September 15, 2015

Spink Collector's Series Sale, Sep 24-25, 2015

It's tough to promote auctions when I receive catalogs with less than two weeks' notice. I can only hope that my readers receive their copies in time. If you are not on the Spink mailing list, then please act today!

At any rate, the latest Spink sale will take place in New York on September 24 and 25. You can find details at Spink's site along with the capability of downloading a PDF version of the catalog.

There is a lot to like in this sale. I count 126 lots of railroad-related certificates. One of the things I especially appreciate is an increased emphasis on telling collectors that certificates are NOT cancelled. Thank you Spink!

As all of you are aware, coins and currency tend to sell for substantially more than scripophily and, consequently, are more profitable for auction companies to sell. Still, Spink has dedicated quite a lot of space in this catalog for scripophily illustrations (40 by my count) and I am sure collectors will enjoy that costly decision. Nonetheless, I continue to warn collectors to to pay special attention to non-illustrated lots. There are some gems hiding in the shadows, so be sure to take your time with the catalog and use my web site to see more illustrations.

(The majority of the small lots are well-described. Used with my online database, you will generally be able to tell precisely which certificates are being sold in the non-illustrated lots.)

One such non-illustrated gem is a Rio Grande Southern Railroad stock certificate signed by Colorado narrow-gauge pioneer Otto Mears. This is one of eight certificates that I have recorded, although I suspect several more exist. This particular example last sold in 2005 for $259.

Other notable lots include:

  • South Pacific Coast Railway specimen bond; last sold for $900 in 2007 and illustrated on the back cover
  • Denver & Boulder Valley Rail Road stock certificate; only seven known to me and this particular certificate was last offered 18 years ago
  • Nevada Central Railway proof bond (with typical accessory impressions); I agree with Spink's suggestion that this is 'probably unique'
  • Columbia & Klickitat Railway stock certificate; non-illustrated; while I can not possibly see every sale that takes place, I have not encountered another example since 1996
  • Dakota Pacific Railroad bond; yes, friends, it IS scarce
  • Northern Pacific & Puget Sound Shore Railroad specimen bond; I have never encountered before
  • Ferrocarrilles Unidos de Yucatan specimen bond; another example previously unknown by me
  • Pachuca Zacualtipan & Tampico Railway Ltd, specimen bond; I suspect this item is unique; last sold by Spink in 2009
  • Tehuantepec Inter-Ocean Railroad Co; yet another specimen I suspect of being unique; last sold in 1997
  • Maryland & Pennsylvania Rail Road Co, bond; this is a sleeper I hope collectors will notice; while there are almost certainly other examples hidden in American collections, I know of only two other examples; both of those are in Germany with little likelihood of returning to the U.S. anytime soon.

Forty-five of the lots being offered are multi-item lots, 13 of which contain from 100 to 1000 certificates each. A few of those large lots show that the great Penn Central/New York Central hoard is still being liquidated twenty-nine years after its release! If you have need for Pennsylvania Railroad certificates, you can probably pick up a thousand for less than 50 cents apiece. New York Central certificates? Probably a dollar apiece or less.

The point I want to make is that there should be something in this sale for everyone. Just make sure that you understand the sale will take place the fourth week in September. There is no time to dawdle.

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