1887 John D. Rockefeller Signed Standard Oil Stock Certificate

Sold For: $2,015

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1446

Item Year: 1887

Category: Historical/Political

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Standard Oil Trust stock certificate signed by American industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937). The certificate, for six shares (at $100 a share), is dated June 16, 1887, and made out to Stephen A. Frost. Signed in black fountain pen (grading “9”) by company president “J. D. Rockefeller” and in brown fountain pen (“7”) by secretary “H. W. Flagler.” The certificate was subsequently transferred, as noted on the reverse, to Cornelia Pinkham in 1894. John D. Rockefeller was widely regarded as the richest man in the world during his lifetime, with the bulk of his wealth having been gained through his profits from Standard Oil. Rockefeller cofounded Standard Oil in 1870 with six other businessmen; however, he was the primary stockholder, owning thirty percent of the shares. At the time of its formation, Standard Oil's holdings represented approximately ten percent of the oil market. By the turn of the century, its control of the market had increased to ninety percent, making all of the original investors, Rockefeller in particular, extremely wealthy. Though often vilified by historians for his ruthless business tactics and monopolistic practices, Rockefeller’s later philanthropic pursuits included the donation of millions of dollars to education and public health. A Standard Oil stock certificate such as this exceptional example is ideal for display and is considered by many to be the most desirable type of signature document for financial legend John D. Rockefeller. The certificate (16 x 7.7 inches) includes the attached ledger receipt and displays three vertical fold lines. In Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $2,015

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