Rare 1792 federal bond issued to and signed by George Washington soars to record $265,500 at auction A historic U.S. federal bond, issued to and signed by then-President George Washington in 1792, soared to $265,500 at Archives International Auctions' sale held October 19th and 22nd in N.Y. and N.J.
News-Antique.com - Nov 20,2013 - (FORT LEE, N.J.) – Nearly 1,500 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rare and highly collectible U.S. and worldwide banknotes, scripophily (the collecting of stocks and bonds), autographs, historical documents and security printing ephemera sold for a combined $637,870 in a two-day, two-session catalog and Internet sale held Oct. 19 and 22 by Archives International Auctions (archivesinternational.com).
The auction was held on non-consecutive days in two states. The Oct. 19 session was on the final day of the third annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectibles Show, held at the Museum of American Finance in New York City. The Oct. 22 session was held at Archives International Auctions’ offices, located at 1580 Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee, N.J.
Highlighting the auction was a historic U.S. federal bond, issued to and signed by then-President George Washington in 1792. With an 18 percent buyer’s premium, the bond soared to $265,500, the most ever paid at auction for a single U.S. stock or bond. It was one of the very first securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange, after the Exchange's founding in 1792.
“We are thrilled that the Washington bond changed hands for such a staggering amount in the burgeoning field of scripophily,” said Dr. Robert Schwartz of Archives International Auctions. “The consignor and the buyer were both very happy.” He added, “The sale overall was a huge success, heavily attended in-person and online both days and with solid prices realized.”
Following are highlights from the auction. All prices include an 18 percent buyer’s premium. More than 250 people registered to bid online, via www.archivesinternational.com.
The Oct. 19 session was heavy with non-numismatic but historically important items, beginning with The First Hour Collection of significant documents and objects. These included an authentic Edison stock ticker ($8,850); a large format circa 1850 lithograph of the Declaration of Independence ($1,534); and a Brooklyn Bridge Opening Ceremonies souvenir book ($767).
Next up was The Copps Collection of historic colonial fiscal paper, documents and stock and bond certificates, gathered 30-plus years ago. Included in the group was the Washington bond. Another highlight was a 1775 Colony of Massachusetts bond, engraved by the legendary Paul Revere. It went for an impressive $6,195. Other colonial items hammered for strong prices.
The autograph session featured 55 lots of autographed documents, stocks and bonds, 37 of which found new homes. A star lot was an issued stock book of 24 certificates dating from 1911-1914, signed by the founders of Abraham & Strauss (including the signatures of Isidor Strauss and his wife, who both died aboard the Titanic in 1912). The stock book made $11,800.
Other lots that did well in the autograph session included two items signed by Buffalo Bill Cody, one a letter ($1,239), the other a stock certificate ($2,360); a Daniel Drew signed stock certificate for the Buffalo & Stateline Railroad Company, dated 1854 ($2,242); and a Standard Oil stock certificate signed by industrial magnate John D. Rockefeller, dated 1881 ($3,835).
The scripophily section boasted 486 lots (309 of which changed