Beautifully engraved SPECIMEN certificate from the Carter Hawley Hale Stores Corporation
. This historic document was printed by the Thomas De La Rue Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman infront of a city skyline.This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President ( Philip M. Hawley ) and Secretary ( Marc E. Bercoon ).
The Carter Hawley Hale stores was the largest retailing chain on the West coast, and sixth largest in the country in 1984. Based in Los Angeles, its nationwide empire stretched from trendy LA bargain basements to tiny Fifth Avenue boutiques, with a bookstore chain in between. Operating under the CHH flag were Bergdorf-Goodman, The Broadway, Contempo Casuals, Emporium-Capwell, Hole Renfrew, Neiman-Marcus, Thalimers, Walden Books, John Wanamaker, and Weinstock’s.
On February 11, 1991, the Company filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 11 of the United State Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (the During the bankruptcy proceedings, the Company managed its affairs and operated its business as debtor in possession under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court while it developed a reorganization plan to restructure the Company.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates were made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that has grown in popularity over the past several years.