Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Dragons of the Banque Industrielle de Chine

China, a rich culture and more than 3000 years of written history
The vignettes on the share certificate of the Banque Industrielle de Chine 
represent a cross section of China's cultural heritage. 
Included in this post are some pictures from my trip to China last summer.

Banque Industrielle de Chine - Industrial Bank of China, share certificate printed by Charles Skipper & East
Banque Industrielle de Chine
English: Industrial Bank of China
Action Ordinaire de 500 Francs (ordinary share), 1913
Lithography printed by Charles Skipper & East
double-click image to enlarge

Power and good fortune for the emperor
For thousands of years, Chinese dragons symbolize power and good fortune. They are the rulers of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers, or seas (Wikipedia). The Emperor of China used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power. In contrast the Empress of China was identified by the mythological bird, Fenghuang.

details of golden dragons on the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven complex in Beijing
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is the main building of
the Temple of Heaven complex in Beijing. The building is depicted
in the certificate's underprint above. The circular wooden walls are
decorated with many golden dragons.
Picture: F. Leeuwerck

.. and initially for the Banque Industrielle de Chine
André Berthelot (1862–1938), French banker, politician and Director of the Pekin Syndicate , co-founds the Banque Industrielle de Chine (BIC) with the Belgian financier Edouard Empain. The Pekin Syndicate and the Chinese government are the largest shareholders of the bank. Quickly, the BIC obtains concessions for several important public works in Peking, Chinese ports, and railways. In 1914 the bank is allowed to issue Chinese banknotes. BIC expands quickly during WWI, offering very favourable rates of interest to its clients. Two decades earlier, another bank, the Banque de l'Indochine (BI), had started shifting its operations from French Indochina to China. BI, also representative of the French interests in handling the Boxer indemnity, watches how BIC becomes a competitor.

Stone relief of dragons on the steps of the Hall of Preserving Harmony in the Forbidden City, Beijing
Stone relief of dragons on the steps at the Hall of Preserving Harmony,
Forbidden City, Beijing. The emperor would be carried in his sedan chair
over the stone carving and was the only person allowed to pass over it.
Picture: F. Leeuwerck

Something peculiar with those dragons.
The dragons in the BIC's vignette seem to guard a sun with the company's cypher (an interlacing or placing together of letters). However, it is not a sun but a flaming pearl, which you can also observe on the two photographs. The pearl is associated with wealth, good luck, and prosperity. Further, dragons representing the Emperor had 5-clawed feet while 4-clawed and 3-clawed dragons were used to represent nobles and common people. If you look carefully, you'll notice 4-clawed dragons on the BIC certificate. A diplomatic blunder by the designer of the certificate ? I'll come back to this point later.

dragon paws with 4 claws and 5 claws
left: detail from the right 4-clawed dragon on BIC's share
right : detail from a 5-clawed dragon on the Russian bond, see below

Russian imperial government bond also known as the Boxer Loan of 1902
Russia Imperial Government
4% Bond of 5000 Mark

"Boxer" loan 1902

Disastrous outcome
In  1921, André Berthelot tries to raise money through the trading of Chinese government loans on the French financial market. The operation fails and the BIC loses vast sums. André then asks his brother Philippe for financial help. Philippe Berthelot is the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France and can convince Horace Finaly, President of the Banque de Paris et des Pays-bas, to support the BIC which was in financial difficulty. However, Paul Doumer, Governor-General of French Indochina from 1897 to 1902, at this time Minister of Finance and closely linked with the Banque de l'Indochine, refuses to save the BIC. Next, Philippe Berthelot secretly lobbies for a bailout by sending telegrams on behalf of Aristide Briand, the President of the Council without his knowledge. A political scandal breaks out. Both Philippe and Prime Minister Briand, who also supported the bailout, will be excluded from public office. Due to inadequate reserves, the Banque Industrielle de Chine goes bankrupt in 1922. Three years later, its assets were taken over by the new Banque Franco-Chinoise pour le Commerce et l’Industrie, established by the Banque de l'Indochine, the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, Banque Lazard and the Chinese government.

Blunder or perfection ?
So, what's the story about those dragons on the certificate. Shouldn't imperial dragons have 5 claws ? The answer is yes, but .. these are not imperial dragons, I suspect. At the time of incorporation of the Banque Industrielle de Chine, in 1913, the imperial dynasty was overthrown one year earlier. Last Emperor Puyi, still a child, abdicated 12 February 1912, after the successful Xinhai Revolution established the Republic of China (ROC). Non imperial dragons do not have 5 claws. The coin below shows the national emblem of the ROC with a 4-clawed dragon. The design on the BIC shares is diplomatically correct.

coin with national emblem of Republic of China with dragon and fenghuan
National emblem of the Republic of China on an early coin. At the left
of the dragon stands the mythological bird, Fenghuang, a symbol of high
virtue and grace, traditionally used to represent the Empress of China.
Source :

Despite diplomatic dragons and symbols of longevity (lower left and right corner) on its shares, history learned that the Banque Industrielle de Chine was short-lived.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


Related links

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Archives International Auctions - Hong Kong Winter Auction 2015

Archives International Auctions
Chinese, Asian & Worldwide Banknotes, coins and Scripophily

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
1933, Letter of Credit, specimen
See also note below.

This auction contains approximately 50 lots of scripophily

  • Date : 10 January, 2015
  • Place : Hong Kong
  • Further info : see here


The certificate illustrated above is a Letter of Credit, which is a document from a bank guaranteeing that a seller will receive payment as soon as certain delivery conditions have been met. Obviously the use of letters of credit are an important aspect of international trade. Letter of credit certificates belong to the field of scripophily when the latter term is broadly interpreted, see there.
A very interesting case showing the usage of the letter of credit is explained here.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Digest of scripophily readings XV

New online scripophily articles and references, December 2014

Biografía de las Riquezas de Puerto Rico
Jorge David Capiello-Ortiz tells us a fascinating story about the history of coffee plantations and sugar mills of Puerto Rico.  His Spanish website, Biografía de las Riquezas de Puerto Rico,  (Riches of Puerto Rico) is illustrated splendidly with photographs, coins, bank notes, tokens, post cards, letters and receipts, stereoviews, checks, and ofcourse stocks and bonds from :
  • sugar mills, see here 
  • railways, see there, and
  • banks, see here
As you see, numismatics in the widest sense. Thank you for sharing Jorge !

stock certificate of the Central Aguirre Associates, later renamed into Central Aguirre Sugar Company
Central Aguirre Associates
later renamed into Central Aguirre Sugar Company
100 Common shares, specimen, 1928
double-click image to enlarge
source : Jorge David Capiello-Ortiz
Biografía de las Riquezas de Puerto Rico

The Californian Gold Rush
The first individual gold prospectors tried to build subterranean shafts by manually digging holes into overlying earth, as into a hillside. The shafts seldom reached deeper than one or two meters. This technique was called ‘coyoting’ after the coyote that tunneled his way into the ground in a similar manner. No stocks or bonds, but coins and pictures illustrate this three-part series of articles about the Gold Rush in California written by Ursula Kampmann from CoinsWeekly | MünzenWoche  :
  • part I : the first gold finds, news reaches the east, the voyage, the local situation, grassroots democracy and lynch law (in German, see here ) 
  • part II : the work, success and failure, spending a life in deficiency, xenophobia amongst the gold prospectors (in German, see here )
  • part III  : coins for California, the end of the gold rush (in German, see here) 

Compagnie Française & Américaine de San-Fransisco
5 Shares of 5 Francs, 1850
Source : HWPH, Auction 36, 2014

Texas and German Emigration Company
The Bullock Texas State History Museum, named after former Texas Lieutenant Governor  "God bless Texas" Bob Bullock, certainly knows how to combine artefacts with interactive multimedia and special effects. I will not go into further details, but check out this Interactive Texas Map .

Eurotunnel forerunner
If, before the Great War, a tunnel would have existed between France and England, it could have shortened the War by two years. Read more about the Chemin de Fer Sous-Marin entre la France et l'Angleterre on Hans-Georg Glasemann's NONVALEURS blog.

Scripophily magazine issue August 2014 No. 95

Scripophily magazine
In addition to the online sources above, the last August 2014 No.95 issue of Scripophily magazine contains the following stories :
  • Scripophily of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition
  • The Long Distance Telephone Company and AT&T
  • Rare Chinese scripophily at Spink's Jan 2014 Hong Kong auction
  • Flights of Fancy, about early spectacular airplanes
  • Cox's Corner : Scanning certificates
  • Jewish Colonial Trust
  • An interview with retiring society auctioneer Bruce Castlo
  • Sexy vignettes
  • 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.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pre-war debt securities on display at the Warsaw Stock Exchange

The Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) is one of the fastest-growing exchanges in Europe. In 2013, 450 companies were listed, including 47 foreign companies. The WSE ranked #2 in Europe by the number of IPOs, and #5 in terms of their value. 

The WSE and the Collectors' Association of Historical Securities (Stowarzyszenie Kolekcjonerów Historycznych Papierów Wartosciowych) have set up an exhibition Debt securities listed on the pre-war exchange - Papiery dłużne notowane na przedwojennej giełdzie. On display are about 100 pre-war bonds and debentures, issued in Poland by credit societies, private corporations, and the Polish State Treasury.

Image source : Warsaw Stock Exchange

Practical info

  • Location : Warsaw Stock Exchange, ul. Książęca 4, Warsaw.
  • Duration : 29 September 2014 – 31 January 2015
  • Opening hours :  From Monday to Friday 10:00 - 15:00.
  • Entrance : free

Related links

Friday, November 21, 2014

What is scripophily ?

Take a little test
What is the oldest and the youngest word in the following list ?
  1. scripophily
  2. computer
  3. android.
I bet you are wrong ! I was too. I'll give you the answer right away.

The word scripophily is a contraction of 
  • the English word “scrip”, a certificate entitling ownership right, 
  • and the Greek word "φίλος" (philos), meaning "friend".

Scripophily is about collecting old securities and related items
Securities can roughly be divided in :
  • debt securities, such as a bond, which represents a debt of a company, a society, a federal, statal or municipal authority, or a non-governmental organization
  • equity securities, such as a stock certificate (also known as a share certificate), which represents part ownership of a company, society or association.

More than just collecting
Scripophily involves also the study of stock and bond certificates and their related history. One can be a scripophilist without owning a single stock or bond. 

Did you know that antique stocks and bonds are easy to find ?
Many certificates are common and can be easily and cheaply acquired on bourses and online platforms like eBay. More interesting material is found at dedicated auctions. Some certificates, like this one, are very rare and have a great historical importance and reside only in museums

Why collect ?
There are tens of reasons why scripophily items are appealing : security engraving, artistic design, particular vignettes, a pioneering activity, the name of a company, historical background, the name of the holder, a signature of a famous person, and many more reasons.

Indochina share of the Société Agricole et Industrielle du Thap-Muoi, Vietnam
Société Agricole et Industrielle du Thap-Muoi
Share of 20 French Indochinese piasters, Saigon, 1928, printed in Paris by Chaix
The piaster was the currency of French Indochina between 1885 and 1952.
Tháp Mười is a rural district in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam.
double-click image to enlarge

Is it really important to make a distinction between true and untrue scripophily? 
Absolutely not. Scripophilists may also collect other related papers, often not regarded as true scripophily, for instance : insurance policies, membership certificates, invoices. The issuers used these papers in their daily business processes. This contrasts with securities that were issued only occasionally during the lifespan of the issuer. Hence, ordinary lottery tickets, drawn on a weekly basis, belong to the former group, and lottery loans to the latter. Combining both types of documents in a collection only contributes to the fun and learning possibilities.

The Ericsson Shipping Company, Ltd, 1915
Printed by Andrew Reid & Co., Newcastle, UK.
The company owned the S.S. Willingtonia, a steel hulled steam cargo ship, built in 1918. 
In the very same year the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UC27. 
A weird coincidence, the company's shipping flag depicts a swastika, 
in many cultures seen as a sign of good fortune.

Do you know the word in your language ?
In other languages, scripophily is often translated in a similar sounding word
  • Escripofilia (Spanish)
  • Scriptophilie  (French)
  • Scripophilie (French, German)
  • Scriptofilie (Dutch)
  • Scripofilie (Dutch, Romanian)
  • Scripofili (Norwegian)
  • Scripofilia (Italian)
  • Skripofilija (Lithuanian)
  • Skrypofilistyka (Polish)
  • Скрипофилия (Russian)
Is the word for scripophily in your language not listed here? Please let me know, I’ll make sure it deserves its place in the list.

How old is the word scripophily ?
The word scripophily is actually a relatively modern word, as you can see here in Google’s Ngram chart. This tool lets you trace the usage of a word or phrase during the past five centuries (!) by seeing how often it's appeared in books over that time span.

Google Ngram Viewer chart of the word scripophily
The word Scripophily started appearing in books halfway the 1970s.
Source : Google Ngram  Viewer

As  you see, the word Scripophily started appearing in the 1970s, which is pretty modern when compared to words like android (17th century) and computer (16th century). 


Tip : The more (online) scripophily friends you have, the more you will share knowledge and have fun. You should join a club or participate in a social media group !

PS : Scripophily is also the name of the magazine issued by the International Bond & Share Society (IBSS), see more here .

Related links 

Can you help me to reach more people by sharing this post ? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

CTC displays its history in ... a tramcar

The Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) is the oldest electric tram in Asia, running since 1902, and currently the only tramway in India. Its service is known as the Kolkata tram.

Electricity replaces horses and steam during the early years
CTC is registered in London 1880. A horse-drawn tram track between Sealdah to Armenian Ghat is inaugurated on 1st November of the same year. Already two years later steam locomotives are introduced. By the end of the nineteenth century the company owns 186 tramcars, 1000 horses, 7 steam locomotives and 19 miles of tram tracks. In 1900 electrification and simultaneous reconstruction of one meter gauge tracks to the standard gauge (4'-8½ '') is initiated. The entire system is electrified within five years. When the tram network connects to the suburb of Howrah in the 1940s, the company's total track length reaches 67km.

The official anglicised name Calcutta was changed in 2001 
to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.
Picture by Claude Waddell, military photographer, dated 1945-1946. 
At the left the Mohammddan mosque, Juma Masjid. 
Source : By Clyde Waddell , via Wikimedia Commons
double-click image to enlarge

Kolkata and CTC struggle with demographic stress, economic decline and political troubles 
In 1947 independent India is partitioned in the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. Many Muslims leave Kolkata and hundred thousands of Hindus flee into the city. The city will experience a steady economic decline in the following decades due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism. In 1965 CTC must deal with infrastructure damages and agitations from Marxist–Maoist groups against the rise of its fares. Furthermore, Kolkata undergoes power shortages and many strikes and CTC wrestles with lack of investments and financial pressure. In 1967 the Government of West Bengal takes over the management. Four years later, the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 will lead to a massive inflow, again, of thousands of refugees.

CTC fights a fierce competition
In the 1950s the automobile sector becomes competitor number one for the Calcutta Tramways Company. Buses, trucks, taxis and private cars claim their share in the city's transport services. Other traffic rivals are auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws. All of these vehicles compete for the same road space. The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. In 2004 the city's "road space" will turn out to be only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai. Over time CTC looses its reserve right of way. Further decreases of its passenger numbers lead to lack of profitability and unavoidably inadequate maintenance. In 1982 the Bengal Government will reincorporate CTC as The Calcutta Tramways Company 1978 Limited, a privately owned state government company. At that time 275 tramcars carry 0.75 million passengers per day. Two years later, new competitor The Kolkata Metro starts its services. In 1992 the Calcutta Tramways Company introduces bus services. Modern looking-trams, including air conditioned tramcars, have been introduced recently.

Taxis, buses, cars, rickshaws near Sealdah train station 
blocking the tram rails.
Picture by Arne Hückelheim
Source : Wikipedia

The future remains uncertain
CTC's bus fleet has been increased from an initial 40 to 400 buses but the number of trams operating every day has dropped to 100. The number of tramcar passengers fluctuates around 160,000 people per day; unlike the Kolkata Metro which today attains a daily ridership of 0.65 million passengers. CTC survices with an annual subsidy of nearly Rs 200 crore (26 million Euro). Who knows what the future will be bring. Yet, the company's tramcars have some trumps. They stand for a clean and environment-friendly mode of mass transport. The cars are more spacious than buses and the fares are cheap. In a fast evolving city like Kolkata, the trams lend character to the city and may give the city extra pride.

A museum in a tram
On 29 September 2014, CTC has inaugurated a museum in a tram stationed at the Esplanade depot. The museum may help bridge the gap with between the fast-paced urban life and its slow-moving vehicles. On display are
  • old archives
  • replicas of various trams
  • old tickets, passes and coins
  • pictures of great men who travelled in trams
  • badges, uniforms, caps and tassels worn by company staff
  • and much more
You can enjoy the museum along with a cup of tea or coffee with snacks in a tram originally built in 1938 and refurbished earlier this year. Open to visitors between Monday and Sunday, except Thursday, from 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm. Location : Curzon Park at CTC's Esplanade junction.

Horse-drawn trams in Kolkata, India 
(life-size model at City Centre arcade)
Notice the 'cTc' company logo at the front of the car.
Picture by  L N Roychoudhury
Source : Wikipedia

Call to action for the Kolkata readers !
Except for a few examples, scripophily of Indian tramways is rarely seen. As far as I know, I don't remember seeing any certificates from the Calcutta Tramways Company. Are there shares certificates on display ? I don't know, but this online article from The Times of India, says that "Also on display are cancelled share certificates of CTC ".  Aha !
I tried to find out more on this, but so far without success. So, to the readers from Kolkata : when you visit the CTC tram museum, take pictures of the share certificates and mail them. I'd love to include them in this post.


Reference links

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mario Boone - Auction 53

Certificate depicted : Société Niçoise de Transports Maritimes
Share of 500 Francs, 1893, proof
double-click image to enlarge

Share certificate of the Grands Magasins A L'Innovation designed by Constant Montald
Grands Magasins A L'Innovation S.A.
Share of 500 Francs, 1928, Brussels
Design by Constant Montald

Amongst the auction's top lots, is the truly exceptional "Empain" collection, see also here .

  • Date: 1 November 2014
  • Place: The Atomium, Brussels, Belgium
  • Further info, see here


Tip for Sun 2 November : Scripophily Bourse in the IBIS Expo Hotel near the Atomium.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Be careful with explanation notes !

Introduction : Northrop the first commercial computer customer
In 1939 Jack Northrop founds Northrop Aircraft Inc. This aircraft manufacturer is established nearby Hawthorne, California. The Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter will become one of the most effective and sucessful U.S. air-to-air fighters in the 1960s and early 1970s. Already during World War II Northrop starts developing missiles and from the 1950s unmanned aerial vehicles are produced as well. The fine vignette above can be seen on a certificate from the Northrop Corporation. 

Just after World War II, Northrop orders from the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation (EMCC) an electronic stored-program computer to deal with the many complex calculations required for the design and construction of aircraft and missiles. EMCC develops the BINAC, the Binary Automatic Computer and delivers it to Northrop in 1949. The BINAC is EMCC's first product and the world's first commercial digital computer. And so Northrop becomes the first company in the world using a digital computer. The BINAC, however, after delivery to its customer, turns out not to work properly. 

One year later Northrop develops on its own the Magnetic Drum Digital Differential Analyzer (MADDIDA), an electronic version of a mechanical differential analyzer. Such a device solves differential equations by integration. Another year later, in 1951, Northrop builds the Quadratic Arc Computer (QUAC), a special purpose digital computer which computes information to be recorded on magnetic tape for the XSM-62 Snark missile guidance system. In 1959 the name of the company is changed into Northrop Corporation. In the 1960s Northrop's Nortronics Division introduces the NDC-1051, a small general purpose digital airborne computer.

Northrop's history is a fascinating one. I hope you don't mind me bringing this little historic note as an introduction to the topic of this article. In fact, only this particular Northrop share certificate is relevant here.

stock certificate specimen printed by Jeffries Banknote Company
Northrop Corporation
$1.45 cumulative preferred stock, specimen
Jeffries Banknote Company, printed in the 1960s

Hurray, interesting certificate ! Ew, what are these spots ?
In the image below, you can clearly notice that the spots in the certificate's left corner are actually printed characters. Click the image below, to enlarge the details.

How is that possible ? The certificate was clean, actually perfect at the moment of purchase. After acquisition the share certificate was put in a scripophily collector's album sheet at once.  

An explanation note is to blame.
The previous image shows an empty album sheet. Nothing to worry about ? Wait and see. Put a white paper in the album sheet. 

Now the imprinted characters become visible. Apparently these characters were the ones that were transferred to the share certificate. Strange. 
What actually has happened was this :
  1. A certificate was put in the album sheet. Like many of us do, an explanation note was prepared, often a company profile, and put together with the certificate in the sheet.
  2. Under pressure of the other sheets in the album, the characters of the note, mostly printed in black, were transferred to the transparant sheet side. Did you know that a full album weighs about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) and a big one, like the one shown 5 kilograms (11 pounds).
  3. For some reason, the original certificate, and the corresponding note, is removed from the sheet. A portion of the note's characters remains invisible against the black backside of the sheet.
  4. After some time, maybe months later, another stock certificate is inserted in that sheet again. Ignorant of any harm the album is stored away. 
  5. A few days later, your new certificate is spoiled. Damage is done. Again under pressure, the characters of the note that was once put in that sheet, are transferred to your new certificate.

Northrop logo with seagull
The Northrop logo consists of a stylished seagull
see image below

I've seen others on scripophily bourses showing certificates with accompanying notes in the same sheets. Some advice.
  • Do not store your certificates together with explanatory notes in the same sheet. If you want to see a note along your scripophily items, put the notes in dedicated sheets.
  • If you are not sure whether you use a brand new album sheet, use a blank piece of paper to check if any characters from an old note have been transferred onto the inside of the sheet. See the example image above.
  • Is an album sheet spoiled with transferred characters, then throw away that album sheet.
  • Is a certificate spoiled, then there is nothing that you can do. If you want to prevent that certificate from "contaminating" other album sheets, then put it in a smaller album sheet and store that whole in your album.

share certificate with facsimile signature of John Knudsen "Jack" Northrop
Northrop Aircraft, Inc.
100 common shares of $1, specimen
facsimile signature of John Knudsen "Jack" Northrop (1895 – 1981)
printed by Jeffries Banknote Co. around the 1940s

Signed the Guest Book yet ?

Related links

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Archives International Auctions - Fall Auction 2014

Archives International Auctions Part XXI
US & Worldwide Banknotes, Coins, Scripophily,
Autographs & Security Printing Ephemera

Microsoft share certificate with signature Bill Gates
Specimen share certificate from Microsoft
Facsimile signature William Henry "Bill" Gates
Microsoft, the most famous software company, is also involved in the
design and development of computer hardware such as the MSX home computer architecture, 
MSN Web Companions, the pen-enabled Tablet PC, the Pocket PC specification, 
the XBox game console and the Microsoft Surface tablet computer.

  • Date & Place  : 25 October 2014 at the Museum of American Finance, NYC, and 4 November 2014 at AIA, Fort Lee, NJ
  • Further info : see here 

Tip !
The first part of the auction is to be held in conjunction with the Wall Street Coin, Currency and Collectibles Show, being held October 23-25, 2014 at the Museum of American Finance ( 48 Wall Street, NYC )


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Exhibition & book : Patrimonium et oeconomia

Patrimonium et oeconomia is the name of the current exhibition at the City Museum "Sztygarka" of Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland. The exhibition features securities from the collection of Christopher Stachowicz.

Share of Société Française et Italienne des Houillères de Dombrowa (Pologne Russe)
Société Française et Italienne des Houillères de Dombrowa (Pologne Russe)
Founder's share, Paris 1909
Source: City Museum "Sztygarka"
double-click image to enlarge
On display are shares and bonds in companies and organizations active in the Polish Basin and Silesia area and beyond. Among the exhibits are, securities and documents, from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, related to the steel industry, railways, coal mining, banking, utilities, textile, breweries and distilleries, chocolate and sugar, and more. Less known to scripophily collectors in general, some of the displayed certificates are designed by important artists like Zofia Stryjenska and Felix Wygrzywalski. 

Source: City Museum "Sztygarka"

Practical info :

  • Location : City Museum "Sztygarka", Muzeum ul. Legionów Polskich 69 41-300 Dąbrowa Górnicza, POLAND
  • Duration : 11 September 2014 – 12 October 2014
  • Opening hours : Mon closed, Tues & Wed 9:00-15:00, Thu 10:00-19:00, Fri 9:00-15:00, Sat 8:45-15:00, Sun 12:00-16:00
  • Entrance fee : 5.00 PLN ( about 1.2 EUR ) 
  • Tip : You can also combine the exhibit with a mine visit at the museum

There is also the book Patrimonium et oeconomia. Papiery wartościowe ze zbiorów Krzysztofa Stachowicza, written by Krzysztof Stachowicz and Kamil Świderski. See here (in Polish) but the Google Translate service renders a good enough version, see there

Related links


P.S. Thanks to the members of EDHAC for reporting this special event.

Friday, September 26, 2014

HWPH - Auction 35 and 36

HWPH Auction 35
cover image: Bergbau-Aktien-Gesellschaft Medio-Rhein
in English : Medio-Rhein Mining Company
Share of 100 Thaler Prussian courant, 1858
design by Theodor Mintrop

early share certificate from  the Real Compañia de San Fernando de Sevilla
Real Compañia de San Fernando de Sevilla
Share of 250 Pesos, 1748
double-click image to enlarge

HWPH Online Auction 36
cover image: Société Foncière de Syrie
in English: Land Company of Syria
share of 3000 Francs

  • Date: 18 October 2014  - Auction 35 ;  20 October 2014 - Auction 36
  • Place: Auction 35, Wiesbaden, GERMANY 
  • Further info, see here 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Digest of scripophily readings XIV

New online scripophily articles and references, September 2014

The oldest Siemens share is an American one !
Dr. Roland Schmidt tells us a remarkable story about the two Siemens brothers Friedrich  and Werner and their achievements in gas and electrical lighting. Check out his latest post "Oldest Siemens Share Certificate".

American Security Printers Guide
The American Society of Check Collectors (ASCC) is non-profit organization of collectors of checks and other financial documents like drafts, bills of exchange, promissory notes et cetera. See some nice examples here. Interesting for us, the ASCC maintains a Security Printers Guide. You can download a PDF version here. In this list of more than 70 pages, check the 'Type' column for the letter "s" in order to find the names of printers of stock and bond certificates.

Shares for Children
A lot of kids are fascinated by the heroes on the big screen created by DREAMWORKS, Disney and Pixar. At the age of ten, my favorite pastime was playing with MATCHBOX cars. Nonvaleurs News's online issue of last August brings a special about "Children" shares. See here, for the English and there for the German edition. 

The History of Derivatives
The Museum of American Finance organizes a college level class titled The History of Derivatives (17th Century - present). See here for the outline of the program. The Museum offers several 45-60 minute classroom programs, by request only, taught in the education center by museum educators and industry professionals. Standard classes cost $250 and advanced classes cost $500. Classes can accommodate up to 40 people and include museum admission. An overview of other classes can be found here. A good idea for a school trip in New York !

Scripophiliy Magazine from IBSS, issue April 2014
Ten reasons to join IBSS

Scripophily Magazine
The International Bond and Share Society (IBSS) recently announced their last issue of Scripophily magazine on their Facebook page, see here.  I'll come back to this later. In the mean time, in addition to the online sources above, the second last April 2014 No.94 issue of Scripophily magazine contains the following stories :
  • World Top One Hundred, the 100 highest prices since IBSS was founded in 1978
  • Catalogue of Shares, by the Serbian Numismatics Society
  • Stamp Taxes on Nevada Stock Certificates, an online publication (link in the magazine).
  • Rare Comstock certificates, about the Wells Fargo Mining Co.
  • Cox's Corner : The funny thing about valuing collectibles
  • The Ducktown Desert and the Case of Tennessee Copper
  • Country Survey : the Netherlands Indies
  • Belgian Economic Activities in Romania before the Great War
  • 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.


P.S. I'm also on Twitter

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

IBSS - Mail bid auction October 2014

logo International Bond and Share Society ( IBSS)

The International Bond and Share Society, sets its next (members only) auction date to 3 October 2014. This auctions counts 175 lots, representing more than 30 countries and an equal number of themes.

Kassala (Sudan) Gold Mines, certificate for 2,000 shares
Kassala (Sudan) Gold Mines Limited
Certificate for 2000 shares of 2 Shillings, 1939

  • Date : October 3, 2014
  • Place : not applicable, this is a mail bid auction only
  • Practical info, see here  
  • Auction catalogue can be downloaded here, and images of the lots are listed there