Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Claude Lorrain influenced scripophily !

Claude Lorrain 1605-1682: French artist of the Baroque era
I start off this article with a little task for you. Below, two old shares are listed. I want you to double-click the images and take a good look at their enlarged versions. For the moment don't spent any time checking out the other images from this post which are discussed later. So, take a deep breath, forget what is happening around you and focus on these first two certificates. Try to identify what these two shares have in common. I am not talking about any similarities in geographical, historical or economical terms, but in terms of visual experience. 

share of the Sugar Company of Annam (French Indochina)
Société Sucrière d'Annam, in English : Sugar Company of Annam
 Share of 100 Francs, Saigon, French  Indochina, 1929
Printed by the French printer Imp. B. Arnaud
double-click to enlarge

a 10 share certificate of the Helouan (Egypt) Development Company
Helouan (Egypt) Development Company
10 Ordinary Shares of 1 Pound Sterling, 1907
Note the art deco elements in the border design : early for the date.
double-click to enlarge

What do these shares have in common ?
When looking at the Sucrière d'Annam share, my eyes immediately perceive the printed borders, the company's name and  the 100 Francs denomination. But then, something else happens, unknowingly. After that first glance, my eyes are guided right into the underprint design. I'm not focusing anymore on the flat surface of the share. No, I'm peering .. deeper into the design. It sounds silly, but my eyes come at rest on a point a few meters further into the open space between the sugar canes. The same happens when looking at the share of the Heloun (Egypt) Development Company. When you see it, you'll first notice the title, its denomination and the border. But also here, the next blink of your eyes sets your focus on a spot maybe a 100 meters further into the design, behind the palm trees but before the sphinx. Magic ?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reference catalogue : Scripophily from Morocco

image by Boone Shares

  • Title : Le Maroc en Scripophilie
  • Authors : Marc-Edouard Enay, Mourad Kusserow, Jean Célerier
  • ID : ISBN 3-033-00084-3, published by Verlag im Orient-Antiquariat, 2004
  • Languages : French
  • Number of pages : 213
  • Images : color images, often multiple per page
  • Indexes : certificates are ordered by company name, further indexes: 1. place names, 2. artists, 3. printers

This luxury edition is a great book on Moroccan shares and bonds. Not less than 400 certificates are discussed. The catalogue section is preceeded by a set of very informative chapters on the history of Morocco which makes the book a thorough reference :
  • Titre anciens du Maroc (old Moroccan securities)
  • Histoire du Maroc (history of Morocco)
  • Du Sultanat au Royaume (from the Sultanate to the Kingdom of Morocco)

The book contains also a list of Arabic terms used and a map of Moroccan mining places, and what I in particular like is an index on place names and one on the artists that designed the shares.

Top !


Signed the guest book yet ? 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Digest of scripophily readings IV

New online scripophily articles and references, June 2012 

Museo Financiero
The Museo Financiero (English: Financial Museum) is an online museum, set up as a blog in the Spanish language. This virtual museum, displaying lots of Spanish shares and bonds, will eventually house three sections :
  • Spanish financial institutions
  • Hispanic-American financial institutions
  • Spanish railways

So far, only the Spanish financial institutions section is finished and open to the online public, but nevertheless it is already impressive. Many old shares and bonds from Spanish financial institutions are listed here together with a historical background note. The material is also browsable in a chronological way. There is further no indication who has been putting together all this great. Maybe you can tell ? You can find this online museum right here. A perfect activity on a Sunday afternoon.  

Our painters and sculptors, engravers, designers
Nos Peintres et Sculpteurs, Graveurs, Dessinateurs is a French book by Jules Martin, published by Ernest Flammarion in 1897. It contains hundreds of portraits and biographies of artists that were noted on artistic events like those from Société Nationale de Beaux-Arts and the Société des Artistes Français. An online PDF version can be found here.

Photograph of the French artist Auguste François Gorguet

Some of the artists included have been working on the designs of bond and shares: Auguste François Gorguet, Alphonse Mucha, ... Maybe you can recognize others as well. One of the pages in the book refers to a second volume, but I could not locate a digital version of it.

Scripophily from the first canals
During the I.B.S.S. breakfast meeting in Antwerp, 11th March 2012, member Dr Peter Christen gave a very informative talk about the history of canal building and financing, in particular the French Canal du Midi. The presentation can be downloaded here from the IBSS website. Much more on canal scripophily from France, Sweden, Germany, USA, Egypt, Greece and Panama can be found on the speaker's own web pages, see here. Thank you for sharing, Peter !

China to become the world's largest art and antiques market
For the past two years now, and even longer, one of the most popular songs played on the scripophily radio is: China, China, China. Besides the speculation on the redemption of some Chinese government bonds, several international auction results show also that 'true' Chinese scripophily, I mean not related to speculation, has been in strong demand both internationally and locally. Specific auction results in this field are highlighted in the latest Scripophily magazine. You'll understand that it is only a matter of time for China to dominate the scripophily market after reading this article on CoinsWeekly

Image of Scripophily magazine, issue April 2012 No. 88
double-click to enlarge

Scripophily Magazine
In addition to the articles above, the brand new April 2012 No.88 issue of Scripophily magazine, published by the International Bond and Share Society, contains the following stories : 
  • The World's Oldest (oldest bond dated 1485) 
  • Million Pound Bond Sets Price Record 
  • Warning: Rampant Speculation Continues (speculation in Mexican bonds and shares) 
  • The Ampersat and The Bond (the @ symbol on bonds throughout history) 
  • US Savings Bonds De-Materialise 
  • Mackay Before He Was Mackay (mining & gold mining USA) 
  • Scripophily in Finland 
  • Dr Richard C Flower and the Famous Spenazuma Scam (gold mining USA) 
  • Cox's Corner #13 - Solving problems with collectibles 
  • other periodical topics : News and Reviews, Auction Reviews, Events Calendar, Update Membership Directory Supplement, Member Classifieds 

This time, the magazine includes a 2-For-1 admission coupon for the Checks and Balances exhibition at the Museum of American Finance.


P.S. Signed the Guest book yet ?