Monday, November 20, 2023

Booneshares offers rare US railroad and South American certificates in December scripophily auction

Mario Boone is a major player in the field of antique share certificates and financial documents. The auctioneer scheduled his 71st scripophily auction on 2 December 2023. This auction will take place live on the internet via the Invaluable platform. On the agenda are more than 1000 lots of bonds and shares.

The auction features stunning shares from all parts of the world. This founders share from the Banque de Cochinchine was issued in 1907 and printed by the well-known security printer Crabbé. The share is signed by Noël Pardon, who previously was acting governor of Cochinchina and New Caledonia, and then governor of Guadeloupe and Martinique. L(ot) 46 starts at €400.

For this occasion, auctioneer Mario Boone has compiled a strong section of US railroad certificates. To give an example: L777, starting at €300, comprises a 1877 bond from The Cheraw and Chester Railroad Company, South Carolina. Only two examples known and reports no sales recorded within the last ten years. 

The US railroad section counts over 200 lots. A few more examples:
  • 5% First Mortgage Gold Bond $1000 from The Canon City and Cripple Creek Electric Railway Company, mountain vignette, 1897, L762
  • L949, The Western Virginia and Kentucky Rail Road and Coal Company, $1000 bond, 1857, several vignettes, amazing scrollwork and very rare
  • L769, The Central Union Depot and Railway Company, $100 shares, 1885, vignette of Cincinnati building and street scene 
  • A rare print from the American Bank Note Company is L876, Nevada Southern Railway Company, First Mortgage 5% 30 Year Gold Bond of $1000, 1893 

The auction catalog includes stock certificates from companies involved in all types of activities. Such as this CELTA share. This cooperative was founded in 1931 to compete with Sudam, a private company providing electricity to the city of Tres Arroyos in Argentina. The still existing cooperative expanded its activities over the years also including telephone, funeral, health and dental services. This share, issued in 1939, presents a bold Art Deco scene conceived by the artist T. Menna. 

Often these old securities have been designed by the artists of the day. The auction catalog lists a special index of the artists and engravers featured in the offerings. The certificate illustrated below depicts a Congolese woman with basket, an elephant tusk, a village, a map of the Basankusu region and the Star of Congo in the underprint. 

The early 20th century share shown here is from the notorious ABIR. The company harvested rubber in the Congo Free State, then private property of King Leopold II of Belgium. ABIR forced the local population to pay taxes and to harvest rubber under inhumane conditions. Those who failed where beated, mutilated, killed or their relatives were kidnapped or raped. This share from 1904 is a testament to Belgium's awful low point in history. 

It was Frans Hens who made the design of the certificate. He was the first Belgian artist to travel in the 1880s through the Congo and paint its nature, villages and people. He became known as a painter of the Belgian coast and the Schelde river. L82 is listed with a start price of €50. 

Another major topic in the sale is South America. The auction includes several single-item lots but also group lots from most South American countries. Collectors have the opportunity to acquire several certificates in these lots at reduced average item prices. However, in case no group bids are received most of these groups will be split into single-item lots during the auction.  

Illustrated above is L1002 a 1909 Banco de Guatemala share. Printed by Waterlow & Sons it shows several vignettes and many guilloches. Very lovely printed is the Resplendent Quetzal - featured in the coat of arms of Guatemala: the country's national bird representing freedom and independence.  L1002 is part of the Guatemala group lot, L992.

There is lots more to discover in the auction. Here are the auction details :


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Monday, October 30, 2023

Madras Gymkhana hosted scripophily talk

Are you curious about Indian scripophily ? Well, this could be an interesting tip for you.

On July 2, 2023, the Cultural Hub of the Madras Gymkhana Club hosted a scripophily talk. The speaker was Chennai-based Mr Sayeed Cassim who was interviewed by Mr Amarnath from MD Paterson Securities. 

Mr Amarnath, Mr Sayeed Cassim and the team of the cultural subcommittee of the Madras Gymkhana Club that organized the talk and presentation. The event was recorded and is available on YouTube.  

When it comes to Indian scripophily, you can't miss the many, often charming, antique securities. In the 19th century the creation of securities, mostly for British companies, was done in England and followed a British design tradition. Since the 1900s Indian printers developed their own lettering styles and ornaments, resulting in a unique range of bond and share certificates.  Here's an example from the Minerva Mills Limited.

This Minerva Mills Ltd share was issued on Oct 4, 1920, to Devidas Jekisondas Desai. The certificate represents a share of Rs.100, 20 Rs. been paid up. It features an embossed company seal and a one anna tax stamp in the lower and upper right corners, resp. 

In this event Mr Sayeed Cassim presents antique share and bond certificates issued during India's pre-independence era from companies like the Imperial Bank of India and the Madras Railway Company. Some of the early certificates are printed on vellum and linen. Other scrip on display are beautiful examples of India's unique style of securities. 

The recording of the talk and presentation takes almost an hour. In the beginning the sound quality is not optimal but I encourage you to continue watching, explore and enjoy. 

Well done, Mr Sayeed Cassim, and thank you for supporting the hobby!