March 22, 2016

HWPH Auctions 41 and 42

The next HWPH (Historisches Wertpapierhaus AG) auctions are scheduled for Saturday, April 16 and Monday, April 18 in W├╝rzburg, Germany. True to custom, every lot in HWPH's catalogs is fully illustrated in color. In addition to catalogs 41 and 42, there is a special 66-page catalog dedicated to showing and discussing 50 highlight items in great detail.

This time, Herr Matthias Schmitt is offering over 2,000 stock and bond lots plus a few lots of miscellaneous paper collectibles. Like most European sales, auctions 41 and 42 offer items from most countries in the world.

There are 87 lots from North American railroads plus a couple more from coal companies. In general, most of the items from North America are not commonly offered for sale and there are two I have never encountered before. (Obviously, the majority of the auction includes other specialties; as long-time readers understand, my focus is limited to railroads and coal companies.) Items that I find particularly worthy of attention include:

Lot 34, a 1915 stock certificate from the Arkansas Midland Rail Road Company. Rarely offered for sale.

Lot 44, a 1877 $1000 bond from the Florida Central Railroad Company.

Lot 63. 1880 stock certificate from the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company, boldly issued to William Henry Vanderbilt and signed by him on the back.

Lot 65, 1880 $1000 bond from The Fernandina & Jacksonville Railroad Company, signed by Edward H. Harriman on the back as trustee.

Lot 1264, a proof of a 1910 $100 bond from the Akron Canton & Youngstown Railway Company. This is a new item to me.

Lot 1310, a rarely-encountered 1909 stock certificate from the Central California Traction Company. This is one of only three known to me.)

Lot 1316, a curiously scarce 1873 $500 bond from the Chicago Danville & Vincennes Railroad Company.

Lot 1326, a very attractive, 1864 stock certificate from the Clarksburg Coal & Iron Company of Harrison County, Virginia. (Now West Virginia.) Not only was this certificate issued during the Civil War, but it is one I have never encountered before.

Lot 1402, an 1854 $1000 bond from the Logansport & Northern Indiana Rail Road Company. To my knowledge, the last example sold in the U.S. was fifteen years ago.

Lot 1411, an 1853 $1000 bond from the Maysville & Lexington Rail Road Company. Similar to lot 1402, none of these have sold in the U.S. (at least not publicly) since 2002.

Lot 1524 is an 1886 bond from the New Jersey Junction Railroad Company signed on the back by J.P. Morgan. These bonds are seen a few times per year and, consequently, have become rather affordable. I can't say how long that trend will last, but the start price on this example is only 250 €. (These normally sell for $250 to $750 on eBay US; still, two sales took place on eBay for $1,200 in June, 2014 and $1,300 in Jan., 2014. Just sayin.'!)

Please go to the HWPH website to see large images of all lots. (Hint: use the online version of the catalog and right-click on any image. Save to your hard drive to see even larger views of certificates.) I want to give my special, heartfelt appreciation to HWPH for being among very few auction companies to realize it can offer large images of auction lots just as easily as tiny thumbnails. If you want to receive copies of the physical catalogs (and I recommend you do!), please contact HWPH by email as soon as possible. Remember, the auction will take place April 16 and 18.

March 01, 2016

Genuine rarities in Boone sale 56

The latest sale (#56) from Mario Boone will take place in Antwerp, Belgium March 19 and 20. As usual, there are many terrific certificates from 108 countries around the globe. There are many wonderful items from practically every specialty. Although interested in an unusual item outside my specialty, you all know my main interest is North American railroads. This time, Mario is offering only 26 lots. .

HOWEVER – and I want to stress this point – there are several serious standouts that absolutely deserve your consideration. In fact, there are some items here that I doubt you will see offered for sale again. Let me mention a few.

Lot 1374: A 16-item lot of bonds from the Northern Light, Power & Coal Company of the Yukon Territory. A very attractive start price if you have a market for the extra bonds you may not need.

Lot 1407: A purple 100-share specimen certificate from the Havana Electric Railway Light & Power Company. A new color variety for my catalog.

Lot 1416: An 1893 500-peso bond from the Ferro-Carril al Norte. I have encountered this Guatemalan bond only a couple times, but have never recorded a sale. Low minimum bid of 70 Euros.

Lot 1442: A 4-item lot of shares (4 types) from the Company General of Central America that intended to build the Atlantic-Pacific railway across Nicaragua. LOW 60 Euros starting bid.

Lot 1451: A 1941 Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de L'Est 6% bond issued to a Panamanian bondholder consortium. While this French railroad is outside of my specialty, this item is nonetheless a very interesting collectible. (As Mario explains, it appears this allowed the 'Est' railroad to park money outside France during the war.)

Lot 1475: An 1872 $1000 bond from the Bennington & Glastenbury Rail Road Mining & Manufacturing Co. This certificate (serial #171) is the only example known to me. It last appeared for sale in 2004.

Lot 1477: A $1000 1880 bond from The Fernandina & Jacksonville Railroad Company signed by Edward Harriman. While these Harriman-signed bonds are not terribly scarce, they rarely sell for less than $500 in the U.S. Minimum bid: 200 Euros.

Lot 1479: 1881 $1000 bond of the Kansas Central & Southwestern Rail Road Company. Only the second bond from this company known to me. I rather doubt this item will sell for less than double the 200 Euro start price.

Lot 1482: A rare 1889 £100 bond for the Hudson Tunnel Railway Company. Again, this is only the second serial number to appear and none have been offered since 2001. 300 Euro minimum bid.

Lot 1485: Rogers Locomotive Company stock certificate. Considering the popularity of Rogers' locomotives, it is curious that this may be the only certificate known. In fact, I know about this certificate only from a listing in Thomas Schabmayr's 1996 catalog. Okay friends, I feel comfortable in suggesting this item is RARE!

Please contact quickly if you want to receive a copy of Boone's terrific full-color catalog. 185 pages. 1,561 lots. You may also view ALL lots online at, including lots that are not otherwise illustrated in the printed catalog.