Beautifully engraved rare SPECIMEN convertible debenture certificate from Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. dated September 1929 (One month before the stock market crash). This historic document was printed by the American Bank Note Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man and woman each sitting on one side of a shield with the letters "W-B" and a building. This item is over 95 years old. 19 coupons attached on right not shown in scan. Albert Warner's printed signature is on the coupons.
Warner Brothers, one of Hollywood's most famous studios, was founded in 1923 by four actual brothers: Jack, Sam, Harry & Albert Warner. The siblings never seemed to get along with each other, but Warner Bros Studios managed to produce some of the most memorable movies in the history of Hollywood, including the world's first "talkie" with Al Jolson, "The Jazz Singer" (1927), "The Adventures Robin Hood" (1938), "Casablanca" (1942), "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942), "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "Deliverance" (1972), "The Exorcist" (1973), "Chariots of Fire" (1981), "Body Heat" (1981), Superman and the "Batman" films and many many more.
The first Warner Bros studio was located in Hollywood, on Sunset Boulevard, in what is now KTLA Television studios. The studio was built in 1919, and it was here that the world's first "talkie" was filmed back in 1927: Al Jolson's "The Jazz Singer," which put an end to the age of silent movies and revolutionized the Hollywood film industry. In 1928, with the success of that famous Al Jolson talkie, Warner Bros. moved to their current home for 70+ years at the 110-acre Burbank lot in the east San Fernando Valley. Bob Kerstein worked for Warner Bros. at Burbank Studios from 1979 to 1980.
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.