October 20, 2022

Mario Boone auction 69

 Mario Boone's 69th Auction and Bourse will take place at the Antwerp Crowne Plaza Hotel on November 5, followed by and internet/mailbid auction the following day. You may view lots large scale images 1) online at Booneshares.com, 2) in the physical full-color catalog or 3) on Invaluable.com. I want to make collectors aware of this sale because it will offer 163 lots, the largest Boone selection of rail-related certificates from North America since 2008. In fact, only two sales have ever had more such certificates offered.

The are so many lots in this sale that it is hard to narrow the selection for review here. There are numerous items that I have not seen in ten or fifteen years, with some even further back. Let's start with an unissued stock certificate from the Erie Railway Co. (Lot 570.) The last time I encountered this certificate was in Smythe sale 14 (lot 3034). It is an unissued, but cancelled certificate printed by Henry Seibert & Brothers Co. Smythe noted the item was used by ABN as a model for later issues. It fetched $744 in that sale including commission. To my knowledge, no other examples have appeared in thirty years.

An 1872 second mortgage bond from the Cayuga Lake Rail Road Co. (Lot 567, serial 34) is one of only two examples known to me.

Lot 603 is a proof of a certificate of deposit from the Central Pacific Railroad Co. of California for Extended Mortgage bonds deposited with Speyer & Company. It is printed on thick paper with no printed border. There is no printer name, but the vignette is one that was used frequently heavily by American Bank Note Co., so I strongly suspect this item is of ABN origin and is probably unique.

An example of a stock certificate from the Twin City & Lake Superior Railway Co. appeared on the cover of the first edition of my catalog. I don't know where that image came from, but I have never encountered any of these in person. In fact, I have cataloged only four unissued and six issued (and uncancelled) examples ever. Lot 613 is serial #273.

Another interesting certificate is a stock from The Alton & Upper Alton Horse Railway & Carrying Co. (Lot 562.) It has somewhat of an odd name, but is otherwise not terribly outstanding as far as horse railroads go. This item is serial #15 and last appeared (to my knowledge) in Smythe sale 242 in 2004. Like the above certificate, this lot makes a total of six serial numbers recorded, but it has historically fetched high-than normal bids (median = $185.) 

Lot 559 is an offer of a Troy Salem & Rutland Rail Road Co. certificate signed by Jay Gould as president. At a €200 start price, this would almost seem like a giveaway for a previously unrecorded Gould-signed item. (I had heard of one like this before, but did not have sufficient particulars for listing.) I have recorded only two other issued serial numbers (#3 and #73), so this one (#2) is new. I think Mario's low start price reflects that this issued certificate, like the other two, is heavily pen cancelled through officers' signatures. Nonetheless, it may be a LONG wait before another example with Gould's signature appears.

I first saw serial #10 of the Weems Electric Railway System in 2002 from a copy sent by one of my earliest contributors. It later appeared in an FHW sale ten years later and is now offered by Mario Boone another ten years further on. It remains the only example I have learned of. Please look at a picture of Lot 598 to see the large blue underprint that sets it apart from almost all other stock certificates.

In addition to certificates from the United States are numerous rarities from elsewhere in North America including Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda, Cuba and elsewhere. Like I said at the start, there are just so many, I cannot do the sale justice. You will need to view for yourself. And if the ones I mentioned seem above your normal price point, please see for yourself. There are many affordable scarcities, too numerous to mention.

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