April 04, 2014

A late entry from Mario Boone!

Wow, I almost missed this one!

I just received another terrific catalog from Mario Boone (Centrum voor Scriptophilie BVBA)  and will need to hurry so I can post this before the sale takes place TOMORROW.

This catalog from sale 52 just appeared, The sale will take place April 5 and 6 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Antwerp. Thankfully, everyone collecting North American certificates will have until Sunday before some great American certificates sell.

I literally don't have time to go through this sale with a fine-tooth comb, so I'll list some of the highlights that caught my attention. I hope Mario will forgive my speed and my tardiness, but occasionally things get slowed down in their Transatlantic journeys.

The certificates that caught me attention include:

Stock certificate from the Evansville & Crawfordsville Railroad Company altered to Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad Company, 1881. I am always a sucker for transitional certificates like this that offer glimpses into the short periods between company name changes.

Stock transfer from the New York & Harlem Rail-Road Company. Although not terribly rare, these certificates (this one dated 1835) represent some of the earliest stock related items from any U.S. railroad.

An 1897 stock certificate from the St Charles Car Company. A beautiful and scarce certificate.

A 1908 stock certificate from the Fort Wayne & Springfield Railway Company. One of only five examples known to me from this 19-mile line.

An 1888 stock certificate from the ever-popular Gilpin Tramway Company. This narrow gauge line hauled gold ore from the area around Central City and Nevadaville, Colorado to the stamp mills along Clear Creek near Black Hawk. The company had spurs to almost all the producing mines.

A Northern Pacific stock certificate with a transfer on the back signed by John Pierpont Morgan, 1882. Stock certificates from this company are very common, but high-profile autographs are quite scarce.

Stock certificate from Prosser's Twin Cylinder Car Company dated 1879. This is the only certificate known to me. To my knowledge, it last appeared in an FHW sale in Germany in October, 1997.

As always, Mario Boone's sales are highly entertaining and a joy to review (when I have the time.) Like almost all of Boone's sales, this one represents certificates from every part of the world. Since my focus is North American railroads, that is where I must focus most of my attention. Nonetheless, certificates from other countries and specialties are always fun to consider. While I did not have time to mention them, rail certificates from Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Latin America are also represented.

This catalog continues Mario's tradition of full color presentations in his 202-page auction catalog. Mario tends to spend a lot of time on historical research which he splashes across all of his descriptions. Frankly, I don't know where he gets the time! Fortunately, his bidders are his beneiciaries.

Make sure you get online right now at www.booneshares.com and review the listings as quickly as possible. While you're there, be sure to subscribe to his catalogs so you can receive your own.

Two new HWPH sales in April

Just today, I received two beautiful auction catalogs from Historische Wertpapierehaus AG. These are the latest sales by Matthias Schmitt, one of my long-time contributors. It is always a pleasure to receive his catalogs to see what kinds of rarities he has found. In that respect, these two sales taking place at the end of April are sure to please even the most discriminating collector. This time Herr Schmitt is offering several certificates that American collectors have never seen before. That is, unless they were collecting in the early 1980s!

As usual, both catalogs are well-designed, printed in full color, color-tabbed and indexed. With the exception of large multi-item lots, every lot is illustrated.

If interested in participating in the sale, go online at http://www.hwph.de and look at the catalogs. If you want a physical copy, be sure to order one as soon as humanly possible. The nice thing about viewing the catalogs online is that non-German speakers can readily translate pages using Google Translate.

Here are the highlights as I see them.

Auktion 33 (Apr 26, 2014)

This live auction will be held in W├╝rzburg, Germany. It will feature 795 lots, mostly stocks and bonds along with a few maps and miscellaneous paper collectibles. Certificates come from a huge number of countries. As one should expect, the sale is heavily focused on German and European issues.

While there are only five certificates in this sale to represent American railroads, all are great rarities: Town of Greene (NY) $500 bond in aid of the Greene Rail Road; Town of Peru (NY) $500 bond in aid of the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad; Town of Stephentown (NY) $100 bond in aid of the Lebanon Springs Rail Road; Township of New Providence (NJ) $500 bond in aid of the Passaic Valley & Peapack Rail Road; Troy & Boston Railroad $1000 bond.

If you will look up these certificates in my online database, you will see that four of the five are the only examples ever to come to my attention. This is the first time I have ever encountered the fifth certificate (Town of Greene). The only reason I know about any of these certificates is that the collector who is selling them sent me a list of his collection many years ago. All are owned by a long-time German collector who has been slowly liquidating his collection. If you don't bid on these items in this sale, I strongly doubt you will ever get a second chance.

Auktion 34 (online only, Apr 28, 2014)

This sale features 1,279 lots and, in general, the items are more common. Or more properly, they are generally less rare than those in Auktion 33.

Of particular interest is lot 1406, a 1-sh stock certificate supposedly issued by the Canadian-Pacific-Railway-Company in 1911. A certificate like this was the subject of a November, 1991 article in the International Bond & Share Society Journal. I have reproduced that article on my web site at http://www.coxrail.com/IB&SSJ.htm. While not horribly rare, this is only the fifth example to come to my attention.

Lot 1436 is an example of a £100 bond from the Embreville Freehold Land Iron & Railway Company Ltd. This company was incorporated in England for a project in Tennessee. This item is the first issued example to come to my attention. All certificates from this company are rare.

Lot 1469 is a bond from Madison County, Mississippi issued in aid of the Vicksburg Canton & Yazoo City Rail Road. I have encountered a bond like this only one time, 33 years ago! (See George LaBarre's, Collecting Stocks and Bonds, volume 3, 1981.) Like the example in LaBarre's book, the certificate in lot 1469 is unissued. I suspect it originally come from George. Think this item is common? How many years are you willing to wait for another chance!

While not a railroad or otherwise famous company, I am nonetheless attracted to lot 1514, a 1-share Cuban stock certificate with one of the more unusual company names I've ever encountered: Sanitary Dungcart Company. You certainly don't see that name every day!

Or how about lot 1481? That is a South American certificate with an equally quizzical name: the New Granada Waste Land Certificate. Can't you hear a prospective investor telling his buddy, "Hey, let's invest in waste land. I've heard of a great new deal in New Grenada."

Because of the time they spend in transit, European catalogs usually don't reach Colorado with much time to spare. If interested in this sale, PLEASE contact Matthias Schmitt immediately. Email: auktion@hwph.de. Call Historische Wertpapierehaus AG at +49 8106 24 61 86.