Beautifully engraved specimen certificate from Vanity Fair Mills
printed in 1969. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the Vanity Fair logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President, M. O. Lee and Secretary and is over 37 years old.
Vanity Fair began in 1899 as the Glove and Mitten Manufacturing Co. in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1919, it was renamed the Vanity Fair Silk Mills and started to manufacture undergarments
In, 1951 Vanity Fair stock was offered publicly, marketing 1 million shares of which 600,000 were sold to the public.
In, 1969, they acquired the Berkshire company and entered the jeans business acquiring the H D Lee company. Vanity Fair Mills then changed its name to the Vanity Fair Corporation.
The first outlet was launched in 1970.
In 1986, the Vanity Fair Corporation purchased Blue Bell, creating the largest publicly owned apparel company featuring additional brands Wrangler, Rustler, Jantzen, JanSport and Red Kap. In 1991, they added Vassarette. In 1998, they aquired stock for Bestform Group well known for Lily of France and Exquisite Form. Most recently, they signed a deal in 1999 with Tommy Hilfiger and the year 2000 saw the addition of Chic and Gitano.
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 we 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 grown in popularity over the past several years.