Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the Irving Trust Company dating back to the 1920's and 1930's. This document, which carries the printed signatures of the company Vice President and Assistant Secretary, was printed by the American Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11" (w) by 7" (h).
The certificate's detailed vignette shows a female figure holding a scale. Behind her a train crosses a bridge, and a number of ships can be seen. Beside her a cornucopia overflows with coins.
The bank had its origins in 1851, when the Irving Bank of the City of New York was founded. Since there was not yet a federal currency, each bank issued its own paper and those institutions with the most appealing names found their certificates more widely accepted. The firm was named after Washington Irving, an author, diplomat, and lawyer who had gained an international reputation as America's first man of letters. His portrait appeared on the bank's notes and contributed to their wide appeal.
As of March 9, 1921, there were four national banks in New York City operating branch offices, also including Catham and Phenix National, the Mechanics and Metals National, the Irving National, and National City Bank. In 1929, Irving was New York's fourth ranked financial institution, and fifth in the United States.
Irving Trust was an official sponsor of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York.
In 1983, the Irving Trust had 13 branches in New York and was primarily a wholesale bank working with mid- and large-sized corporations and banks. It also had offices around the world, allowing for their claim that the sun never set on the Irving.
On October 7, 1988 the Irving Trust board signed an agreement to merge with Bank of New York ending a yearlong battle as Bank of New York engineered a hostile takeover. At the time of the merger the combined banks became the United States' 12th largest bank with asset of $42 billion. During that year Irving had been trying to participate in a friendly merger with Banca Commerciale Italiana.