Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Collectible Bank Stocks

We have a fine set of collectible banking stocks from the 1900 through -1970s. Included in this set are stock certificates from the Chase Manhattan Corporation, Citizens National Bank, Farmers Deposit National Bank, and the Irving Trust Company stocks.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Collectible Confederate Bonds

On Tuesday, November 24, 1987 Sotheby’s of London auctioned a large archive of Confederate bonds. The lot was described as “A major and extremely extensive archive of unredeemed bearer bonds issued by the Confederate States of America between 1861 and 1864, comprising over 87,000 individual certificates for numerous Loans authorized by Acts of The Confederate Congress.” This exceptional holding represented the entire surviving portfolio of Confederate Bonds. controlled by United Kingdom Trustees since the 1880s. The original objective of the Trustees was to get the Southern States debt paid following the Civil War. Of course, this dream had long since been abandoned.

One of the key collectors of Confederate bonds in the U.S. in the 1980s and 90s was Frederick R. Mayer of Denver, Colorado. His goal was to create world class collections that could be turned into books or catalogs, thus adding to the knowledge and pleasure of future collectors. That is exactly what Mr. Mayer accomplished with his extraordinary collection of Confederate bonds. Many of the great rarities were used to provide the plate illustrations in Ball’s “Confederate Bonds” book.

Recently, we were fortunate to purchase a large segment of Mr. Mayer’s collection of Confederate bonds. If you would like to add to your collection or if you would like to start a collection, this offering will give you an opportunity to buy some great bonds. Please contact us ask for George if you would like to build a fine collection of Confederate bonds.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jesse James and the Chicago & Alton Railroad

On Sept. 7, 1881, the James gang attempted their last train robbery of the Chicago & Alton train at Blue Cut, near Glendale, Missouri. The gang made off with $3000 in cash and jewelry. In less than a year, Jesse James would be dead.

On April 3, 1882, Bob Ford with his brother Charles, enters Jesse's home at about 8:27 a.m. When Jesse turns to straighten a picture on the wall, Bob shoots him, killing him instantly.

On Oct. 5, 1882, Frank James (Jesse’s brother) surrendered to Missouri Governor Thomas Crittendon. Bob Ford, Jesse’s killer was later shot down by Ed O. Kelly in Ford’s tent saloon in Crede, Colorado in 1892. By 1885 Frank James was acquitted on all charges and lived till he was 72 passing on February 18, 1915.

$1,000 Railroad Bond. Superb vignette of steam locomotive in roundhouse with 4 other trains approaching. A true classic!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tips About Collecting Presidential Autographs (Part Two)

Presidential autographs can be exciting and fun to collect. A serious collector of presidential autographs should plan a minimum budget of $50,000. An ideal figure would be $85,000+ for a complete collection.

With regards to collecting presidential autographs on a small budget, the main disadvantage is that quality, in the end, will usually be poor and the collection will be unsatisfying.

I would suggest that a collector save a few hundred dollars over time and buy a quality piece. Of course, the key presidents — Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Lincoln — will always be in the $4,000 to $10,000+ each if one is buying quality. Lesser price levels for the "Big 4" will result in poor quality in condition, weakness of signature, water or ink stains, or even the great possibility of getting stuck with forgeries.

A Lincoln Commission will run anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000. The $4,000 to $6,000 range will often have problems such as weakness in the text writing or in the Lincoln autograph. Other problems might include severe wrinkling, trimming, stains, especially water stains, and severe toning from improper framing or long term display. One is better off paying $7,000 to $8,000 for a choice example.

Additional advice can be furnished by phone. George H. LaBarre Galleries, Inc. 800 717-9529.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna Bonds

We occasionally see one of the bonds issued and signed in 1866 by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, erstwhile President of Mexico. They are interesting pieces, and always attract strong demand and a good price. The design of the bonds is very similar to that of US Government Bonds of the period, doubtless not a coincidence.

The total loan, issued in New York, was for $750,000, in 1,500 bonds of $500. Bonds bearing quite high numbers look to have been issued, even though Santa Anna’s credit-worthiness must have appeared uncertain, to say the least. The bonds seen are uncancelled. To give confidence to investors, the bonds carry a reference to the State, City, and County of New York - but inspection shows this is only a notary’s declaration - and a large but entirely unwarranted heading “United States of America.” Repayment was promised for 1868, but was dependent on Santa Anna’s return to power, which never happened. Most were presumably destroyed by disappointed investors.

About Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: Known as "The Napoleon of the West," General Santa Anna was a man who controlled millions, who acquired fortunes and honors, who was President of Mexico five times, and who exercised an unrestricted dictatorship.

The estates and lands pledged by Santa Anna, at the issuance of the bonds, have long since been confiscated by the Mexican Government and each bond remains an engraved epitaph to this man’s contribution to history. The bonds themselves have become extremely rare, and the whereabouts of only a few are known. General Santa Anna left behind a colorful legacy in the form of these handsome historical bonds.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Notorious Men In History

We have an exciting new catalogue, Notorious Men In History, containing authenticated and graded stocks and bonds featuring signatures of men such as, Patrick "Pat" Floyd Garrett, American Old West lawman, bartender, buffalo hunter, and customs agent who
was most known for killing “Billy the Kid” in 1881; Robert Morris (1734-1806) American merchant and a signer of the U. S. Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation,
and the U. S. Constitution. Morris was known as the financier of the Revolution; and Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) to name just a few! Visit my web site and click on the link to download a PDF of this superb catalogue!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tips About Collecting Presidential Autographs (Part One)

Documents with authentic presidential signatures are often a great value per dollar spent. Substantive content letters, for example, can be very expensive. As an added bonus, documents such as military commissions* often contain graphics. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when collecting presidential signatures:

✓ Buy direct from a reputable dealer. This can result in great savings. Auctions, due to high buyers premiums, high reserves, and sometimes dishonesty, can often result in inflated prices paid.

✓ Buying on eBay can be a bad idea. Forgeries often show up on eBay because no oversight built is built into this sales arena.

LaBarre Galleries does not actively deal in clipped signatures. They are more difficult to authenticate, per dollar spent, they are often not a good value, the historic significance has been severed and usually will never be known.

* The Graphics and Calligraphy Office (GCO) is a unit of the Social Office at the White House. Located in the East Wing, the Graphics and Calligraphy Office coordinates and produces all non-political social invitations, place cards, presidential proclamations, letters patent, military commissions, and official greetings.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Zimbabwe's Trillion Dollar Notes

In January of this year, Zimbabwe's acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced Zimbabwean's will be allowed to "conduct business in other currencies, alongside the Zimbabwe dollar, in an effort to stem the country's runaway inflation."

The Zimbabwean dollar has been called a "laughing stock" on the heels of the introduction of a Z$100 trillion note.The Zimbabwean dollar is subdivided into 100 cents. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively Z$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The country's world-record hyperinflation, 231,000,000% in July 2008, has left the Zimbabwean dollar virtually worthless.

Labarre Galleries has four (4) Zimbabwe Notes. The set includes 10, 20, 50, and 100 Trillion Dollar notes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

1913 Chinese Reorganization Bonds

In an effort to rebuild China's financial structure, the Chinese government issued bonds in four major world currencies: French, Russian, German and British (francs, rubles, marks and pound-sterling). The 1913 Chinese bonds were risky. They were issued only two years after centuries of rule by Chinese dynasties ended when a group of rebel warlords seized power.

The new government, in turn, succumbed to the Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong in the late 1940s.

China, 1913, Blue-Red. £100 5% Reorganization Gold Loan Bond, German Bank Issued. Uncancelled. 42-43 Coupons. Many coupons. Important to stress that these bonds have been bought up in recent years and pretty much taken off the market. As a result prices have risen rather dramatically. Excellent Condition!!! Price upon request.

David Dunbar Buick - Buick Oil Company

The Buick Oil Company was founded by the auto pioneer David Dunbar Buick (1854-1929) and was incorporated in Los Angeles, California in March, 1910. D. D. Buick signs this great stock as President. Rare and excellent condition.

David Dunbar Buick
was born in Arbroath, Scotland. He deserved fame and fortune, yet died in poverty and is virtually unknown in his native land. Buick founded the company that grew into the General Motors Corporation of America. Over 17,000,000 cars bearing his name and crest have rolled off production lines, yet he was involved in making only 120 of them.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Standard Oil Trust J D Rockefeller & C A Griscom Autographs

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), Industrialist, Philanthropist. Rockefeller formed the first oil trust at the age of 30. Ten years later he monopolized 85% of the industry and became the world’s first billionaire. He hated waste and inefficiency. As a result he would target poorly run segments of the industry. He would often drive poorly run competition out of business or buy them out. He became the most detested man in the country and had a bodyguard continuously around him.

Rockefeller gave three-quarters of a billion dollars to science and education. In one of the first public relations campaigns in history, Rockefeller would give a shiny new dime to whomever he would meet. Rockefeller signs along with Henry M. Flagler, Capitalist and Promoter. Rockefeller once stated in court that Flagler was “the brains behind the Standard Oil Trust.” He transformed Florida’s once neglected beaches and swamp lands into one of the most luxurious playgrounds in the world.

This rare 100 share stock of 1880’s is issued to C. A. Griscom and is boldly signed on the front stub and at back on a document or on the stock by Griscom. Griscom was President of International Navigation Co., also owned practically all of the stock of Red Star Line, a Belgian Corp, International Navigation Co. of Liverpool England, and Empire Transportation Company, Seattle. In 1902, the name of the International Navigation Co was changed to International Mercantile Marine Co. and capital increased to acquire fleets and businesses of the White Star Line and several others. White Star Line owned the Titanic. Ironically, Griscom died in November of 1912 just a few months after the sinking of the Titanic.

All signatures are very lightly cut cancelled and are superb. The condition and eye appeal is outstanding. The signature of Rockefeller is especially large and bold. Nice portraits of Rockefeller and Flagler are included. A truly exceptional example for many reasons, and so very rare with all these qualities.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Titanic Memorabilia

Another item of note related to the Titanic that we've acquired is a rare 1912 print of the Titanic. This reprint is on thick cream colored card stock (15”x 27.5”). It includes details of the disaster including map, number of passengers, etc. Plus another large print with a side view of the Titanic and its history.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Millvina Dean Remembered

This week, Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic, passed away. She was 97. Millvina was only six weeks old at the time of the disaster. Her father was lost with the men in the steerage.

Millvina Dean signed color print is also signed by the artist, Simon Fisher. The print is 8x11 inches including margins and is superb in color and detail.