Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads     by Terry Cox

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(I neither buy nor sell stocks and bonds)

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Sales of collectible money, stamps, vignettes, art, ephemera and printing plates from the archives of the American Bank Note Company

I receive sporadic inquiries about past sales of items from the archives of the American Bank Note Company. The massive archives of this historic engraving company have been parceled out in groups over a period of twenty years (so far!). Each sale has focused on various types of the company's security products:

  • stamps (sales in 1988-2009)
  • original artwork (sales in 1990)
  • paper money (sales in 1990-1991)
  • printing plates (sales in 2006-2010)
  • vignettes and proof images (sales in 2007)
  • stocks and bonds (sales in 2007-2010)

To date, four major auction houses have been involved in selling off the archives:

  • Christie's Robson-Lowe
  • American Numismatic Rarities (later Stack's)
  • H.R. Harmer and Archives International
  • Archives International Auctions

Advanced collectors have generally participated in several of these sales; few have participated in all.

Currently, the paper money catalogs from Christie's 1990-1991 sales are valuable as collectibles in their own rights. Harmer's recent catalogs of stocks and bonds are fully illustrated in color and should increase in value in the next couple decades.

With the help the American Numismatic Association library, researchers at Christie's, and collector and librarian David Adams, here is a compilation of the sales that I currently know about. If you can contribute any additional information, please contact me.

Christie's sale catalog 6656
  • House: Christie's-Robson Lowe, New York
  • Full title: Proofs of the American Bank Note Company Archives: sold by order of The American Bank Note Company.
  • Date: Sep 28, 1988
  • Pages: 90
  • Lots: 43
  • Catalog number: 6656
  • Other: Sale code = ABN-6656

Items sold:

  • proofs of postage stamps from the western hemisphere including British America
Christie's sale catalog 7106
  • House: Christie's Robson-Lowe, New York
  • Full title: The American Bank Note Company Archives, United States Possessions, Latin America and Worldwide; sold by order of the United States Banknote Corporation
  • Date: Sep 12, 1990
  • Pages: 202
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number: 7106
  • Other: Sale code = ABN-7106

Items sold:

  • lots 1-114: stamps from U.S. possessions (6 color images, 47 B&W images)
  • lots 115-690: stamps from Latin America (8 color images, 288 B&W images)
  • lots 691-837: stamps from rest of world (4 color images, 50 B&W images)
Cover Christie's Sep 13 1990 auction catalog
  • House: Christie's Robson-Lowe, New York
  • Full title: The American Bank Note Company Archives, British North America; sold by order of the United States Banknote Corporation
  • Date: Sep 13, 1990
  • Pages:
  • Lots: 798
  • Catalog number: 7108
  • Other: Sale code = ABN-7108

Items sold:

Canadian philatelic material, including plate proofs, specimens, essays, artist mock-ups, 1850s to 1940s. (Contents courtesy of Greg Alexander.)
Christie's sale catalog 7112
  • House: Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc., New York
  • Full title: Important early American bank notes, 1810-1874, from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company.
  • Date: Sep 14-15, 1990
  • Pages: 310
  • Lots: 2102
  • Catalog number: 7112
  • Other: Sale code: ELIZABETH-7112.

Items sold :

  • lots 1-2093: proofs and specimens of obsolete United States currency, (49 color images and 230 B&W images)
  • lots 2094-2102: miscellaneous, (2 B&W images)
Christie's sale catalog 7166
  • House: Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc., New York
  • Full title: Important world bank notes and artwork from the archives of the American Bank Note Company.
  • Date: Nov 28-29, 1990
  • Pages: 258
  • Lots: 1261
  • Catalog number: 7166
  • Other: Sale code: LEO-7166

Items sold:

  • lots 1-79: original art work used in creating engravings, (33 B&W images)
  • lots 80-100: sample books, (1 B&W image)
  • lots 101-1210: proofs and specimens of foreign paper money (106 color images, 257 B&W images)
  • lots 1211-1229: proofs and specimens of U.S. Federal currency
  • lots 1230-1261: proofs and specimens of foreign paper money
Christie's sale catalog 7296
  • House: Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc., New York
  • Full title: Ancient, foreign and United States coins together with bank notes from the archives of the American Bank Note Company
  • Date: Jun 5, 1991
  • Pages: 142
  • Lots: 915
  • Catalog number: 7296
  • Other: CHIQUITA-7296

Items sold:

  • lots 1-502: coins (560 B&W images, unrelated to ABN archives)
  • lots 513-551b: (19 B&W images, unrelated to ABN archives)
  • lots 552-577: proofs and specimens of obsolete U.S. currency (12 B&W images)
  • lots 578-590:proofs and specimens of U.S. Federal currency (7 B&W images)
  • lots 590-910: proofs and specimens of foreign paper money (137 B&W images)
  • lots 911-912: books and annual reports
ANR catalog ABN printing plates part I
  • House: American Numismatic Rarities, Denver, CO
  • Full title: The Old West and Franklinton Collections
  • Date: Aug 11, 2006
  • Pages:
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Coin auction in conjunction with ANA World's Fair of Money; mostly coins, but included the first major sale of ABN printing plates

Items sold:

  • lots 992-1115: printing plates from American Bank Note Company and predecessors (all with color images)
ANR catalog ABN printing plates part II
  • House: American Numismatic Rarities, New York
  • Full title: The Glode Requa Collection and other important properties
  • Date: Sep 21, 2006
  • Pages:
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: a typical coin auction, but included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company, part II"

Items sold:

  • lots 599-787: printing plates from American Bank Note Company and predecessors (all with color images)
ANR catalog ABN printing plates part III
  • House: Stack's and American Numismatic Rarities, Atlanta, GA
  • Full title: The Buckhead Sale
  • Date: Oct 5, 2006
  • Pages:
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: a typical coin auction, but included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company, part III"

Items sold:

  • lots 376-525: printing plates from American Bank Note Company and predecessors (all with color images)
Stacks catalog ABN printing plates part IV
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Norweb Collection and other important properties
  • Date: Nov 7-8, 2006
  • Pages:
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: a typical coin auction, but included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company, part IV "

Items sold:

  • lots 3001-3140: printing plates from American Bank Note Company and predecessors (all with color images)
Cover Cherrystone Philatelic Auction catalog Nov 16 2006
  • House: Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers, New York, NY
  • Full title: The American Bank Note Company Archives
  • Date: Nov 16, 2006
  • Pages:
  • Lots: 2,574
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: most images in color, sale contained specimens, proofs, and vignettes for stamp issues around the world

Items sold:

  • lots 3001-3140: printing plates from American Bank Note Company and predecessors (all with color images)
Harmer catalog 2969
  • House: H.R. Harmer, Inc., West Caldwell, NJ
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives: featuring stock and bond certificates, bank notes and vignettes, vignette books, production material, security printing ephemera and fiscal paper
  • Date: Feb 1-2, 2007
  • Pages: 469
  • Lots: 2361
  • Catalog number: 2969
  • Other: Described and presented by Archives International

Items sold:

  • lots 1-1474: mostly specimens and proofs of mostly U.S. stock and bond certificates (1067 color images)
  • lots 1475-2361: specimens and proofs of foreign bank notes and vignettes (937 color images)
Stack's dutch auction of ABN plates
  • House: Stack's, Wolfeboro, MA
  • Full title: Dutch Auction of American Bank Note Company Plates
  • Date: May 13, 2007 to June 18, 2007
  • Pages: none
  • Lots: ~500
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: This was an internet-only sale with no auction catalog. Unlike typical sales that American collectors are used to, this was a Dutch auction, meaning that prices started high and if there were no buyers, continued to drop until a buyer was found. Considering the importance of these items to the hobby, it is unfortunate that no printed catalog of these important items was produced.

Items sold:

  • unrecorded and now unknown
Stacks catalog ABN printing plates part IV
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Brooklyn Sale
  • Date: Mar 20-21, 2007
  • Pages: 496
  • Lots: about 3886
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: a monstrer coin and paper money sale; session 4 included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company, part V "

Items sold:

  • lots 3001-3171 were ABN plates (all color images)
Stacks Dr Tory Prestora sale
  • House: Stack's, Rosemont, IL
  • Full title: The Dr. Tory Prestera Collection and other important properties
  • Date: Jun 20-21, 2007
  • Pages: 331
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: a typical coin auction; session 2 contained ABN printing plates

Items sold:

  • lots 1001-1165 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover Stacks J A Sherman sale catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, GA
  • Full title: The J.A. Sherman Collection: Rare Coins and Minerals
  • Date: Aug 5, 2007
  • Pages: 239
  • Lots: 3,497
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: included section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company" with vignette and portrait dies, bank note printing plates and cylinder dies

Items sold:

  • lots 1-165 were ABN plates (all color images)
  • (contribution courtesy Greg Alexander)
Stacks Capital City sale
  • House: Stack's, Atlanta, GA
  • Full title: The Capital City Sale
  • Date: Oct 11, 2007
  • Pages: 248
  • Lots: 987
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: a typical paper money auction, including a large section titled Q. David Bowers Reference Collection - Obsolete Paper Money Part I; also included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company"

Items sold:

  • lots 1519-1660 were ABN plates (all color images)
Harmer catalog 2978
  • House: H.R. Harmer, Inc., Bethel, CT
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives, part II: featuring stocks, bonds banknotes, banknote printing plates and production material
  • Date: Oct 17-19, 2007
  • Pages: 503
  • Lots: 2631
  • Catalog number: 2978
  • Other: Described and presented by Archives International

Items sold:

  • lots 1-1338: mostly specimens and proofs of mostly U.S. stock and bond certificates (most lots with color images)
  • lots 1339-1862: specimens and proofs of U.S. bank notes, vignettes and ephemera (most lots with color images)
  • lots-1863-2631, foreign bank notes, printing plates, and production ephemera (most lots with color images)
Cover Harmer American Bank Note Company sale, Part II
  • House: H.R. Harmer, Inc., Bethel, CT
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives, Part II: U.S. and worldwide stamps, proofs, specimens, essays, philatelic printing plates and U.S. postal notes
  • Date: Oct. 17, 2007
  • Pages: 44
  • Lots: 156
  • Catalog number: 2978

(Info courtesy Greg Alexander)

Cover, Stacks Kroisos Collection sale catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Kroisos Collection and Other Important Properties
  • Date: Feb 26-27, 2008
  • Pages: 492
  • Lots: 3,999
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: included section titled "Engraved Steel Plates and Cylinders from the Archives of American Bank Note Company" with plates and dies from foreign bank notes and securities

Items sold:

  • lots 3900-3999 were ABN plates (all color images)
  • (contribution courtesy Greg Alexander)
Stacks Richard Uhrich sale catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Richard Uhrich Collection and Other Important Properties
  • Date: Feb 26-27, 2008
  • Pages: 560
  • Lots: 3,565
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: items from the Archives of American Bank Note Company" included vignette dies, printing plates, and cylinder and transfer dies

Items sold:

  • lots 4001-4181 were ABN plates (all color images)
  • (contribution courtesy Greg Alexander)
Cover Harmer American Bank Note Company sale part III
  • House: H.R. Harmer, Inc., Bethel, CT
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives, part III: U.S. and worldwide stamps, spoofs, specimens, essays, postal notes and production material
  • Date: Jun 2, 2008
  • Pages: 41
  • Lots: 165
  • Catalog number: 2985
Notes:
  • lots 5001-5165: philatelic related
  • (contribution courtesy Greg Alexander)
Cover Harmer American Bank Note Company sale part III
  • House: H.R. Harmer, Inc., Bethel, CT
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives, part III: U.S. and worldwide banknotes, stocks, bonds and security printing ephemera
  • Date: Jun 2-4, 2008
  • Pages: 503
  • Lots: 2816
  • Catalog number: 2985
  • Other: Described and presented by Archives International

Items sold:

  • lots 5200-6334: specimens and proofs of U.S. stocks and bonds (most lots with color images)
  • lots 6335-6616: vignettes and security printing ephemera (most lots with color images)
  • lots 6617-7815: specimens and proofs of worldwide bank notes (most lots with color images)
Cover Stacks Samuel J Berngard sale catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Collection of Samuel J. Berngard and Treasure Coins of the S.S. New York
  • Date: Jul 27-28, 2008
  • Pages:
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: dramatic rare coins; large section of fractional currency, also included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Treasures from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company"

Items sold:

  • lots 4001-4147 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover Stacks Keusch, Snow and Del Zorro auction catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Keusch, Snow & Del Zorro Collections, with Minot Collection and ABNCo Archives
  • Date: Nov 18-19, 2008
  • Pages: 497
  • Lots: 3053
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Colonial and early American coins and currency, medals; also included ABN printing plates in a section titled "Items from the Archives of the American Bank Note Company"

Items sold:

  • lots 5427- 5583 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover Harmer American Bank Note Company Part IV sale catalog
  • House: H.R. Harmer, Inc., Bethel, CT
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives, part IV: U.S. and worldwide banknotes, stocks, bonds and security printing ephemera
  • Date: Feb 18-20, 2009
  • Pages: 549
  • Lots: 2335
  • Catalog number: 2991
  • Other: Described and presented by Archives International

Items sold:

  • lots 163-1172: specimens and proofs of U.S. stocks and bonds (most lots with color images)
  • lots 1265-1267: security printing ephemera
  • lots 1177-233: specimens and proofs of bank notes (mostly worldwide, most lots with color images)
Cover Stacks Entlich, White Oak, Gross and St Andre auction catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: Entlich, White Oak, Gross and St. Andre Collections
  • Date: Mar 23-25, 2009
  • Pages: 533
  • Lots: 3772
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Coins and paper money (eight plates from the ABN archives included, but given no special notice)

Items sold:

  • lots 7397- 7404 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover Stacks Philadelphi Sale auction catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The Philadelphia Americana Sale; Part One: American Paper Currency
  • Date: Sep 23-26, 2009
  • Pages: 271
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Plates from the ABN archives included in section titled: Steel Plates, Rollers, and Dies from the American Bank Note Company

Items sold:

  • lots 2697-2735 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover Stacks Dec 9 200p auction catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: Ancient and Modern Coins of the World and the United States: Medals, Tokens, Orders and Decorations and Paper Money
  • Date: Dec 9, 2009
  • Pages: 235
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: internet and mail bid sale; plates from the ABN archives included in section titled: Plates and Dies from the ABNCO Archives

Items sold:

  • five lots 2968-2973 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover American International Autcions Apr 15 2010 catalog
  • House: Archive International Auctions, Englewood, NJ
  • Full title: American Bank Note Archives Auctions, Part V: U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Stocks, Bonds and Security Printing Ephemera, Spring Auction 2010
  • Date: Apr 15-16, 2010
  • Pages: 262
  • Lots: 1825
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Full color throughout, practically all lots illustrated

Items sold:

Cover Stacks Eliasburg auction catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: Selections from the Estate of Louis E. Eliasberg, Jr: and other important properties
  • Date: Apr 28, 2010
  • Pages: 301
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Plates from the ABN archives included in section titled: Plates and Dies Formerly from the ABNCO Archives

Items sold:

  • five lots 2963-2968 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover Stacks Jun 29 2010 auction catalog
  • House: Stack's, Baltimore, MD
  • Full title: The 52 Collection" Art & Security on American Currencies
  • Date: Jun 29, 2010
  • Pages: 211
  • Lots:
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Plates from the ABN archives included in section titled: Dies, Plates, Formerly Property of the American Banknote Company

Items sold:

  • lots 5931-5955 were ABN plates (all color images)
Cover American International Autcions Oct 22-23 2010 catalog
  • House: Archives International Auctions, Englewood, NJ
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives Auctions, Part VI: featuring U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Stocks, Bonds, Security Printing Ephemera and additional properties
  • Date: Oct. 22-23, 2010
  • Pages: 264
  • Lots: 2034
  • Catalog number: 
  • Other: Full color throughout, all lots illustrated

Items sold:

  • More than 560 lots were U.S stocks and bonds
  • 1065 world wide banknote proofs, including 300+ China

(Info courtesy Greg Alexander)

Cover American International Autcions Mar 24-25 2011 catalog
  • House: Archive International Auctions, Englewood, NJ
  • Full title: American Bank Note Company Archives Auctions, Part VII: featuring U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Stocks, Bonds, Security Printing Ephemera and various additional properties
  • Date: Mar 24-25, 2011
  • Pages:
  • Lots: 1803
  • Catalog number:
  • Other: Full color throughout, over half of all lots illustrated

Items sold:

  • about 755 lots involved stocks and bonds with banknotes taking up most ofthe remainder of the sale

 

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(Last updated Aug 17, 2011)

 


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