United States Steel. This bond was issued to the Carnegie Company, trustee in partial payment of the staggering sum Morgan had promised Carnegie.

Were I a big collector of these things, I'd probably be most interested in an 1869 New York City bond signed by Mayor A. Oakley Hall and City Controller Richard B. "Slippery Dick" Connolly. Both were among the inner circle of Tammany Hall corruption manipulated by "Boss" William Tweed.

Price estimates are very typical of European sales and I suspect most will probably sell within estimated ranges. Although estimates are elevated by comparison to American prices, I personally predict the Central Pacific certificate (lot 367) is not likely to appear again very soon. After, all this is only the second I have encountered since 1990.

May 14, 2014

Archives International Auction 19

A few days ago, Bob Schwartz released another beautiful, full color catalog for his upcoming 19th auction from Archives International Auctions. This new sale will be held in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Tuesday, May 20.

This particular sale will offer 633 lots, primarily of collectible paper of many different types. The bulk of the sale consists of foreign bank notes in both issued and specimen form. Having said that, the bank notes touch all sorts of U.S. specialties including large and small size U.S. and even a few lots of fractionals.

There are several lots of autographs and handwritten letters, particularly from Francis Spinner and Samuel F. B. Morse. For those of you familiar with "Short Snorters", Bob is offering a $1 series 1935A with 14 signatures, including those of Truman, Eisenhower, Marshall, Bradley and Leahy.

There are about 98 lots of stocks and bonds. Of that number, 35 lots are rail-related. Twenty eight lots are specimens, with the standout being a $1000 coupon bond from the Yosemite Valley Railroad Company. That bond is illustrated with an engraved image of Yosemite Valley and one of those sold in a 1997 Harmer sale for $1,100.

Also represented are three Central Pacific Railway bonds ($1,000, $5,000 and $10,000) with a portrait of Collis Huntington at the top. These have historically sold in a range from $140 to $531. While the market is still very low compared to its historic high, I feel obliged to reiterate the obvious, "They aren't making any more of these things!"

Also notable to my eye are bonds from the Los Angeles Railway Company and the San Pedro Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad Company.

You may still have time to get a printed catalog, but if you don't, you can download the entire catalog in flipbook form from the Archives International Auctions web site.

April 04, 2014

A late entry from Mario Boone!

Wow, I almost missed this one!

I just received another terrific catalog from Mario Boone (Centrum voor Scriptophilie BVBA)  and will need to hurry so I can post this before the sale takes place TOMORROW.

This catalog from sale 52 just appeared, The sale will take place April 5 and 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Antwerp. Thankfully, everyone collecting North American certificates will have until Sunday before some great American certificates sell.

I literally don't have time to go through this sale with a fine-tooth comb, so I'll list some of the highlights that caught my attention. I hope Mario will forgive my speed and my tardiness, but occasionally things get slowed down in their Transatlantic journeys.

The certificates that caught me attention include:

Stock certificate from the Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad Company altered to Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad Company, 1881. I am always a sucker for transitional certificates like this that offer glimpses into the short periods between company name changes.

Stock transfer from the New York & Harlem Rail-Road Company. Although not terribly rare, these certificates (this one dated 1835) represent some of the earliest stock related items from any U.S. railroad.

An 1897 stock certificate from the St Charles Car Company. A beautiful and scarce certificate.

A 1908 stock certificate from the Fort Wayne & Springfield Railway Company. One of only five examples known to me from this 19-mile line.

An 1888 stock certificate from the ever-popular Gilpin Tramway Company. This narrow gauge line hauled gold ore from the area around Central City and Nevadaville, Colorado to the stamp mills along Clear Creek near Black Hawk. The company had spurs to almost all the producing mines.

A Northern Pacific stock certificate with a transfer on the back signed by John Pierpont Morgan, 1882. Stock certificates from this company are very common, but high-profile autographs are quite scarce.

Stock certificate from Prosser's Twin Cylinder Car Company dated 1879. This is the only certificate known to me. To my knowledge, it last appeared in an FHW sale in Germany in October, 1997.

As always, Mario Boone's sales are highly entertaining and a joy to review (when I have the time.) Like almost all of Boone's sales, this one represents certificates from every part of the world. Since my focus is North American railroads, that is where I must focus most of my attention. Nonetheless, certificates from other countries and specialties are always fun to consider. While I did not have time to mention them, rail certificates from Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Latin America are also represented.

This catalog continues Mario's tradition of full color presentations in his 202-page auction catalog. Mario tends to spend a lot of time on historical research which he splashes across all of his descriptions. Frankly, I don't know where he gets the time! Fortunately, his bidders are his beneiciaries.

Make sure you get online right now at and review the listings as quickly as possible. While you're there, be sure to subscribe to his catalogs so you can receive your own.

Two new HWPH sales in April

Just today, I received two beautiful auction catalogs from Historische Wertpapierehaus AG. These are the latest sales by Matthias Schmitt, one of my long-time contributors. It is always a pleasure to receive his catalogs to see what kinds of rarities he has found. In that respect, these two sales taking place at the end of April are sure to please even the most discriminating collector. This time Herr Schmitt is offering several certificates that American collectors have never seen before. That is, unless they were collecting in the early 1980s!

As usual, both catalogs are well-designed, printed in full color, color-tabbed and indexed. With the exception of large multi-item lots, every lot is illustrated.

If interested in participating in the sale, go online at and look at the catalogs. If you want a physical copy, be sure to order one as soon as humanly possible. The nice thing about viewing the catalogs online is that non-German speakers can readily translate pages using Google Translate.

Here are the highlights as I see them.

Auktion 33 (Apr 26, 2014)

This live auction will be held in Würzburg, Germany. It will feature 795 lots, mostly stocks and bonds along with a few maps and miscellaneous paper collectibles. Certificates come from a huge number of countries. As one should expect, the sale is heavily focused on German and European issues.

While there are only five certificates in this sale to represent American railroads, all are great rarities: Town of Greene (NY) $500 bond in aid of the Greene Rail Road; Town of Peru (NY) $500 bond in aid of the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad; Town of Stephentown (NY) $100 bond in aid of the Lebanon Springs Rail Road; Township of New Providence (NJ) $500 bond in aid of the Passaic Valley & Peapack Rail Road; Troy & Boston Railroad $1000 bond.

If you will look up these certificates in my online database, you will see that four of the five are the only examples ever to come to my attention. This is the first time I have ever encountered the fifth certificate (Town of Greene). The only reason I know about any of these certificates is that the collector who is selling them sent me a list of his collection many years ago. All are owned by a long-time German collector who has been slowly liquidating his collection. If you don't bid on these items in this sale, I strongly doubt you will ever get a second chance.

Auktion 34 (online only, Apr 28, 2014)

This sale features 1,279 lots and, in general, the items are more common. Or more properly, they are generally less rare than those in Auktion 33.

Of particular interest is lot 1406, a 1-sh stock certificate supposedly issued by the Canadian-Pacific-Railway-Company in 1911. A certificate like this was the subject of a November, 1991 article in the International Bond & Share Society Journal. I have reproduced that article on my web site at While not horribly rare, this is only the fifth example to come to my attention.

Lot 1436 is an example of a £100 bond from the Embreville Freehold Land Iron & Railway Company Ltd. This company was incorporated in England for a project in Tennessee. This item is the first issued example to come to my attention. All certificates from this company are rare.

Lot 1469 is a bond from Madison County, Mississippi issued in aid of the Vicksburg Canton & Yazoo City Rail Road. I have encountered a bond like this only one time, 33 years ago! (See George LaBarre's, Collecting Stocks and Bonds, volume 3, 1981.) Like the example in LaBarre's book, the certificate in lot 1469 is unissued. I suspect it originally come from George. Think this item is common? How many years are you willing to wait for another chance!

While not a railroad or otherwise famous company, I am nonetheless attracted to lot 1514, a 1-share Cuban stock certificate with one of the more unusual company names I've ever encountered: Sanitary Dungcart Company. You certainly don't see that name every day!

Or how about lot 1481? That is a South American certificate with an equally quizzical name: the New Granada Waste Land Certificate. Can't you hear a prospective investor telling his buddy, "Hey, let's invest in waste land. I've heard of a great new deal in New Grenada."

Because of the time they spend in transit, European catalogs usually don't reach Colorado with much time to spare. If interested in this sale, PLEASE contact Matthias Schmitt immediately. Email: Call Historische Wertpapierehaus AG at +49 8106 24 61 86.

January 03, 2014

Spink's "Stocks and Bonds of the Americas" sale

Spink Smythe just released catalog 319 appropriately titled ‘Stocks and Bonds of the Americas.’ This is the first catalog in a long time dedicated solely to stocks and bonds.  Over three-quarters of the 585 lots are wonderfully illustrated with full-color images.

 While most countries in this hemisphere are represented, 95% of the lots in this impressive sale come from the United States, Cuba and Mexico. Almost a third of the sale (approximately 413 certificates in 183 lots) is represented by certificates from Cuba. This amazing collection comes from long-time New York collector William Jaume who emigrated as a child from Cuba shortly before the Cuban missile crisis. I’m uncertain whether this is the largest collection of Cuban certificates ever assembled, but it is certainly the largest I’ve encountered.

Since I am a cataloger of railroad certificates, my interest is railroads. This sale offers 288 certificates in 85 lots. Seventy-nine (!) of those certificates (33 lots) are Cuban and all but two of the remaining lots are American. I never enter certificates into my database until after sales close, but I suspect I will end up adding several new Cuban railroad certificates from this sae. If any of my readers collect Cuban certificates, you must consider this sale.

Fifty lots in this sale involve American railroads of which 37 are single-tem lots. All but four of the single-item lots are illustrated, so there is no mistake about the certificates collectors are bidding on. Be aware, there are no great railroad rarities in this sale, but the certificates are also not the kinds of run-of-the-mill items regularly encountered on eBay. Price estimates are realistic and in line with prices I’ve been observing in the last year or two. I expect to see a high percentage of lots sold.

The sale of Stocks and Bonds of the Americas (Sale 319) will take place at Spink USA in New York on January 16, 2014. If you have not already received your catalog, you MUST contact Spink as soon as possible at 212-262-8400 or online at Don’t delay. And be warned, many of these Cuban certificates may not come up for sale again for a decade or more!