Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Exhibition: Gedruckte Werte

Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig illustrates the making of securities
The German city of Leipzig has a rich tradition of bookmaking and publishing. Its Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig (Museum of the Printing Arts Leipzig) is home to functioning machines, tools and presses demonstrating the techniques of copperplate printing, lithography and letterpress. Recently the museum has set up an extraordinary exhibition titled Gedruckte Werte (Printed Values).

Grosse Leipziger Strassenbahn 1000 Mark share Leipzig 1895 printed by Giesecke & Devrient
Grosse Leipziger Strassenbahn
1000 Mark share, Leipzig, 1895
printed by Giesecke & Devrient
image courtesy : Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig
double-click image to enlarge

From design to production
The exhibition illustrates the history, design and production of commercial securities. On display are approximately 50 bond and share certificates mainly from Leipzig and Saxony of the last 200 years, together with printing proofs, cheques, stamps, wood engravings, printing plates, guilloche and frame dies, sample and order books, and other historical printing forms. The show also explains how Giesecke & Devrient, Germany's most important printer of banknotes and securities, developed a standardized process for the production of artistic and counterfeit-proof securities. 

Guilloching tool Giesecke & Devrient, Leipzig
Guilloching tool, dated around 1900
source: Giesecke & Devrient, Leipzig
image courtesy : Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig

One of the exhibits is a manually operated guilloching tool, see image above, from the Giesecke & Devrient security printing house in Leipzig. A tool like this was used to engrave a guilloché, an ornamental pattern formed of repeating, interlacing lines in a circular design. When printed on securities and banknotes, designs like these were almost impossible to counterfeit. The guilloché pattern shown just below at the left, is a detail from the image beside it, another object in the exhibition : an advertising, ca. 1910, for Giesecke & Devrient, designed and printed as a share certificate.

source: Sächsisches Staatsarchiv Leipzig 
image courtesy : Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig

The exhibition is a cooperation between the Museum and the “Firmenhistorisches Archiv” of the Giesecke & Devrient GmbH (Munich). Some loans are also from the State Archives of Saxony in Leipzig.

Printing plate for a share in the Actien-Brauvereins zu Plauen, 1943, Giesecke & Devrient
Giesecke & Devrient printing plate for a share
of the Actien-Brauvereins zu Plauen (see also image below)
image courtesy : Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig

Practical info
  • Duration : 16 March to 14 August 2016
  • Location : Nonnenstrasse 38, Leipzig, GERMANY
  • Opening hours : Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ; Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Entrance: 6€ for adults, 3€ for students and 1,50€ children, 4€ for owners of a Leipziger-Card
  • Guided tours on the following Sundays at 12:00 a.m. : 8 May, 22 May, 12 June, 26 June, 24 July and 14 August
  • Special 60+ tours on the following Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. : 19 April and 21 June.
  • Hans-Volkmar Gaitzsch holds an evening talk Leipziger Wertpapiere on Thursdag 19 May at 7:00 p.m. , free entrance
  • The Museum also organizes a one-day conference Gedrucktes Vertrauen on Friday 24 June, more info in German, see here.
  • Further, there is an accompanying 60-pages book, in German, availble at the price of 8,80€ excluding shipping cost (but more on that in my next article).

Actien-Brauverein zu Plauen
in English : Plauen Brewery Association
1000 Reichsmark share, specimen from Giesecke & Devrient, 1943
One of the original printing plates for this certificate is shown above.
image courtesy : Museum für Druckkunst Leipzig

Related links


PS: Here are some images, from the museum's Facebook page, from the opening of the exhibition.

Vielen Dank an alle Gäste für eine tolle Ausstellungseröffnung zu GEDRUCKTE WERTE gestern Abend!
Posted by Museum für Druckkunst on Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016

HWPH - Auction 41 and 42

HWPH Auction 41
cover: lot 71
Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez
1/5th founder share, 1930

Canal Maritime Russe des Deux Mers (de Riga à Kherson) printer proof Imprimerie Richard
Lot 782 from the live auction 
Société d'Études du Canal Maritime Russe des Deux Mers (de Riga à Kherson) 
promissory note for a profit share
printer proof from Imprimerie G. Richard ca. 1891
The final certificate would have incorporated, on the right side,
the Russian version of the French text printed on the left.
After Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance (1882), France and Russia 
found themselves sharing a common foreign policy with mutual strategic military interests.  
Financial ties between the two countries developed and this French company can be seen 
as an example of that growing flow of French capital into Russia. The company was formed 
to assess the practicality of developing and operating a waterway 
between Riga (Baltic Sea) and Kherson (Black Sea). The Dvina river connects Riga with Vitebsk. 
And the Dnieper river connects Orsha with Kherson. A 90km canal between Vitebsk and Orsha 
could make the connection complete. By 1894 both countries had formalized their Franco-Russian alliance, but due to World War I and the subsequent Russian Revolution, the project was never realised.

Société d'Études du Canal Maritime Russe des Deux Mers (de Riga à Kherson)
detail from the certificate above
double-click image to enlarge 

HWPH Auction 42
cover: lot 881 
Credit Foncier de Tunisie
privileged share, ca. 1891

  • Dates : 16 April 2016 - Auction 41 ; 18 April - Auction 42, internet only
  • Place : Auction 41, Würzburg, GERMANY
  • Further info , see here