Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from the Sotheby's Holding's Inc.
This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an
ornate border around it with the company name centered on top. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President, and Secretary,
Sotheby's, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an auctioneer of fine art, antiques and decorative art, and jewelry and collectibles primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom, the People's Republic of China, and France. The company operates in three segments: Auction, Finance, and Dealer. The Auction segment engages in conducting auctions various properties, including fine art, antiques and decorative art, jewelry, and collectibles. It also involves in brokering private purchases and sales of fine art, jewelry, and collectibles. The Finance segment provides collectors and dealers with financing, which is secured by works of art that the company either has in its possession or permits the borrower to possess. It also offers unsecured loans to collectors and dealers. The Dealer segment invests in and resells art and other collectibles; and invests in art through unsecured loans made by the company to unaffiliated art dealers. It also operates as an art dealer for Dutch and Flemish Old Master paintings, as well as French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. In addition, this segment sells works of art directly to private collectors and museums, as well as acts as a broker in private purchases and sales of art. The company was founded in 1744 and is headquartered in New York, New York.
About Specimen Certificates
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.