October 18, 2011

Archives International Auction 6

Short Notice!

Through his auction company, Archives International Auctions, Dr. Robert Schwartz will hold his 6th auction in conjunction with the first New York Bourse. The auction will be split into two parts: the first session is a live auction offering 563 lots this comong Friday night (October 21, 2011) at the historic India House at One Hanover Square in New York. The second session will be a live internet, phone and mailbid sale offering 604 lots on the following Wednesday (October 26, 2011).

PLEASE contact Auctions International TODAY if you plan to bid. Don't dawdle!

I cannot tell you how happy I am to see Schwartz's auctions teaming up with John and Diana Herzog for this event. And I can't wait to see the prices realized and hear back from attendees! Following a couple of intriguingly good European sales and recent strong eBay prices, I am predicting very healthy prices. I wish everyone - collectors, dealers, and consignors - great success.

Essentially all of this sale is made up of stocks and bonds. About a quarter of the lots being offered represent North American railroads. Of that number, just a little less than two-thirds are specimens and proofs, meaning that the vast majority of the lots represent scarce to seriously rare pieces.

From my viewpoint, there is a lot to recommend this sale. In many respects, it reminds me of several important sales from the late 1980s and early 1990s that occurred at pivotal times. Looking back on those sales, we saw a few lucky buyers procure items that have rarely appeared since. This MIGHT be one of those buying opportunities.

I'm not saying that everything in the sale is bloody rare. Nor am I saying everything will sell at monstrous prices. I am merely warning that many items in this sale may not reappear for years.

If I were a collector of mining certificates, I'd  look really, really hard at an 1865 stock certificate from the Arcadian Copper Company (lot 379.) They're certainly not making any more of those babies!

In the railroad specialty, there are two bonds that sport an overprint explaining that bonds will no longer be paid in gold, but in legal tender. Both these certificates (from the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad (lot 514) and the Austin Street Railway (lot 541)) were printed in a narrow and historic range of time in 1933 following the suspension of all contracts denominated in gold. These items rarely appear for sale.

Another notable is a $100 bond jointly issued by the Lamoille Valley, Montpelier & St. Johnsbury & Essex County Railroad Companies (lot 552). By itself, the certificate is quite rare. What leverages its importance, though, is the appearance of a very rare brown RN-R1 imprinted revenue.

Yet another intriguing rarity is an uncancelled 1905 preferred stock certificate from the Yellowstone Park Railroad Company (lot 563). Certificates from this company have only appeared a few times, and I'm unconvinced that their scarcity has been fully appreciated.

As I mentioned, a large portion of the sale is made up of specimens and proofs. Essentially every proof is unique and specimens are rarely known in quantities of more than ten. The vast majority of specimens are known in quantities of five or fewer. Admittedly, specimens are not for every collector, but those who do collect them recognize acquisition opportunities are few and far between.

Let me stress one more time. If interested in participating, be sure to contact Auctions International immediately.

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