(FORT LEE, N.J.) – Over 1,400 lots of rare and highly collectible U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily (the collecting of stocks and bonds), autographs, historical documents and security printing ephemera will be sold in a two-day, two-session auction slated for Oct. 19 and 22 by Archives International Auctions. Bidders may attended either session live or they can participate through absentee and live bidding, at www.archivesinternational.com.
The auction is being held on non-consecutive days in two states. The Oct. 19 session will be on the final day of the third annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectibles Show, slated for Oct. 17-19 at the Museum of American Finance in New York City. The Oct. 22 session will be held in Archives International Auctions’ offices, at 1580 Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee, N.J.
The Oct. 19 session will be heavy in non-numismatic but historically important items, beginning with The First Hour Collection of significant documents and objects. These will include an authentic Edison stock ticker, a piece of the original cable from the Brooklyn Bridge, artwork and other interesting items.
Next up will be The Copps Collection of historic colonial fiscal paper, documents and stock and bond certificates, acquired 30-plus years ago. Included in the group is the expected top lot of the sale – a spectacular 1792-dated U.S. Federal bond, issued to and signed by George Washington while he was President. It is the first time such a bond has been offered at auction.
Also sold Oct. 19 will be over 50 lots of historic autographs, including three Standard Oil Company stock certificate signed by the legendary industrialist John D. Rockefeller, three stock certificates signed by renowned inventor Thomas Edison, two autographs of Buffalo Bill Cody and important aviation autographs, to include three different by Charles Lindbergh and one by Amelia Earhart.
One lot that will appeal to fans of both money and militaria is a historic Series 1935A silver certificate “short snorter” signed by Harry Truman and many other World War II military notables (including Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, George C. Marshall, H.H. Arnold, William H. Leahy, James Byrnes (Secretary of State), and Gen. Anthony Clement “Nuts” McAuliffe. It’s worth noting that this very “short snorter” sold for $4,600 in 2002 at R.M. Smythe’s sale 225 (lot #484).
Scripophily offerings on Oct. 19 and Oct. 22 will feature over 600 stock and bond certificates, highlighted by a Wells Fargo Mining stock certificate (with a racing stagecoach vignette), one of the earliest Alaska stock certificates known (circa late 1870s), Liberty Loan bonds, railroad stocks and bonds and many U.S. and worldwide bonds and shares including the Penn Central Reference Collection of historic railroad stock and bond certificates found in the Penn Central Archives with over 200 varieties offered.
The auction’s second session – on Oct. 22 in Fort Lee, N.J. – will be dedicated mainly to U.S. and worldwide banknotes, historical documents and security printing ephemera. Collectors will be able to choose and bid on over 100 U.S. banknotes, including Confederate banknotes and bonds, colonial banknotes, obsolete banknotes, fractional currency, and large and small federal issues. Security printing ephemera and historical ephemera will also be offered.
Federal issues will include an 1896 “Educational” $1, $2 and $5, in high grade (the latter bearing the infamous “Banned in Boston” bare-breasted Electricity). Fans of Mormon issues will be pleased with a VF-25 example of a Kirkland Safety Society Bank $5 from 1837, bearing the signature of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church (obsolete bank, OH-245-G10).
Oct. 22 will also feature a fresh-to-the-market trove of Wells Fargo ephemera, from a collection assembled over a century ago. Included will be many rare Wells Fargo documents, broadsides, exchanges and fiscal paper, making their first appearance at auction.
Worldwide banknotes will boast a United Arab Emirates five-note specimen set, a China Hupeh Government cash bank 1904 rarity and a Banque De l’Indochine specimen 1,000 Piastres in superb gem uncirculated 69 condition, one of only two known at this level. Mexican offerings will include rarities seldom seen at auction, such as high-denomination proofs from the Banco period and Bono De Caja bank specimens (including an unlisted discovery note).
But the Washington-signed U.S. Federal Bond is the undisputed highlight of the auction. “This is truly one of the finest rarities to surface on the scripophily market in many years,” said Dr. Robert Schwartz, President of Archives International Auctions. “It is of exceptional historical importance to the history of American capital markets and will be the centerpiece of a savvy bidder’s collection.”
Dr. Schwartz added, “These certificates were the first securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange after its founding in 1792, upon the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement, four months after this certificate was issued to Washington.” There are only two other examples known; one is in the Museum of American Finance, the other in the George Washington University Library with this example being the only one available to the collecting public.
It is just the 16th auction for Archives International Auctions in its seven-year history, during which time the company has become synonymous with quality auctions dedicated to U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily and other numismatic ephemera. AIA was chosen to be the auctioneer for the third annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectibles Show being held Oct. 17-19 in the Museum of American Finance, at 48 Wall Street in Manhattan’s financial district.
Archives International Auctions and Dr. Robert Schwartz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by phone 1-201-944-4800. The website is www.archivesinternational.com. The Oct. 19 and 22 auction offers live onsite bidding for both sessions as well as absentee, phone and live Internet bidding through the website. Please contact them to be placed on an auction update list.
Archives International Auctions
1580 Lemoine Avenue
Fort Lee, New Jersey