Thursday, August 23, 2012

Exhibition : Companies from the Gelnhausen district

The Kürle publishing house is organizing a double scripophily exhibition on the occasion of its 110th  anniversary. Happy birthday !

District Gelnhausen scripophily
Till August 30 2012 the Companies from the Gelnhausen district exhibition shows certificates from the region Gelnhausen. Certificates can be seen from companies like Veritas AG, Gebrüder ADT AGSteinauer Basaltwerke, and much more.  Place to be : 

  • Until 30 August : Kreissparkasse Gelnhausen, Barbarossastr. 2,  Gelnhausen, Germany
  • On 1 September : Romanischen Haus (Roman House), Gelnhausen, Germany

share certificate of the Bruinkolen en Basalt-Maatschappij Steinau
Bruinkolen en Basalt-Maatschappij "Steinau"
Englisch: Brown coal and Basalt Company "Steinau"
Share of 500 Gulden, 1902
Dutch mining company active in the Gelnhausen region
image source : Kürle
double-click to enlarge image

1 day exhibition
Also on 1 September, and only this day, a second exhibition Customers and Suppliers of the Kürle publishing house, displays bonds, shares and related documents from companies like Berthold AG, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Linotype AG, Apple, Sony, Hewlett-Packard and other companies active in the paper, printing and publishing business and even more. Place to be : Romanisches Haus (Roman House) in Gelnhausen, Germany.

share certificate of Apple Computer, Inc.
Apple Computer, Inc.
one of many suppliers of the Kürle publishing house

More information (in German) on both exhibitions, see here and there .


P.S. This message was on short notice, yet I felt that it was still useful to bring it under the attention. After all, we can not often visit a scripophily exhibition, can't we ?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reference catalogue : American Brewers, Distillers and Vintners

Image by Boone Shares

  • Title : American Brewers - Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Authors : Lawrence Falater, Don Mesler
  • ID : no ISBN , published by the authors, 2011
  • Languages : English
  • Number of pages : 104
  • Images : about 130 color images 
  • Indexes : no index

This is a small but detailed catalogue on scripophily from American brewers, distillers and vintners ! Along with the description of each certificate, an image and a value indication is included. From the introduction I read that no scanning device was used for the images, but a good old camera with excellent results. 

The certificates are grouped alphabetically by company in three sections :
  1. breweries (about 100 images)
  2. distilleries (about 20 images)
  3. vintners (about 10 images)

Definitely an asset for the specialised collector !


Signed Guest book yet ?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Identifying the signature of actor Roger Livesey

Many old bonds and shares have a handwritten signature. Frequently the writing is hard to read. Recently I learned a trick that can help you identify a signature.

Adam Films Ltd was active in the British film industry
share certificate for 25 Shares of 1 Pound
representing 1/6th of the initial capital, issued in 1949
printed by Chas, Davy & Co. Ltd
double-click to enlarge image

Roger Livesey
The certificate above was issued to Roger Livesey Productions Ltd. Roger Livesey (25 Jun 1906 – 4 Feb 1976) was a British stage and film actor. Between 1921 and 1970 Livesey featured in not less than 40 movies, often teaming up on scene with his wife Ursula Jeans. During World War II, together they volunteered to entertain the troops. Livesey played the lead role in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) which established Livesey's international reputation. 

The London Gazette from April 10 1975 announced the Adam Films company had ceased its operations, a few months before Roger Livesey passed away. 

detail from the share certificate showing signature of Roger Livesey
This looks like Roger Livesey's signature.

Skewing and stretching a signature
With some good will, the signature above can be read as Roger Livesey. But you can make it more readable by skewing and stretching the image. These image editing functions are available in image editing programs such as Microsoft Paint. This is the result :

The signature is more readable now. The image results from applying the following image editing operations to the original :
  • Skew horizontally : -40 Degrees
  • Stretch horizontally : 120 Percent

Here are some guidelines  :
  • When the handwriting inclines
    • to the right, then use a negative number of horizontal skew degrees, e.g. -40°
    • to the left, then use a positive number of horizontal skew degrees, e.g. 30°
  • When the characters appear
    • flattened, a 'n' looks like a '_', then use a vertical stretching percentage larger than 100, e.g. 130%
    • narrow, a 'd' looks like a '/', then use a horizontal stretching percentage larger than 100, e.g. 140%

Caution: being able to identify the name in a signature, does not mean the person actually wrote it. On stocks and bonds, a signature was often written by someone else, a secretarial signer. In our example this is maybe improbable, but possible. I don't have any further references to signatures of Roger Livesey.

MS Paint window displaying the Stretch and Skew functions.