What's the number of scripophily collectors in the Vatican City? I wonder. According to the outcome of an earlier exercise on estimating the number of collectors, see here, I estimate that number at zero collectors .. on a population of less than 1000 people.
|emblem of the Vatican|
detail from the share below
Modern bonds have been issued by the Papal States since the early 1800s. Many of those certificates bear the emblem of the Papacy. Rather puzzling are share certificates printed with such an emblem. The emblem shown above is such an example. Why does this emblem appear on a share of a French fishing company ?
|Pêcheries de la Morinie|
English: Fisheries of Morinie
share of 1000 Francs, Boulogne-Sur-Mer, 1934
double-click to enlarge
Tiara and Keys
The emblem on the share depicts the Papal tiara and the keys of Saint Peter. Both are used as external ornaments in the coat of arms of the Vatican. Often the keys are shown in gold and silver. Both represent heaven (gold) and earth (silver) and are in the hands of the pope.
There is a variant of the emblem, using an umbraculum, an "umbrella", instead of the tiara. That version is applied between the reigns of two popes. After the death or resignation of a pope, the Holy See enters a period of sede vacante, or freely translated "vacant seat".
Nominative annual perpetuity of 102 scudi and 64 baiocchi, dated 1829.
The certificate was printed with the emblem sede vacante.
double-click to enlarge image
Source: Titoli Azionari Antichi - V Edizione
by Alex Witula, Portafoglio Storico
The papal emblems can also be found on stamps, notes and coins, even the sede vacante variant.
|Scudo, 1846 , sede vacante|
Cardinal Tommaso Riario-Sforza
source: Classical Numismatic Group
Back to the French share. Why does it show the Papal emblem ? For a while I had no clue at all, then, somehow, I focused on the company's name. You see that the name of the company has been partly overstamped with a black bar. When you take a closer look, you can recognize the original name. I took a detailed scan of that part of the name, and with an image editor I changed the hue color properties, so you can see more clearly that the original company name was Pêcheries Saint-Pierre, in English: Saint Peter Fisheries.
Pêcheries de la Morinie, or Pêcheries Saint-Pierre
La Morinie is a region in the north of France
detail from the share above
image with edited hue colors
Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, apostle of Jesus, was a fisherman. He was recognized by the Catholic Church as the first Pope. Saint Peter is the patron of fishermen. This could be the link between the share certificate and the Vatican.
NB: If you have any other examples of certificates with the Papal emblem, I'd happy to include the images in this post.
|fishing boat leaving harbour|
detail from the share above