Friday, March 20, 2015

Booklet : 1984 Exhibition of Antique Bonds and Share Certificates at the Sydney Stock Exchange

In 1984, more than 30 years ago, the Sydney Stock Exchange was home to what was probably one of the first scripophily exhibitions on the Australian continent.

Automatic Telephones (Australasia) Limited stock certificate
Automatic Telephones (Australasia) Limited
Deferred shares of 1/- each , 191x
black and white photocopy from the booklet
double-click image to enlarge

Author Estella C. Robinson introduces us into the fascinating world of the 

scrip collector and researcher .. who .. thrives on debacles, failures, 
conspiracies, frauds - the more spectacular the better.
The certificate is the tangible surviving link which breathes life into history. 

Estella Robinson passed away in 1985 and was a pioneer when introducing the hobby of scripophily through numerous columns in Australian Coin Review magazine.
exhibition booklet by The Sydney Stock Exchange Limited

  • Title : Exhibition of Antique Bonds and Share Certificates, January 16 to 27, 1984
  • Authors : Estella Camhi Robinson
  • ID : no ISBN number, printed by The Sydney Stock Exchange Limited, 1984
  • Languages : English
  • Number of pages : 26
  • Images : 13 large black and white images 
  • Indexes : no index

The booklet is a low-cost photocopy publication, hence the lower quality of the images. Thirteen Australian certificates are depicted and described with a brief historic company profile.

Other numismatic publications by the author :
  • Seven Seas guide to Australian coins and tokens, Dubbo : Seven Seas Stamps, 1981 
  • A guide to Australian coins, Sydney Readers Digest Services, 1978 


Related link :

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mario Boone - Auction 54

Certificate depicted : Credit Commercial Sino-Francais
in English : Chinese-French Commercial Bank
Shares of 100 Dollars, 1924
double-click image to enlarge

Société Anonyme de Télévision Pirate Antene 1
Antene 1 pirate television broadcasting company
lot of 2 certificates, 1983
a very unusual piece of scripophily designed by 
an equally exceptional Kiki Picasso, see more below

  • Date: 28 March 2015
  • Place: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Further info, see here 
  • Tip for Sun 29 March : International Scripophily Bourse in the Crown Plaza Hotel, Antwerp.


P.S. About the artist Kiki Picasso
Kiki Picasso, whose real name is Christian Chapiron,  is a French graphic designer, painter and video artist. His brightly colored works are lively, striking, direct, controversial, disturbing to extreme and explicit and often all of these at the same time. Ghidelli.Net nicknames Kiki Picasso (K.P.) Konsequent Provocant, in English: consistently provocativeMore works from the artist can be seen here, and there.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

What you can do with Google Translate on your smartphone

Scripophily catalogues in German, reference books in Russian, English magazines .. and you are familiar with neither one of these languages. Still, there is that particular, promising, antique share certificate described in this non native language. Persistent as you may be, you feel that a language should not be a barrier for your broad interests. And right you are !

Google Translate icons

Google Translate for mobile translates in 90 languages
You can use Google Translate for mobile to solve the situation. This mobile app - a computer program (application) running on smartphones and other mobile devices - combines your phone's camera with two software technologies :
  • optical character recognition (OCR), a piece of software converting images of text into computer characters
  • machine translation, software that translates text or speech from one natural language to another.
Sounds complicated, it is, but in this case it is easy to use. Does it work ? Let's find out.

Translation in 6 steps
As an example, we'll use the following, extensive, Italian catalogue, which was published by Portafoglia Storico. Our goal is to translate the text below the certificate on the page to the right. Double-click the images below for  more details.

Assuming Google Translate for mobile is installed on your device, start up the app and go through the following steps :

1. Choose the source language
In this case it is Italian. Use your fingertips to tap, scroll and select from  the list of source languages.

2. Choose the target language
For this example, similarly select English.

3. Aim your phone's camera to the page, and tap the camera icon. 
Tip: If text is printed in smaller columns you can hold the camera vertically in line with the page. In contrary, when text is printed over the entire page width, as is the case here, it is easier to turn the camera 90 degrees.

4. Try to fit the entire text on your camera screen and tap Scan
At this point your camera scans the text, and the OCR software will try to recognize separate words.

Note: Just before you tap the Scan icon, the software will try to instantly translate and show the result on your phone's screen. This feature was designed for instant translation of simple messages and signs in public places. Just ignore this behavior and tap Scan to proceed.

5. When the scan operation is completed, the system shows you all the words it has recognized. Tap the Select All Words hint, to let the system translate all the words.

Note: If only one or a few words need to be translated, then you can tap and swipe with your finger to select these words.

6. The software now shows you the first words of the translation. Just tap the  >  arrow icon to see the entire translated text. 

Italian to English machine translation with mobile app from Google
Italian to English - text in a single page-wide column
Not a good result, but individual words can help you to understand the general content. 

The results are mixed for our purpose
Google Translate for mobile works well when translating simple message boards in public places. But translating "technical" texts is much more difficult. Double-click the image above. It shows an Italian to English translation. The result contains English words, but sentences are not accurately translated. The translated words can help you to understand the general content. It is up to you to make up something coherent from the result.

In general these are some findings :
  • Some languages are better translated than others
    • I had relatively satisfying results with French, Norwegian, and sometimes Chinese.
    • Some languages tend to use longer sentences than others. This makes it more  difficult for translating a text correctly.
  • Text printed in small columns translate better than text in a single page wide column
    • Check the image below, where the app translated a short entry in a Chinese catalogue. That worked rather well. Interesting, catalogues often describes lots in multiple columns.
    • Texts printed in multiple columns tend to consist of shorter, simpler sentences that are easier to translate by software.

Chinese to English machine translation with mobile app from Google
Chinese to English - text in  two columns
Short phrases in columns yield good results.
PS : Notice the dates, similar to Japanese dates, see more here 

Russion to English machine translation
Russian to English - text in a single page-wide column
Not a good result, but individual words can help you to understand the general content.

Time is on our side !
I am sure that, in the near future, we will use technology that allows us to scan textual information, translate it, and have it projected directly on our eye lens by means of special glasses, contact lenses, an implanted chip, all within a blink of an eye. But for the time being, we'll have to do it with Google Translate on our mobiles. 


Related links

P.S. Signed the Guest book yet ?