October 24, 2020

Mario Boone sale 65 at the end of October

 Unlike most of the recent sales from Mario, North American railroads are under-represented in this sale with only lots in the railroad and coal specialties that I track. Nonetheless, there are a few items I hope collectors will view with an eye for participating in their first non-American auction. Only five items have start prices above 50 Euros. Considering we are currently in an abnormal Fall slump in the market, I think American collectors should have a good chance of bringing several rare certificates back to this continent. 

The first I will mention is a $500 specimen bond of Nova Scotia Steel & Coal Company (lot 1189.) While not everyone's cup of tea, I've always been fond of coal company issuances from Nova Scotia. These are mines accessed coal reserves inland from the Atlantic, but which followed coal seams eastward out under the ocean. I have only encountered this certificate once before in a Boone sale seven years ago.

Another Canadian item is a 1914 $1,000 bond specimen from the Canadian Pacific Railway (lot 1193.) This is only the third example of this bond variety and a new color previously unknown to me. All three examples are recorded only from Europe. Let me remind my American readers that specimens are not currently popular collectibles in Europe. 

Lot 1212 is a another previously unrecorded Bradbury, Wilkinson specimen of a £500 scrip certificate from the  United Railways of the Havana & Regla Warehouses, Ltd. (Cuba.) This rarity has a €50 start price, reflecting the current reality that Cuban certificates are still not collected widely. (And this has always baffled me!)

Surprisingly, another Bradbury, Wilkinson specimen is listed as lot 1245 with the same start price. This rare 1909 certificate represented £100 invested with the London-based Corporation of Foreign Bondholders for the purchase of Republic of Nicaragua bonds dedicated for completion of an unspecified railway from the Great Lake of Nicaragua to the Atlantic Ocean. (I admit this is somewhat oblique to the collecting of railroad certificates, but tell me when another one of these is going to appear.)

A distressed example of an 1839 2-share certificate of the Williams Valley Rail Road & Mining Company is offered in lot 1257. This is one of eight currently recorded and desirable primarily for its 1839 date.

Scarcer is an 1880 stock certificate from the Pennsylvania & Ohio Coal & Mining Co. (lot 1270). from Columbus, Ohio, one of only four currently known to me.

Almost certain to be overlooked by North American collectors is lot 1323, a 1992 specimen fund certificate issued in the Netherlands to hold shares in the Santa Fe Pacific Corporation. This company was a descendent of the Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corp, an aborted attempt to merge the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe with the Southern Pacific. Dutch fund certificates are rarely seen in the United States, but were highly important in funding many major American rail ventures. (See Slow Train to Paradise: How Dutch investment helped build American railroads for details.)

Unlike Mario's normal sales, this is offered entirely remotely by internet, telephone or advance bidding because of Coronavirus concerns. Please visit Booneshares.com to view all lots and see the rules for bidding. 

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