December 04, 2009

Helmut Lange Collection for sale

The massive collection of German collector Hemut Lange is coming up for sale starting December 19, 2009 in Wolfenb├╝ttel. A second part will appear in April, 2010.

The sale is being offered by DWA (Deutsche Wertpapierauktionen GmbH), a subsidiary of FHW (Freunde Historischer Wertpapier.) I just received the 96-page catalog yesterday, meaning the sale is only two weeks away.

The catalog for the auction was put together by long-time dealer Vladimir Gutowski and Fabian Palic. Because of the size of the offering, the catalog has a different appearance than typical FHW catalogs. Everything this time is in black and white with pictures of only parts of the collection.

There are currently 865 lots in the auction, virtually all representing stocks and bonds from railroads. American railroads comprise the bulk of the collection: 610 single-item lots plus 39 multi-item lots. Many lots represent seriously rare certificates. Nine more lots represent other rail operations in North America.

The downside is that the collection is so vast that only 27% of the lots are illustrated in the catalog. I have not yet been able to find any online listing. (I will modify this blog if I hear back from Herr Gutowski). Meanwhile, there are two offsetting features I heartily applaud.

1) Several multi-item lots are illustrated. (I do not know why more auction houses don't show multi-item lots.)

2) Unlike normal European auctions, DWA's starting prices will be 80% of its lower price estimates. (I think this is a REALLY good idea.)

Again, the sale is only two weeks away. There are no listed contacts for DWA, so I heartily recommend you contact FHW immediately if you are thinking about participating in this sale. You can email FHW (, or call (05331/9755-33) or fax (05331/9755-55). This may not be the best way to get the catalog, but it should work.

(American collectors: don't forget the multi-hour time difference. You can find the current time at

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