January 06, 2012

Massive Spink 312 catalog available

Spink Smythe will offer 3,517 lots over a course of three days. The sale will be held at Spink New York headquarters starting Monday, January 16. As with its recent sales, this sale continues its Collector's Series and will again feature paper money, coins, autographs and stocks and bonds.

Catalog #312 sports 322 pages of lots, with just a little less than half the pages dedicated to stocks and bonds. In terms of lots, stocks and bond account for 1,838 lots, or 52% of the entire catalog!

As usual, railroads represent the largest single industry group. I count 501 lots directly related to railroads including a large selection of 19 lots of railroad aid bonds.

Like other recent Spink Smythe sales, roughly two-thirds of the railroad-related lots are multiple-item lots. That means that one-third of the lots are single-item lots that feature some of the classier material including scarcer items and more expensive autographed certificates. As expected, personalities such as Morgan, Gould, Sage, Huntington and the like are well-represented.

The median lot in this sale includes eight items. Some collectors may object to multi-item lots, but they overlook the great opportunity to acquire items for very low per-item costs. With eBay an inexorable fact of life, it is now vastly easier for collectors to liquidate duplicate and unwanted items than ever before. Let's also remember that 8-item lots are very much smaller than in the days when Smythe was selling off the huge Penn Central hoard. Personally, I'm a great fan of moderate-sized lots.

I calculate that Spink Smythe will offer in the neighborhood of 13,000 railroad-related certificates. More if you count less obvious material grouped with non-railroad and general certificates. That is a LOT of certificates. And yet, the minimum estimated value for that number works out to only about $8 per certificate! That tells me that with rare exception, most of the collection is fairly priced, if not under-priced to the market. It looks to me that there are some serious deals to be had.

If interested in participating in sale #312, I suggest you contact Spink Smythe right away. Believe me, there is NEVER sufficient lead time. Even carefully reading the descriptions of several hundred lots takes more time than you will have. The quickest way is to visit the Spink Smythe web site or call 212-262-8400. You may attend the sale and bid in person; you may bid by mail or you may bid online via Spink Live.