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Lot 269

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Franklin D. Roosevelt Signs Rare Stock Certificate as Trustee of his Mother's Estate

An intriguing lot related to 32nd U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), his complicated family relationships, and early twentieth-century estate law, comprised of a signed stock certificate and an original steel etching.

The lot is comprised of:

1. An attractive stock certificate signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), as "Franklin D Roosevelt" near the bottom of the transfer section verso, and also inscribed in his hand below as "Surviving Trustees." Certificate number 1882 granted 10 shares of $100 common capital stock of the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railway Company on March 16, 1916. Cosigned by Franklin's half-brother, James Roosevelt Roosevelt aka "Rosy" (1854-1927) as "J. R. Roosevelt" directly above Franklin's signature verso. Also signed by several company and bank officers as well as a witness recto and verso. The transfer of the shares to the Trustees for Sara D. Roosevelt (further elaborated below) was made official on November 10, 1920. Bearing the usual stamp taxes, ink stamps, perforation and cancellation marks. With expected light folds. Isolated edge darkening and chips, else near fine. 12.25" x 7.25."

The stock certificate was originally issued to three Trustees for Sara Delano Roosevelt (1854-1941), Franklin's mother:

- James "Rosy" Roosevelt, Franklin's half-brother from his father's first marriage and Sara's step-son (though also ironically her own age);

- Warren Delano III (1852-1920), Franklin's uncle and Sara's older brother;

- and Franklin himself, Sara's only son.

Warren's signature does not appear on this document, however, as he was killed in a riding accident on September 9, 1920, just two months earlier. His replacement among the trustees appears to be Frederic A. Delano (1863-1953), whose name appears at top verso. Frederic was another of Franklin's uncles and Sara's younger brother.

2. A handsome original steel etching of a young Franklin D. Roosevelt set in an oval above touristic views of his "Country Home Hyde Park" and "Town House New York City." Light overall toning. Faint foxing verso mentioned just for accuracy and not visible recto, else near fine. 4" x 7.5."

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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