Literature for Students and Seasoned Collectors
by Don Mesler (scripophile)
The following books cover the subject of scripophily--from its earliest beginnings to recent new issues--from domestic issues to issues as far away as China and Russia.
To appreciate this hobby to its full extent requires some enlightenment from the academic realm. Reading books about scripophily educates us about historic events, economic trends, and technological progress. Reading about these factors helps us appreciate the overall history and to put it all in perspective.
The following books about scripophily are all available, in both new and used condition, from dealers and through Internet sources. Prices shown are approximate and depend on condition and availability.
1. Scripophily, The Art of Finance by Keith Hollender. This outstanding book is for newcomers to scripophily as well as for seasoned collectors. It addresses the ABCs of the subject from introductory material through advanced topics. Written by a non-American, the book has a distinctive international flavor.
Published in 1994 by the Museum of American Financial History, New York, NY.
The book measures 8" x 10 1/2." Fully illustrated in black and white and color. Hardbound, 158 pages. $29.95
2. The Stock & Bond Collectors Price Guide by Bill Yatchman. Published more than twenty years ago, this book still has a lot going for it. First of all, it contains photographs of more than 1,200 different certificates, issues representative of the collectibles market and those frequently encountered, even today. Every issue is priced, and although some prices are out of line, most are still in the ball park. Primarily an illustrated catalog, this book also contains explanatory material relating to the hobby.
Published in 1984 by Greentree Stocks, Sedona, Arizona.
The book measures 8" x 10." Fully illustrated in black and white. Softbound, 234 pages. $29.95
3. American Automotive Stock Certificates by Lawrence Falater. This is primarily a data-base that includes retail prices for the entire automotive sector--more than 1,200 different issues. Images of 300 issues follow the main body of material. The book has a unique landscape format that permits one-to-a-page large-scale reproductions of the certificates under consideration.
Published in 1997 by BNR Press, Port Clinton, Ohio.
The book measures 11 1/2" x 9."Fully illustrated in black and white. Hardbound, 400 pages. $49.00
4. Comprehensive Catalog and History of Confederate Bonds by Douglas B. Ball, Ph.D. Before this book, statistics about Confederate securities were dated and, as it turns out, incomplete. It was difficult to learn anything about the conditions existing at the time of issuance. It was also difficult to find information relating to the disposition of the bonds after the war.
The book handles these matters exquisitely. Not only that, the book is very nicely produced. Fully illustrated, it contains pictures of the certificates under discussion as well as scenes of the war and its aftermath. We are provided with a sense of the mood and character of the times.
This is a scholarly work so well written that it is an entertaining read! It will be enjoyed by history buffs interested in the financing of the Civil War. It will be read by collectors interested in the general background of the certificates they acquire. It will be read by dealers and scholars and researchers interested in every nuance of this subject.
Non-fiction doesn't get any better than this!
Published in 1998 by BNR Press, Port Clinton, Ohio.
The book measures 8 1/2" x 10 1/2." Fully illustrated in black and white. Hardbound, 290 pages. $40.00
5. The Scripophily Guide by Howard Shakespeare. This is the handbook sent to members of the International Bond & Share Society. It is a complete mini-guide for scripophily collectors including history, definitions, buying guidelines, selling guidelines, and valuation considerations. The book offers a nice balance in coverage between domestic and international certificates.
Published in 2002 by International Bond & Share Society, Hackensack, New Jersey.
The book measures 8" x 8." Fully illustrated in black and white. Softbound, 32 pages. $10.00
6. The Art of the Market: Two Centuries of American Business as Seen Through Its Stock Certificates by Bob Tamarkin and Les Kranz. This book is both a handbook for scripophily collectors and an economic history of the United States as reflected in stock and bond issues.
The book is lavishly illustrated with large size images of beautiful certificates and it is enhanced with blow-ups of vignettes and other engraved details making for a spectacular presentation.
Published in 1999 by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, New York, New York.
The book measures 11" x 11." Fully illustrated in color. Hardbound, 176 pages. $35.00
7. Alaska & Yukon Stocks and Bonds by Dick Hanscom. This book is a thorough listing of certificates from Alaska, the Yukon, and some from British Columbia.
Hanscom follows the recent trend for scripophily writers; that is, focusing on a very limited subset of the scripophily universe. Hanscom's specialty is Alaska and Yukon certificates. Specialties previously covered by other authors include railroads (Cox), automobiles (Falater) and Confederate (Ball).
The book covers more than 700 listings with about 500 photographs (black and white). Information about each certificate includes state of incorporation, color, capitalization represented by the certificate, vignette, size, printer, and other specific details. Current prices for the certificates (either realized or estimated) are not provided.
Published in 2002 by Alaska Rare Coins, Fairbanks, Alaska.
The book measures 8 1/2" x 11." Fully illustrated (black and white), softbound, 346 pages. $35.00
8. Collectible Stocks and Bonds from North American Railroads: Guide with Prices, Second Edition, by Terry Cox. The First Edition, long ago sold out, has become a classic. The listing methodology, now adopted by several other authors, has become a scripophily standard. The Second Edition promises even more. This is clearly the work of an inspired perfectionist. It replaces the First Edition as the quintessential piece of scripophily research and publishing. The book is primarily a database. The "Catalog" section of the book lists 18,441 different certificate entries of which 14,132 are divided into groups like this:
7,613 varieties of stock certificates
5,316 varieties of bond certificates
1,203 varieties of other certificates
Every issue is priced. Prices are the author's estimate based on dealer catalogs, dealer price lists, and live auction results.
The book has plenty of supporting material, 12 chapters in fact, covering many sophisticated topics of interest to both novices and advanced collectors. Topics covered include an explanation of the catalog numbering system, revenue stamps, pricing, and selling guidelines. Appendixes include a glossary and a rundown on autographs.
The book concludes with 25 pages of dealer advertisements. These provide the reader with a quick source of places to buy or sell certificates.
Published in 2003 by TCox & Associates, Inc., Arvada, Co.
The book measures 8 1/2 " x 11." Fully illustrated in black and white, softbound, 572 pages. $35.99