Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Scripophily 99 reveals the first scripophilist in the history of mankind

The last issue of Scripophily magazine, No. 99, released in December 2015, features again articles with high scripophily content. Some statistics :
  • number of pages : 32 pages
  • number of bond and share images : 64
  • number of auction reports : 32
  • number of authors and reporters : 15

To me, the big surprise in this issue was the story on the first scripophilist. Most introductory texts in the hobby speak of early collectors in the 1970s. I've always thought that the oldest scripophilist (a collector or researcher of antique stocks and bonds) was Grover C Criswell. Criswell published his book Confederate and Southern State Bonds in 1961, that is 55 years ago. 

But in this issue, Scripophily author Max Hensley brings us the story of his findings in a California archive. The author tells us ... 
(the archive) contains what I believe to be the first documented intact US scripophily collection. I'm not talking about the usual accumulations of stocks assembled by archivists into 'collection' files, or accumulations from lawyers, trust companies, corporations and others who acquired their certificates in the ordinary course of business rather than by any collecting impulse.
The article contains lots of details on the collection, and is a fascinating read. You can actually feel the author's excitement in this scripophily adventure. The bottom line is that this first collector has a name, Andrew J Moulder, and that he was collecting in the 1890s or even sooner. This dates our hobby more than 125 years back from today. A must read to any serious collector.

Scripophily 99 front cover depicts 1854 Cocos Island Treasure Company share
Scripophily 99's front cover depicts a startling
1854 Cocos Island Treasure Company share,
one of the treasures in the Moulder Collection.
double-click image to enlarge

What's else in the magazine ? Here's, an overview of the other stories in Scripophily's last December issue :
  • The road ahead, a statement for the near future by IBSS chairman Martin Zanke
  • Herzog Collection debuts at Wall Street Collectibles Show
  • John Herzog on selling his collection, interview with the man himself
  • The Wall Street vignette
  • Let me entertain you with antique stock certificates - by Fred Fuld III, book review
  • The Stockton & Darlington Railway
  • Oldest Siemens share certificate
  • French colonial companies, interview with Alain Léger
  • The first US scripophilist ?
  • Hotel Arcadia - Santa Monica California
  • 50% growth in worldwide auction sales - four months to Nov 2015
  • Ottoman Railways
  • Cox's Corner : More catalogs please
  • Other periodical topics : society matters, news, bourse reviews, auction reviews, events calendar, member classifieds, book reviews, interviews and lots of pictures of collector friends and scripophily
Scripophily magazine is a publication from the International Bond & Share Society.


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