New York, NY (PressExposure) April 01, 2008 -- The R.M. Smythe & Company winter auction on February 6-7, 2008 will offer 1310 lots of stock and bond certificates at their Manhattan office. One of the more interesting lots being offered is a truly spectacular example of a certificate for "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" show. This certificate is beautifully illustrated with a portrait of Buffalo Bill featured at the top center of the certificate flanked by an Indian on horseback and Buffalo Bill on horseback. Other illustrations on the certificate include Indians hunting bison, a log cabin, a woodsman chopping a tree and cattle. In 1883 Buffalo Bill and Nate Sanders teamed up to form Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. The show was inaugurated in 1883 in Omaha and entertained audiences across the country and the world until 1913, when Buffalo Bill sold the production. This certificate is signed by Nate Salbury as treasurer.
Other noteworthy scripophily lots being offered at the Smythe's winter sale include:
Lot # 1099 - Edison Phonograph Works (NJ) 1888 [Estimate $2500 - $3500]. #24. 80 600/1000 shs. Brown. Small eagle, bottom. Issued to and twice signed by Thomas Edison. Signed by him as president, and signed a second time by him on the back. The signature as president is lightly cancelled, the other signature is bold and uncancelled. EF.
While Thomas Edison was not considered a profound scientific genius, he had a tremendous talent for applying scientific principles to practical applications. In 1876, while experimenting with a needle attached to a telephone receiver, Edison discovered a method that reproduced sounds on a wax cylinder, and the recording industry was born. Edison's invention relied on mechanical amplification, but by the 1920s his competitors were manufacturing electrically amplified, higher fidelity phonographs. Edison was hard of hearing and could not appreciate the difference in sound quality. He refused to allow his sons to waste time and money to develop an improved electrically amplified phonograph, a decision that would have dire consequences for the Edison Phonograph Works.
Lot # 1198 - Boston, Massachusetts Feb. 22, 1787 [Estimate $2000 - $4000]. One Hundred Pounds. Mostly typeset receipt on laid paper. Issued to Elias Hasket Derby, Esquire. Signed "Edwin Payne & Son ". One -inch round glue mounting remnant on back only, else VF+.
After the Revolution, there was an economic depression throughout New England. Small property holders who could not pay their taxes faced imprisonment. Town meetings talked of tax relief, and the issuance of paper money, but these issues were opposed by the legislators. Daniel Shay emerged as the leader of a localized rebellion which tried to close the courts in order to prevent action against debtors. Neither the Federal government, nor the state, would supply money for the militia to put the rebellion down, but some $20,000 was borrowed from "private sources", probably through a subscription campaign. On January 25, 1787, Shay and his supporters attacked a Confederation arsenal in Springfield, but they were repulsed by General Lincoln. Shay escaped to Vermont, and was eventually pardoned. This note is a receipt given to Elias Hasket Derby for paying in the one hundred pounds subscribed by him to the "...Loan for procuring Provisions and Necessaries for the Militia ordered to Worcester..." A similar item, dated three months later than this one, brought over $4,000 in our September 2003 auction.
Lot # 1220 - Potomac Company 1786 [Estimate $7500 - $12500] . #43. 25.3.3 Pounds. Receipt. Handwritten document. Receipt signed 11/17/1786 by Richardson Stuart for payment of 25.3.3 Pounds by Potomack Navigation. Three of the directors have signed on the reverse: George Washington, John Fitzgerald and George Gilpin. EF.*
Stuart was the manager of the construction operations of the firm. In September 1784, Washington joined with others, then chiefly Virginians, to form the Potomac Company, whose purpose was to remove the impediments of the navigation of the river past the falls and so clear the way to the development of the lands beyond, all the way to the Ohio. Washington, in common with others, held substantial lands in the Trans-Alleghany region, and these men combined to induce the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia to charter a canal company for that purpose. The Potomac Company was only the second such corporation in America, the Susquehanna Canal Company having been founded in the preceding year. The Potomac Company started with a capital of 250 shares with a par value of only $100. The shares were to be evenly divided between the citizens of Maryland and Virginia, with Washington getting fifty shares that were given to him gratis by the Commonwealth of Virginia. By May 1784, 403 shares had been sold and Washington was elected President with John Fitzgerald and George Gilpin among the four other directors. Initially, the directors wanted to build the canal and clear the river of obstructions only with free white labor. But despite liberal cash salaries and distributions of liquor, the work went slowly. As a result, Washington arranged for the purchase of 60 slaves and the hiring of 100 freedmen, who could be better controlled. By 1786, a number of snags and other obstacles had been removed, and work was in progress at Shenandoah Falls, Harpers Ferry, Seneca Falls and Great Falls. In each of these places actual canals were being built, but the wooden locks rotted and had to be replaced with stone. From 1785 to 1789 and again from 1797 to 1799, before and after his presidency, Washington was active in the management of this firm. Progress was slow, the amount of capital needed proving to be much larger than expected, reaching $500,000 in 1815. Robert Morris and John Nicholson bought large numbers of shares as part of their plans to develop their properties in the District of Columbia. Since the canal paid only one dividend for $5.50 in 1802, despite having opened 338 miles to navigation, ownership of the canal was not profitable. The company languished until the chartering of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, which took over the Potomac Company's works.
Lot # 1302 - Standard Oil [Estimate $7500 - $12500] (OH) 1877. #122. 25 shs. Black. Capitol Building. Liberty with flag and sword ("The Standard Bearer"). The original Standard Oil founded by John D. Rockefeller and signed by him three times, once as president, again on the transfer stub, and again on the reverse. Also signed by Henry Morrison Flagler as secretary. Lightly cancelled in red pen through the vignette and the officers' signatures, hardly distracting. An extremely important piece of American financial history representing the early days of one of America's most significant industries.
When it was first incorporated in 1870, shares in the original Standard Oil were very tightly held. There were only five shareholders at its inception, and ten years later there were only forty-one. Standard Oil was the world's largest oil refiner, controlling 90% of the U.S. Oil business at that time.
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) was the dominant figure in the oil industry until his retirement in 1911. He started his business career as a bookkeeper, and by age 19 was a partner in a produce business. He began operating a small refinery with his partners, and quickly became alerted to the growing investment possibilities in what was then a fairly new industry. In 1870, he organized the Standard Oil Company of Ohio and proceeded to achieve control over 90% of the oil refineries in the country. Rockefeller had little interest in discovering oil; he left that to wildcatters and other speculators. He concentrated on the transportation, distribution and sale of petroleum products, building a fortune estimated at over a billion dollars.
Henry Morrison Flagler (1830-1913) with J.D. Rockefeller organized the Florida East Coast Railway (1886) and built great hotel resorts in St. Augustine and Miami (1892-1896).
Lot # 1396 - Accessory Transit (of Nicaragua) (NY) 1856 [Estimate $15000 - $25000]. #12. $5000. Bearer Bond. Auxilliary ocean going steamship. Signed twice by Cornelius Vanderbilt as president, and on the reverse. Not cancelled. John W. Amerman. NY. VF.*
Cornelius "The Commodore" Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was an American financier and founder of his family's fortune. At the age of 16 he bought a boat and ferried passangers and goods between Staten Island and Manhatten. He later made a fortune in the steamship business, earning himself the nickname "Commodore." In 1862 he sold his ships and turned to financing railroads, where he amassed a greater fortune estimated at $100,000,000 making him one of the richest men of his time. Accessory Transit was organized by Vanderbilt to move passangers and freight to the West Coast through Nicaragua. Vanderbilt hired C.K. Garrison as his agent through San Fransisco, and Charles Morgan as his agent in New York. Shortly after this bond was issued came the "war of the three commodores," between Charles Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and George Law. Accessory Transit competed openly with the Law-Aspinwall mail subsidy line. Morgan and Garrison, on the other hand, manipulated the Transit's stock in such a way that they profited while Vanderbilt lost heavily. Vanderbilt is said to have stormed at them, "I will not sue you because the law takes too long. I will ruin you." Vanderbilt did manage to unseat Morgan and Hoyt from the board of directors, but another headache immediately developed in the form of William Walker, who invaded Nicaragua with the support of Morgan and his Associate! William Walker made himself President of Nicaragua. In order to get the money needed to keep a 1200 man army together, he took sides in the in-fighting within Accessory Transit Company. Foolishly backing those who had double crossed Commodore Vanderbilt, Walker confiscated the company assets and handed them over to the insurgent faction. Vanderbilt retaliated with a blockade, cutting Walker off from reinforcements while inciting the neighboring states. Vanderbilt sent mercenaries to Costa Rica, where they obtained a small force of native troops to attack Walker. As a result Walker suffered defeat and had to flee in May 1857. Vanderbilt was then back in business with Nicaragua. The first Accessory Transit Certificate signed by Cornelius Vanderbilt that we have sold in over a decade. A museum quality certificate that may not be obtainable again in a lifetime of collecting.
"We are seeing some very strong pre-sale interest in many of the featured lots being offered in our winter sale." said Mary Herzog, Vice President of R. M. Smythe & Co."If a collector is interested in a particular lot, I would encourage them to use our Web site to place a bid now, because we are expecting heavy bidding activity during the sale."
Lots will be available for viewing at Smytheâs offices at 2 Rector Street, in New York City, by appointment only. To arrange for an appointment call R. M.Smythe & Co. at 800-622-1880. For updates on this auction check Smytheâs website at smytheonline.com. This auction will be conducted with eBay Live/LiveAuctioneers. A complete catalog of all 1310 lots including photos and estimates can be viewed online at: http://static.smytheonline.com/ . Select "Current Auctions" in the left column.
Accredited media interested in scheduling an interview to discuss this release or past & upcoming auctions are encouraged to contact Mary Herzog at 212-943-1880. High resolution photos are also available upon request.
About R. M. Smythe & Co. R. M. Smythe and Co., established in 1880, buys, sells, and auctions coins, paper money, stocks and bonds and autographs at their corporate headquarters at 2 Rector Street in the heart of the Financial District in New York City. To order a catalog, to contact any of the firmâs specialists, or to make general inquiries, call 212-943-1880 or 800-622-1880, or visit the firmâs website at: http://www.smytheonline.com.