October 17, 2018

Spink USA auction, Oct 30, 2018


Spink will offer fifteen lots of railroad certificates among its wide-ranging selection of collectibles in a sale at its New York offices October 30 and 31.This is sale number 342, the latest addition to Spink's continuing Numismatic Collector's Series. Items offered include coins, paper money, medals and stocks and bonds plus a very nice assortment of World War I posters. (Having sold many of these posters myself, I think these posters would make a delightful sale on their own if photographed and offered individually.)

Like recent sales, Spink is grouping most of its stocks and bonds in multi-item lots. While this is not particularly good for collectors, these lots would make good additions to smaller dealer inventories. Only two of the lots are illustrated in the physical catalog, but all scripophily lots are illustrated online at Spink.com.

Because of the wide array of items offered in this and similar Numismatic Collector's Series sales, collectors will find many highly interesting lots that they would not ordinarily encounter. Those are precisely the kinds of collectibles most people will overlook if not thumbing through the physical catalog. Consequently, that is precisely why I always recommend acquiring catalogs from professional auction sellers such as Spink. However, if only viewing online, then browse offerings of railroad certificates by searching for lots 1079 through 1092, 1099 and 1112A.


October 09, 2018

Boone auction 61 near the end of October


I just received a new catalog from Mario Boone and discovered it offers 102 lots in the North American railroad specialty. I did not keep count when I entered all the information in my database, but it appears that at least half of his offerings are represented by ten or fewer examples.

I do not want this point to go unnoticed. There are LOTS of certificates in auction 61 that you may not have the opportunity to acquire for several years, if ever again.

Yes, you will see some long-time favorites like Ferro Monte Rail Road, Gilpin Tramway and Wat-Chung Railway, but there are a few that I have never seen before.

At least part of these offerings seem to have originated from a collection of one of my long-time correspondents. However, I have no idea where most came from.

The best thing I can do is suggest you acquire a copy of the printed auction catalog. Failing that, please visit booneshares.com and look at items there.

I know there are not a lot of Cuba specialists out there, but eighteen lots represent Cuban railroads. With the exception of certificates from the Cuba Railroad, most Cuban certificates are quite scarce. If you happen to collect certificates from Cuba, please don't miss out. Lot 1037 is a stock certificate from the Western Railway of Havana, Ltd. and is the only certificate I ever encountered. That particular certificate was last offered in Germany in 2008. Equally rare is a specimen from the Banco del Comercio Ferro Carriles Unidos de la Habana Almacenes de Regla (lot 1038), last seen in a 1993 Smythe sale.

There are only five railroad lots from Canada, but among those is a stock certificate from The Cape Breton Railway Extension Co, Ltd. While the company is not new to me, this is the first time I have actually seen an image. Rare? It seems like it to me.

Obviously, I don't have the space to relate every rarity. However, here are a few. In parentheses are the numbers I have encountered since the late 1980s. Like any other super-rare collectible, there is always a possibility that additional unreported examples may exist somewhere. But I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Lot 1164, New Orleans Baton Rouge & Vicksburg Rail Road Co. (3)
Lot 1165, Selma & Gulf Railroad Co. (8)
Lot 1193, Pneumatic Tramway Engine Co. (3)
Lot 1200, Eastern Rolling Stock (1)
Lot 1211, San Diego Cable Railway Co.(2)
Lot 1212, Pensacola Terminal Co.(3)
Lot 1215, Gallatin Light Power & Railway Co. (1, GAL-405-S-30)
Lot 1219, Fair Haven & Westville Rail Road Co. (1, FAI-057a-S-40)
Lot 1222, The Stockton & Tuolumne County Railroad Co. (2 STO-160-S-30)
Lot 1223, Chatham & Lebanon Valley Railroad Co (1, CHA-748-B-25)
Lot 1226, Omaha Southern Railway Co. (4)
Lot 1227, Hastings & Northwestern Railroad Co. (2, HAS-750-S-30)

Note also that Lot 1227, is a serial number 1 certificate.

Auction 61 will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Antwerp, Belgium, October 27 and 28. The deadline for submitting absentee bids is 8 pm, October 26. I stress once again that there are a bunch of rarities in the sale that probably will not be seen again in the next ten years. Please visit Booneshares.com as soon as possible.



April 02, 2018

Boone Auction 60 in Less Than Two Weeks


Mario Boone’s next auction is scheduled for April 14 in Antwerp and will feature yet another great selection of American railroad rarities. As usual, he features stocks and bonds from around the globe, all arranged by country. The unquestioned highlight of this sale is a Spanish banking and loan document dated 1279 (!). If you are in the market for a 739-year old rarity then, chances are, you already have the catalog for Auction 60 and have planned your bid.

I count 81 rail-related lots from the U.S. plus eight more from elsewhere in North America. I ask you to get online quickly at www.BooneShares.com and look for certificates in your specialties; you are bound to find several pieces of interest. I will mention a few items that caught my attention, either because they are the first I have seen or they APPEAR to be unique or extremely rare.

1901 debenture from the Cuban Central Railways, Ltd. (lot 1607): new to me.

1902 gold bond from the Havana Electric Railway Co. (lot 1608): only the second issued bond I have recorded.

1911 bond from the Havana Terminal Railroad Co. (lot 1613): another item I have never encountered before.

1851 stock from the Rochester & Syracuse Rail-Road (lot 1694): the second serial number known to me.

1865 stock from the Schuylkill & Dauphin Improvement Railroad Co (lot 1703): first recorded.

1872 stock certificate from the Schenectady & Susquehanna Rail Road Co (lot 1709): the second one to come to my attention in 30+ years.

1889 stock from the St Augustine & Halifax River Railway Co (lot 1729): first stock certificate that I have recorded for this company.

1890s specimen stock certificate from the Schenectady Railway Co. (lot 1732): if not unique, then nearly so.

1893 issued stock certificate from the Kaaterskill Railroad Co (lot 1739): while familiar in unissued form, this is the first issued example I have encountered.

1905 uncancelled stock certificate from The South Omaha & Western Railroad Co (lot 1753): serial #1 and still the only example I have ever recorded.

1915 uncancelled stock certificate from the New York & Queens County Railway Co (lot 1760): so far, only one known to me.

1947 stock certificate from the Salt Lake Rail & Bus Terminal Co (lot 1771): although recorded before, this remains the only certificate I know from this company.

The word unique means one of a kind; the only one in existence in the entire world. Unless there is some sort of definite proof, I am exceedingly reluctant to speculate that any certificate is truly unique. And I hate to say that another will never appear. ALL of us have been surprised more than once. Nonetheless, based on thirty years of recording over a million offerings of railroad stocks and bonds, I will suggest that several items in this auction APPEAR to be highly rare. Therefore, if sold, I believe we are unlikely to ever encounter several of these certificates again in our collecting careers.

Please visit www.BooneShares.com or email to receive a copy of this 263-page, full-color catalog. And yes, I know that commissions, VAT, postage and the declining value of the dollar relative to the Euro are penalties on American collectors. No argument there. But, what value do you place in your quest? And how many of these items do you expect to ever see again?