FORT LEE, N.J. – A high-grade example of the Peter Force 1843 printing of the Declaration of Independence, taken from the J.W. Stone printing plate originally made in 1823, sold for $10,620, and a pair of Edison stock tickers, both circa 1900-1910, brought $8,260 and $5,900 at a three-session auction held Oct. 20, 21 and 23 by Archives International Auctions.
The Oct. 20 session was held at the Museum of American Finance in New York City, where Archives International Auctions had been selected to once again serve as the official auctioneer for the second annual Wall Street Collectors Bourse (Oct. 18-20). The Oct. 21 and 23 sessions were conducted at Archives International Auctions’ offices, located in Fort Lee, N.J.
Over the three days, over 2,500 lots of U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily (the collecting of stock certificates) and security printing ephemera were offered in an auction that grossed $554,375. Sessions one and two featured 1,728 lots, of which 738 sold (43 percent) at $228 per lot, average. Session three had 805 lots, 535 sold (66.5 percent, $721 per lot, average).
“All three sessions had their high points,’ said Dr. Robert Schwartz of Archives International Auctions, “but the Tuesday banknote auction (Oct. 23) was exciting and virtually non-stop from the moment it started, with numerous price records broken, as well as non-stop bidding action from phone, Internet and live session attendees. Overall it was a great auction.”
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include an 18 percent buyer’s premium.
Highlights from the scripophily session included an American Express Type II stock certificate with Wells, Fargo and Holland signatures ($3,127); an 1846 Chippewa Copper Mining Co. (Mich.) stock certificate ($2,714); an 1855 Cornelius Vanderbilt Company accessory transit bond ($1,239); and a Central Railroad Co. of New Jersey specimen bond, unlisted ($1,121).
Worldwide bank notes featured a spectacular group of seven different Reserve Bank of India specimens from the late 1960s to the early ‘70s that had never before been offered at public auction ($2,200-$4,400 ea.); a Dominion of Canada 1911 $1 banknote, extra fine ($1,121); and a set of “Devil’s Head” specimens in denominations ranging from $1 to $100 ($737-$2,700 ea.).
China proved popular, with 30 of 31 lots selling for exceptional prices. A pair of $100 Chinese banknote specimens commanded $6,549 and $5,310. A 1955 1-Pound specimen from Cyprus hammered for $1,770; a 1932 Bank of Danzig specimen went for $3,068; and a 1920 East African Currency Board 1-Florin banknote, King George V, changed hands for $3,835.
Other banknotes included an 1872 Fiji, Vakacavacava fractional issue ($2,950); five Armee Catholique Et Royale 1793-1794 issues ($2,124-$3,186 ea.); a French Somaliland 1921 Banqe de L’Indochine banknote ($2,596); three Bank of Melli (Iran) 1958 color trials by Waterlow ($2,100-$2,478); and a Jamaica, Bank of Nova Scotia 1-Pound issued note ($2,124).
Rare and unlisted Keelings Cocos issues gaveled for $1,000-$1,400 each; 16 out of 20 Pakistani banknotes brought $500-$4,500 each; an 1870s Standard Bank of British South Africa issue proof breezed to $3,245; and a 1948-1959 South African 1-Pound color trial graded gem uncirculated 67 rose to $2,596. Other high prices were paid for other notes, some setting records.
The security printing ephemera session began with seven original hand-illustrated advertising note essays painted and drawn for Waterlow & Sons by Hugo Fleury that hammered for $2,700-$5,015 each. Other rare and unique security printed items also did well. U.S. proofs and issued obsolete banknotes included additional proofs from the noted Silver City Collection.
Highlights included a modern proprietary proof sheet of four notes from Mercantile Bank of Waterloo, Ill. ($2,596); a pair of Corn Exchange remainder sheets in green and red ($2,006 ea.); a Great Salt Lake City Mormon note with Brigham Young autograph ($1,416); a Nassau Bank of Brooklyn issued obsolete, listed as proof only in Haxby ($1,003) and other examples.
Returning to first session highlights, an archive of original artwork by Charles Kress, relating to the security printing industry and his fruitless attempts to have his work accepted by any security printer garnered $6,785; a Johannes Brahms autographed note realized $1,003; and an Andrew Jackson 1833 Bank of the U.S. check, signed while he was president, made $1,475.
A slave letter from 1863, describing and illustrating a “slave collar,” demanded $1,121; a 1903 Theodore Roosevelt dinner menu printed on copper from Butte, Mont., finished at $590; and an H.G. Welles signed letter and watercolor achieved $619. The auction was rounded out by a group of 48 Confederate banknote lots that all sold between the high/low estimates throughout.
Archives International Auctions will be conducting an International Banknote Auction Jan. 26-27, 2013, in Hong Kong, China at the North Point Harbor Plaza Hotel. Previews will be held Jan. 10-13 at the New York International Numismatic Convention and Nov. 15-18 at the Baltimore Coin Expo. Consignments for the Hong Kong auction will be accepted until Nov. 24.
Consignments are also being accepted for the Archives International’s March 2013 auction of U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily, autographs and ephemera. Archives International Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item or an entire collection, you may call them at (201) 944-4800 or you can e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.