This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
If a written instrument is delivered to one who holds as the agent of the grantor, this does not amount to delivery which will give the instrument legal effect. Thus a deed delivered to one who is agent of the grantor, is of no validity, even if the grantor has instructed him to deliver it to the grantee.1 Thus A deposited certain stock with a bank and gave the bank written instructions to deliver it to B on payment by B of seventy-five thousand dollars before November 24, 1898. B paid such amount upon such date. In the meantime, on November 22nd, a dividend had been declared. It was held that the bank took as the agent of the grantor, who had in the meantime full control over such stock, and that title thereto did not pass until payment by B and delivery to him. Accordingly the dividends did not pass to B.2 The test for determining whether the holder of the written instrument is the agent of the maker thereof or not turns on the question of the right of the maker to recall the instrument. If the maker has such right the holder is acting as his agent and no delivery exists.3