October 20, 2015

Mario Boone Auction & Bourse #55

Yet another beautiful set of catalogs from Mario Boone in Deinze, Belgium. This time, Mario will offer 2000 lots, entirely scripophily. The first quarter of the sale is dedicated entirely to French (and French-related) certificates. As many of you already know, French certificates tend to be rather ornate, with many being highly artistic. There are huge numbers of intriguing certificates in a special 96-page catalog dedicated entirely to those certificates.

The remaining 1,500 lots represent the rest of the world, far too many to illustrate entirely in the printed catalogs. Thankfully, Mario illustrates ALL of his lots in full color online at Booneshares.com. Having said that, be aware that the printing and production of Boone's catalogs is always superb and I am honored to have them in my catalog collection.

(Note for non-Europeans. Prices are, of course, in Euros, but Boone catalogs are written entirely in English.)

Boone's offerings are most emphatically global in nature. That means you will find certificates from everywhere and anywhere. Certificates involve every kind of business imaginable. Obviously, my interests are North American railroads and the selection this time seems a little more subdued than normal. Nonetheless, I count 37 rail-related lots.

To me, the standout is a £100 bond from the St Francis Branch of the Temiscouata Railway.This bond was printed in London and issue from Quebec in 1890. This particular certificate is one of only two known to me. It last sold in Germany in 2007 and is the image I show on my website.

Paging toward American certificates, I will suggest Central American enthusiasts stop and take a look at a 1904 bond from the Vera Cruz & Pacific Railroad Company (issued from West Virginia.) While not nearly as scarce as the Canadian bond, this is a certificate that appears for sale only sporadically.

I count 29 American railroad certificates, the priciest being an 1870 £100 bond issued by the Maxwell Land Grant & Railway Company. This certificate (shown at left) is one of only six to appear and will represent a new variety (based on the imprinted revenue) when sold. Like the other five, this bond is signed by William Jackson Palmer (president) and Thomas Scott (trustee.)

For fans of the Vanderbilts is a signed but unissued bond receipt for the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad (titled a 'Consolidation Certificate') signed by William Henry Vanderbilt. Although undated, I strongly suspect this certificate was signed in about 1874, shortly after he took over the reins of the company from the Commodore. The certificate is uncancelled, so the signature is in great shape.

There are numbers of other medium-scarcity certificates for sale, but I'd also recommend considering a 1906 $1000 bond from the Muncie & Union City Traction Co. This is what I'd call a 'sleeper.' The lowest sales price I've ever recorded is $125, but I've only recorded three certificates before this one. Admittedly, traction companies have never been as popular as mainline railroad companies in the U.S., but still, this makes only the fourth example to come to my attention.

Substantially more common, but always fetching a higher price is a brown preferred stock certificate from the Hupp Automatic Mail Exchange Company. This certificate and its green common stock companion are always popular items because of the huge custom vignette on both front and back.

Finally, I must mention the ever-popular 1873 stock certificate from the Harrisburg Portsmouth Mount Joy & Lancaster Rail Road. The one offered in Mario Boone's sale is signed by John Edgar Thomson who was president of the Pennsylvania Railroad for 22 years. Although I have recorded 96 of these certificates so far, and suspect there are double that number in collections, it remains one of the most popular American certificates around because of its ten(!) vignettes. I suspect this certificate was designed in 1845 or 1846 by Toppan Carpenter. That company was later consolidated into the great American Bank Note Company and you can spot the tiny "ABNCo" logo at the bottom right corner of Franklin's vignette on certificates dated 1859 and later.

Be sure to check out the catalog online, but you will need to act fast if you want a physical catalog.


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