Thursday, June 24, 2010

Under the volcano

The smallest volcano in Mexico is the Cuexcomate, with an elevation of only 13 meters (43 feet).  This inactive volcano is regarded as the smallest one on Earth. As a tourist you can visit it and even descend into the 8 meter wide crater. The Pico de Orizaba, is the largest Mexican volcano with a height of 5636 meters (18490 feet). Its last eruption took place in 1687. After the African Kilimanjaro it is the 2nd most prominent volcanic peak in the world. Did you know that Mexico counts more than 40 volcanoes ?   In the last 25 years no less than 5 different volcanoes erupted :

1982 El Chichón
1986 Tacaná
1993 Socorro
2006 Popocatepetl
2009 Colima

For sure, volcanic eruptions are part of life in Mexico now and they were so in the past. The $100 share of the Compañia Guayulera Mexicano, dated 1906, shows a Guayule planter at rest on a hot windless afternoon. A large volcano dominates the setting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Netherland Line promoted business

The Netherlands Steamship Company, also known as the Nederland Line, was one of many companies showing off its kind of activities in the design of its shares .
The company was founded in 1870 to operate a passenger, freight and mail  service between Holland and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) via the Suez Canal (Egypt).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Delightful puppetry

More than 1000 years ago, old Indonesian inscriptions already spoke of wayang, which means "theatre".

Wayang kulit, "shadow puppet theatre", is the oldest form of still existing puppet theatre in the world. The puppets are mounted on bamboo sticks and, held up between a cloth and a light source, cast their shadows on the white canvas. Kulit means "skin" and refers to the buffalo hide they are made from.
double-click to enlarge image
This rare specimen certificate, depicting Wayang puppets in the underprint, is a 4% bond for 1000 Dutch guilder, and made part of the Dutch East Indies Conversion Loan 1934 A. 
N.B. : Here is a great video, from UNESCO, on the Wayang puppet theatre.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In the Name of the Great Architect of the Universe.

detail from Masonic membership certificate showing embossed seal
Do masonic membership documents deserve a place in a scripophily collection ? Being intriguing, their ancient symbols and large embossed seals, stimulate our curiosity. MYJ7NTH9DPVE
Some sources estimate there are about 2-3 million freemasons spread all over the world. They are organised in Lodges and meet in regular meetings at fixed places. Freemasonry membership requires that a candidate believe in a Supreme Being, however the candidate can choose his own interpretation of this believe. So, Freemasonry accepts members from a wide range of faiths. Because their extensive use of symbols and rituals, lodges are often distrusted and associated with conspiracies.  Actually, their main preoccupations remain charitable work within a community in a morally responsable way conform their beliefs.
bond from the Masonic Hall Association

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Time to repair ?

Large tears or spots can significantly reduce the value of your certificate by up to 70%!  Do try out repairs on a spare less preserved certificate that even might go lost in the process. Don't use ordinary adhesive tape. In its most recent issue from April 2010, Scripophily magazine discusses quite in depth how and when to repair tears, remove dirt or dealer pencil markings and much more. The magazine is published by the International Bond & Share Society.