Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Scripophily magazine uncovers the stories of historic and artistic securities

Scripophily magazine brings you into the world of antique stocks and bonds. Buckle up! Compelling stories, business plot twists and memorable personalities won't let you go during your reading journey. You'll find out about today's discoveries. Reports from the auction markets will keep you up-to-date. So, if you are serious about this matter, then this is the magazine you are looking for.

vignette of sailing ship, taken from stock certificate

Scripophily was first published in 1982 under the name The Bond & Share Society JournalOn the occasion of the magazine's 100th edition, editor Max Hensley testified :
"The magazine appears on high quality paper, articles are longer and brought with more images in full color. Every issue was produced .. without paying a penny for content".
That's right, all content is created voluntarily by enthousiastic people from the hobby, three times a year.

Scripophily magazine cover

Issue 108 brings over 50 pages of scripophily news, in depth articles, pictures of collector friends, auction reports and more than 100 high quality images of stunning, historic or rare stocks and bonds. Here is a summary on the topics brought in the latest issue :
  • Swiss railway scripophily on Youtube 
  • Newsletter about Belgian scripophily 
  • Herzog Collection on the IBSS website 
  • Mexican scripophily sources 
  • New book on US railways by Terry Cox 
  • New book on the Wogau Empire (Russia) by Erik Meyer 
  • Playwright Neil Simon 
  • The shipyard from Gdansk 
  • Saved at the last minute, a story on share adventures
  • Donating collections, do's and don'ts 
  • "A L'Innoviation" inferno (Belgium) 
  • Borki train disaster (Ukraine) 
  • Cattle ranching in the US 
  • Barcelona Traction, Light and Power Co 
  • Survival rates on US Mining scripophily 

vignette with allegorical woman and locomotive, taken from share certificate

Is this a free magazine? No. Good stuff is never for free. But a 1-year subscription full of excitement only costs £20 or $32 or €25. The magazine is published by the International Bond and Share Society, the leading international organization for collectors, dealers and auctioneers in this field. More info : 


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Monday, November 26, 2018

Archives International Auctions reaches exciting milestone

Archives International Auctions (AIA) has something to celebrate! To mark their 50th auction anniversary, Bob Schwartz, President of AIA, and his dedicated team is holding a two-day sale of rare and captivating banknotes, scripophily, autographs and historic ephemera.

The event happens on 3 Dec at the Collectors Club, 22 East 35th Street, New York City, and 4 Dec at the company offices, Fort Lee, New Jersey. Scripophily collectors and enthusiasts will see over five hundred lots of antique bonds and shares going on the block. Several of these originate from the John E. Herzog Collection.

Wells Fargo Mining Co. stock certificate from 1876, designed by Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918). 
Lithographer Brown was the first African American artist depicting the Far West. His work has been displayed in several exhibitions at the Oakland Museum, Walters Art Museum Baltimore, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bids on this authentic financial artwork from California are welcomed from US$650. Lot 56 in the auction. 

American scripophily is more than substantially present in this auction. Some of the highlights :
  • L(ot)1, a 1795 Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike share signed by William Bingham is the opener of the sale. 
  • Geyser "Old Faithul" can be admired on a Yellowstone Park Association share from 1887, L59. 
  • L62 comprises of a spectacular specimen share and bond, 1865, from The Norfolk and St. Nazaire Steam Navigation Company. Included is a mockup and the orginal artwork of the vignettes, a steamship between globes. Bids invited from $325. 
  • Historic, L108, a $20 bond from 1898 issued to finance the Spanish American War including the purchase of the Philippine Islands from Spain, is expected to realize at least $8,000.  
  • Aviation history can be found in L792, share number 1 in the Aviation Corporation of America, a Pan Am predecessor. 

A game changer in technology, Thomas Edison signed this Edison Phonographs stock certificate from the Roaring Twenties. This rarity, L114 in the auction, can possibly be purchased from $500 onwards. 

AIA's anniversary sale includes exceptional items from the John E. Herzog Collection. Mr. Herzog started collecting in the late 1950s. After being active in the stockbroking business, he became Chairman of the R. M. Smythe & Co. numismatic auction company. John Herzog is also the founder of the Museum of American Finance. Here are some of the many Herzog items featured in the sale :
  • An early and scarce Havana Railroads Company bond from 1850, L23, will interest collectors of Cuban scripophily. 
  • L7, and L775 through L778 are early Amercan stock options (rights to buy or sell at a specified price), e.g. L776, a 1880 option for selling 100 Pacific Mail Steamship shares, signed by financier and railroad executive Russel Sage.
  • Suffragist and abolitionist Lucy Stone (1818-1893) signed the Providence and Worcester Railroad Co share, see L780. 

From the Herzog Collection : Dominion of Canada "Fourth War Loan" of 1917, specimen bond, printed by the American  Bank Note Co., Ottawa, vignettes of King George V and Queen Mary of Teck,  L16 

Museum-caliber scripophily from the 18th century makes this an outstanding AIA sale. These 'Pirates of the Caribbean'-era certificates are rare, historic and often produced as copper engravings on vellum with paper seals. Several lots in this auction segment also originate from the Herzog Collection :
  • The Danish West Indies was a Danish colony in the Caribbean, consisting of the islands of Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix. From 1778, a bond from the Royal Danish West Indian Company with large vignette of Neptune, Mercury and the Royal Standard of Denmark, is estimated between $400-800. L25 in the auction.
  • L27, a share in the Compagnie des Fosses a Charbon de Monsieur Le Marquies de Traisnel, one of the earliest French coal mining companies, dates from 1781 and bears the coat of arms of the Marquess.
  • The Svenska Ostindiska Companiet, the Swedish East-India Company, traded Swedish steel and timber for tea and porcelain from the Far East. With the American Revolutionay War, when France, the Dutch Republic and Spain joined forces against Britain and blocked trading from China, the company briefly became one of the only suppliers of tea in Europe. A bond from 1782, L47, starts at $425.

Bidding on this spectacular share from the Real Compañia de San Fernando de Sevilla, ca 1748, L43 in the auction, starts from $1,500. This Spanish company controlled the trade, especially in precious metals, with various parts from South America. The share has an engraved view of the city of Seville, but there is much more to discover: click the image to enlarge. 

Besides the fact that scripophily from many countries is represented, auctioneer Bob Schwartz also points out the rich assortment from Mexico :
This is one of the largest offerings of specimen and issued scripophily bonds and shares from Mexico that we have offered ever in auction. It includes items from a serious Western collector as well as specimens never offered previously from the ABN Archives.
Aquí algunos ejemplos
  • At the end of the 19th century, the Compañia Limitada de Ferrocarriles del Distrito operated a large part of the Mexico City street railway network. L906, a 100 Pesos specimen stock from the 1880s, large vignette of horse-powered street railway in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, accepts bidding from $150.
  • L893 Banco de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, extremeley rare specimen share from 1900
  • L931 República Mexicana, Bono Hipotecario del Ferrocarril Nacional de Tehuantepec, £200 Sterling=4080 German Reichsmark, 1890 specimen bond, $280 start price

The Banco Internacional é Hipotecario de Mexico was founded in 1882. This 6% specimen bond for 100 Mexican Dollars, 1905, scarce, starts at $325. L899 in the auction. 

Another theme from the sale that deserves attention is Mandatory Palestine. You can find most of these certificates in lot range 943-969, e.g. L968, a Solelboneh (Jewish Workers Cooperative Association) share issued in 1925 with a strong Art Deco design.

"Palestine Foundation Fund, Keren Hayesod Sacrifice Bond, for the upbuilding of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish People ...To the investor, it (the investment) will yield no return in money .." 
Established in 1920 Keren Hayesod is the official fundraising organization for Israel. With donations raised throughout the world, it brought tens of thousands of Jews fleeing Europe to Eretz Yisrael. This 1922 specimen bond shows a vignette of Theodore Herzl, who promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine to form a Jewish state. Historic and very rare, L32, starts at $800. 

AIA has always been a strong auctioneer in US Railway stocks and bonds, many of these originating from the American Bank Notes Archives. This sale continues tradition, just get a look online on these pearls :

  • A great setting of steamboats, ferries and sailboats sailing under the Brooklyn Bridge is shown on a Union Elevated Railroad Company of Brooklyn specimen bond from 1887. L67 is estimated around $700-1,200, bidding can start at $575. No sales recorded for over 10 years on Coxrail.
  • Issued in 1844 is L73, a very rare stock certificate from the Danville & Pottsville Railroad Company with vignettes of Benjamin Franklin and Stephen Girard, probably the only one known.
  • Starting at $120, a $1000 specimen bond from The Saint Paul Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company, Montana Extension, will certainly interest Montana collectors. L1093.

Texas and Pacific Railway Company $1000 specimen bond, 1888, with stunning graphics. 
Click image to enlarge. L64 in the sale starts at $425. 

Of course, there is much more to tell about this auction, but the most interesting way is to see for yourself. So here are the auction details :

  • Dates & locations
    • December 3, 2018, Collectors Club, 22 East 35th Street, New York City 
    • December 4, 2018, Archives International Auctions, Fort Lee, New Jersey 
  • Further info : see here , live and absentee bidding here and a downloadable PDF catalogue there