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.