Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Puzzling scripophily - No. 3

Unleash your detective skills !

Here is a vignette showing three towers in a row. Have a good look at it. In this puzzle, I want you to solve the following question : Is it A, B or C ? Now, that's simple, isn't it !

Of course, you need some more inputs to find the solution unless you are a clairvoyant. Here is hint one. The vignette was used on a share from the insurance company La Victoire des Flandres SA - Vlaanderens Zege NV.

And here is hint no. 2, a share from a Belgian Congo company. This is also the last hint that I can give you.

The question is simple. Look at the vignette on top of this post. Choose your answer A, B or C, and tell me briefly why your choice is the solution of this puzzle.

  • How to take part ? Submit your reply in the comments section of this post, or in any other way.
  • What's in it for you ? The first correct answer yields eternal fame. 
  • When will the solution be revealed ? Check this particular blog post a few weeks from now.

Good luck !


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

American scripophily in London 2

Last Thursday SPINK specialist Mike Veissid launched a sequel on his recent American scripophily in London e-Auction. At stake are 310 lots of captivating antique bonds and shares. This sale covers many themes such as railroads, mining, automobiles, banking and insurance, and more. 

SPINK's upcoming e-Auction features several rare and marvellous securities. This $10 shares certificate in the Boston Sub-Marine and Wrecking Company was issued in 1854. Lot 100 in the sale 

A series of 92 American railway securities forms the largest section in the sale. Some highlights here:
  • L(ot)89 Silver City, Deming and Pacific Railroad Company, great artwork and exceptional denomination counter along the lower border, 1896
  • L92-94 St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad Company, 1885, three new discoveries
  • L84 Santa Fe, Liberal and Englewood Railroad Company, $1000 bond, 1906 
  • L86 Second Street Cable Railroad Company, see image below

The Second Street Cable Railroad Company was the first cable railroad operational in Los Angeles. The line ran the steepest cable gradient in North America, 27.7%. This share was issued in 1885 to Walter Scott Newhall who also signed it on the back. It is also signed by Edward A. Hall and Henry C. Witmer. 
These three formed the Los Angeles Improvement Co which became a major player in the city's development. After purchasing about 1000 acres on Crown Hill they set out 1,400 town lots. The cable railroad was organized to carry people there. All lots sold within 18 months. 
Newhall's share represented 4936 shares, almost half of the capital. The Newhall's constructed Queen Anne mansion, known in the 1960s as the spooky house of the Adams Family. Lot 86 in the auction 

The Mining section offers material from Colorado, Alaska, California, Dakota, Alabama, New York, Nevada and other states as well. Some nice examples :

  • L200 Albion Consolidated Mining Company, location Eureka District Nevada, 1882, miner vignette and great lettering
  • L226 Apothecaries Gold Mining Company, Colorado Springs, 1898, remarkable vignette of apothecary scales which is repeated in the design of the embossed seal
  • L236 Atwill Gold and Silver Mining Company, location Flowery Mining district, Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada, issued to and signed by Joseph F. Atwill, 1863!
  • L242 Great Cariboo Gold Company, South Dakota, 1907, printed with several mining sceneries including nuggets in gold print, probably the most spectacular American mining share, see for yourself in the online catalog.

L183 The Advance Gold-Dredging Company, share issued in 1900, printed by Denver Lith. Co.
Incorporated in Colorado Springs, the company's dredging properties were located in San Diego County, California.  The vignette shows a huge floating gold dredging machine. These steam driven dredges used steel buckets on a "continuous" line to extract gold from the riverbed. 

And there is more. The event includes more than 40 American automobile lots, nearly 100  "industrials", banking and insurance certificates, government bonds, and so on. In short, much to discover! Here are the sale's details : 

  • Location : online auction only
  • Date : ends on 30 June, 2020 at 11:00 AM
  • Further info : see Spink's online catalogue with full color images here 
  • Note: The sales takes place in London, bids are mentioned in USD.


Friday, June 12, 2020

Uncharted : The Buller Gold Mining Syndicate

Here is a share certificate about which I can not tell you much except from what can be seen in its design. 

It was issued by The Buller Gold Mining Syndicate Limited. The company was founded in the early 1900s with its head office in Johannesburg, then part of the Transvaal Colony. 

share from the Buller Gold Mining Syndicate

The Buller Gold Mining Syndicate Limited, £5 share, issued 1904, Johannesburg, Transvaal 

The vignette shows General Sir Redvers Henry Buller who apparently inspired the founders when chosing a name for the company. The British General Buller fought in the Second Boer War (11 Oct 1899 – 31 May 1902) against two independent Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State.

That's about it. I have no idea whether the company obtained any mining concessions, where it operated, nor who the founders were. Hence, this "Uncharted" post.

Who can tell me more about this certificate ?


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