Major Columbian Ticket Rarities Sale Announced for this Summer

We are in the midst of assembling more than 125 lots of Columbian material for a forthcoming sale. Our plans are for a two-part sale–tentatively in July and September–which will include a remarkable collection of tickets discovered recently in a New York estate.

The tickets were in a homemade album and a couple, sorting through the belongings of a relative, discovered the album among stacks of personal papers. The tickets have all been carefully removed from the album and while they have small glue or paper remnants on the back, they display perfectly well with no damage on the front.

We are currently inventorying the tickets, cataloging them in relation to similar and identical tickets, and appraising each one based on known sales of identical tickets over the past 40 years.

Thus far we have discovered at least ten previously unknown and unique tickets. In our 40 years of studying the World’s Columbian Exposition and fair tickets, passes and related paper items, we have never found a collection or accumulation with so many unique pieces before.

Obviously, having researched, studied, collected and sold Columbiana and Columbian tickets for nearly 40 years, this is the most exciting find we have had the good fortune to study and appraise.

The two sales will be a “Bid or Buy” and will be on our “” site. Every ticket will be photographed and as opposed to many sales which provide only the most basic information, we will include historical sales data and information about the concessions/tickets.

In a “Bid or Buy” sale, participants will have the opportunity to enter a “buy” amount and instantly own the item. Those taking the more conservative “bid” route will have theopportunity to enter a single bid and the highest bid will win the item unless the “buy” option is used.

For example, a minimum bid of $200 may be set and a “buy” figure of $400. If no one purchases at the $400 level, the highest of the $200+ bids will win. This structure allows sales participants the opportunity to avoid protracted bidding and obtain the items for the most reasonable amount. We will set the “buy” prices based on historical sales data and the overall process should allow buyers to obtain rare tickets at a very reasonable price.

The lots will be divided roughly in half between the two sales and should any tickets fail to sell, we will offer them immediately after the second sale on ebay.

Besides the tickets a small number of other Columbian rarities will be offered in the sale.

When my own collection of World’s Columbian tickets was sold in 2008 by Heritage Auctions, approximately 600 tickets (many in multiple ticket lots) grossed approximately $40,000. This collection of 125 tickets should easily average more per ticket than we did in 2008.

We will publish an essay on tickets on this site shortly, including historical prices for tickets–in multiple sales–which can be used as important guides to the values of the tickets in these forthcoming sales. Look for this document shortly after the posting of this one.

In our continuing research and writing about the World’s Columbian Exposition, we are cataloging ALL tickets from the fair and also working on a study of concessions and other financial aspects of the fair. The essay that follows provides the most comprehensive details on Columbian tickets yet published.

If you have questions or comments on the upcoming sales or on our research please contact me at or via phone at 425-481-8818. I am always looking for additional data and for previously unknown tickets which collectors or museums may own.vt_2063_front.jpg

The Vertical Transit ticket is quite rare and I was fortunate to have acquired a lot of six about 15-20 years ago, which sold for $795 each. The forthcoming sale includes a Vertical Transit ticket, one of which hasn’t been seen in the marketplace in many years.

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