Sunday, October 25, 2015

La Belle France under the hammer

Lot 400 Compagnie Générale des Services Publics de Paris et la France
This 1906 founder's share shows the map of France in the underprint 
surrounded by not less than 10 coats of arms of French cities : Paris, Marseille, 
Toulouse, Bordeaux, Rouen, Nice, Nantes, Lyon, Lille and St. Étienne.
double-click image to enlarge

Next Friday and Saturday, Mario Boone's 55th international auction of antique stocks & bonds will take place in the heart of Brussels (Hotel NH Carrefour de l'Europe). I've announced this event in my previous post. This time, I want to bring to your attention a special collection to be auctioned during the happening.

Lot 368 : Société de Constructions de Levallois-Perret
Certificat nominatif d'actions de 100 Francs, issued 1939
Formed Paris, 1893, as successors to Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel
Rarity indication R10 (3-5 pieces known)

Société de Constructions de Levallois-Perret
detail from the certificate above
1866 Gustave Eiffel set up his own engineering office
 at 48 Rue Fouquet in Levallois-Perret. The street
was later renamed into Rue Gustave Eiffel.

France, a Walhalla in scripohily
There is no other nation that has left us so many decorative bond and share certificates like France. For many years, I've been studying auction guides, and I don't think that other countries count more artists, engravers or lithographers. I started to believe I had a good idea of what French scripophily could offer. Boy, am I wrong ! Splendour .. amazement .. rarity .. significance .. these are words that instantly crossed my mind when flipping through this collection's catalogue.

1899 share certificate of the Société de l'Ascenseur de la Terrasse de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Lot 360 : Société de l'Ascenseur de la Terrasse de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Share of 100 francs, 1899, Paris

Société de l'Ascenseur de la Terrasse de Saint-Germain-en-Laye
detail from the certificate above
design by Ch. Lapierre and engraving by A. Napier
printed by Imprimerie G. Richard
La Belle France
In this special auction 500 French stocks and bonds will be sold separately. The collection was brought together over a period of 25 years by an European collector, wishing to stay anonymous. Auctioneer Mario Boone says : “In my view, the greatest joy that comes with being an auctioneer is the privilege that one gets to see, catalogue and research truly superb collections such as this one. Despite being a leading auctioneer of French scripophily since many years, I have never before come across so many rarities and novelties as in this collection. That we can auction this collection, which has been built and treasured for decades, is deeply honouring.”

Lot 291 : Revillon Frères
500 francs share, Paris 1908
The company had fur shops in Paris, London, New York,
Moscow, Montreal and elsewhere
Only two pieces known according to the auctioneer

Revillon Frères
detail from the certificate above
grandiose design by A. Antigue
printed by Imp. Lahure

À chacun son goût
The collection covers three centuries, all major industries and themes and is also geographically most interesting. It includes not only, as mostly seen, Paris-issued shares, but also many pieces from other French cities and departments. Besides French colonial shares, the auction contains sections with French companies operating in Australasia, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin and North America including California Gold Rush certificates. 

Lot 171 : Société Anonyme pour l'Amélioration, l'Education et
la Vente des Chevaux de Luxe de Race Française

Action de 1000 Frances à un quatre centième, 1837

Société Anonyme pour l'Amélioration, l'Education et la Vente 
des Chevaux de Luxe de Race Française
detail from the certificate above
Design and lithography by Ferdinand Séré
Printed by C. Adrien from Paris

Practical info 

  • Auction date: 30 October & 1 November 2015 
  • Place: Brussels, Belgium
  • Further info, see here  

Lot 82 : Entreprise de Déchargement des Ports de Paris
100 Francs share, 1924, Paris
printed by Imp. Spéciale pour Titres

100 Words to improve your French scripophily skills
If you start collecting stocks and bonds from France, you need to learn a bit of French. Many words can easily be understood because they are written similarly to the corresponding word in English. Some examples : automobiles, fruits coloniaux (colonial fruit), banque (bank), compagnie (company), edit (edict), funiculaire (funicular) and navigation.
However, other expressions are less obvious to derive. Here is a list of 100 French terms that you will observe sooner or later on those nice papers. You will also find out that the French language often provides words that are pleasant to pronounce, e.g. tuilerie and messagerie fluviale


Lot 361 : Société Pyrénéenne d'Entreprises
500 Francs share, 1919, Paris
The company was founded in 1919 to make dams,
hydroelectric facilities and bridges in the Pyrenees.
printed by Union des Arts Graphiques

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