Thursday, December 12, 2013

Vinos Gasificados Blanxart - Ceci n'est pas un faux.

A bargain !
That particular Sunday turned out to be more interesting than usual. I was visiting a scripophily bourse; eBay was by no means invented yet. One of the present dealers showed me an album of certificates. One of them contained a superb share certificate of a Spanish sparkling wine producer. The name of the company: Vinos Gasificados Blanxart Sociedad Anonima Española

Vinos Gasificados Blanxart Sociedad Anonima Española
Vinos Gasificados Blanxart Sociedad Anonima Española
English: Spanish Blanxart Sparkling Wine Company
Share certificate for 100 Pesetas
double-click image to enlarge

A large vignette on the left side showed a pair of enthusiastic hands uncorking a bottle of Champagne, actually Spanish sparkling wine, which tastes as good as Champagne. On the right an elegant lady was ready to propose a toast. What a scene. The certificate's Art Nouveau design, with grapes depicted in the other borders, seemed to fit with the issue date of 1916. The dealer asked a price of 10 Deutsche Mark (about 7 USD) . Surely a bargain ! Without a doubt, I bought it. I even did not bother haggling any further.

But too good to be true !
Later, I noticed that the certificate's paper felt too strong for its supposed age of almost a hundred years. There were no tears or folds. The paper felt actually thicker than was usual the case with Spanish certificates from that period. Not brittle at all. I started being suspicious about my find. Someone told me it was a fake. At that time, I did not spent that much attention to details, but he was probably right. Hey, isn't that printer name a bit weird : Imprenta Fantasia, S.A. ; in English: the Fantasy Printing Company. A printer of securities surely has to have a more trustworthy name ? 

Vinos Gasificados Blanxart Sociedad Anonima Española
detail scanned at 600 dpi

I tried to find out more about the company or about the printer. There was no trace at all of both of them: the company and the printer probably never existed. The most convincing evidence that there is something wrong with this piece of paper can be seen with a good loupe. The paper was definitely printed in the 1970s maybe even in the late 1960s. Check out the details of the woman's face and the uncorking hands. Do you see the regular dot patterns, everywhere ? Old lithographed certificates have solid outlines and fills. This dot pattern is the result of modern offset printing methods.

Vinos Gasificados Blanxart Sociedad Anonima Española
detail scanned at 600 dpi

This is not a fake either !
Yet, I believe the one who issued these certificates had no intention to cheat other people. Why would one counterfeit a certificate that was issued by a non existing company and also was printed by a printer with a very questionable name? My best guess is that the certificate was distributed on the occasion of some kind of promotional activity, such as a wine bourse. Who knows more? 

The certificate has been traded and sold for tens of years .. as true scripophily. Most dealers do not recognize that this is a modern print. Only a very few dealers mention its true nature, see here an example: bravo ! What happened to the certificate ? Well, despite, or maybe thanks to its history, it ended up in my collection.


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1 comment:

  1. Hallo Franky,

    please contac me, I have more details.

    Kindest regards

    Ingo Korsch