Saturday, July 30, 2016

Poll results - Does our hobby needs another name ?

Someone Else : What's that thing called again that you write about ?
Me: Scripophily !
Someone Else: Scripalcoly ?
Me: SCRI - PO - PHI - LY ! (I'm not yelling, just excessively articulating)
Me: It is similar to PHI-LA-TE-LY. (Still not yelling, still excessively articulating, but faster, philately is a known word, right?)
Someone Else: Don't know philnatalie either !
Me: Doesn't matter. It's about old bond and share certificates.
Outsiders and newcomers struggle with the specialist term we use for our hobby. That shouldn't be a surprise. What do you think of these three "collecting" terms : deltiology (postcards), tegestology (beer mats) and arctophily (teddy bears) ? By the time you have read the last one, you have forgotten already the first one (I did).

Before 1978, people referred to our hobby as the collecting of stocks and bonds. In that year The Financial Times organized a contest to choose a name. It was Arthur Howell from the UK who won the competition with the term scripophily. Suggestions from other participants included: philoscripy, promissophily, syngrahophily, philosyngraphy, bonditry and shyloxis.
In the beginning the winning term was not widely accepted at all. Today, the word has become more established thanks to the promotional efforts of collector associations, auction housesscripophily dealers and museums

Earlier this year, I launched a small poll with the question if our hobby would need another name? Here are the results, you can make your own conclusion. But if you ask me, scripophily is here to stay.


Related links:


Monday, July 11, 2016

Guadeloupe on the map

Guadeloupe is a small group of islands forming one French overseas department in the Caribbean. Very few Guadeloupean bond and share certificates are known. G Cifré's La France d'Outre-Mer only lists seven certificates. From a statistical point, the chance of finding scripophily with a map of Guadeloupe would be one in a million.

Société Anonyme des Usines de Beauport
5000 Francs share, undated

In 1908 the sugar factory Société Anonyme des Sucreries de Port-Louis (SASPL) was taken over by three Bordeaux families, who operated it as the Société Anonyme des Usines de Beauport (SAUB). The company was founded in 1863 and made use of its own railway system to transport sugar cane from the surrounding estates. After World War I more and more bananas were grown on the islands. Sugar, once a highly profitable trade, lost gradually its importance and suffered from several poor harvests. SAUB went bankrupt in 1981.

The map on the certificate shows Guadeloupe's two main islands.
It is not visible on the rather roughly drawn map, but both islands,
Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, are separated by a narrow sea channel
called Rivière Salée (Salt River).
Double-click image to enlarge.

Guadeloupe was colonized from 1635 onward by the Compagnie des Îles de l'Amérique, a French chartered company. Over the next two centuries the British seized the island group several times from the French. Just before French control of Guadeloupe was internationally accepted after the 1815 Treaty of Vienna, Sweden owned Guadeloupe for about 15 months as a result of the Anglo-Swedish Alliance in 1813. Have you seen any early Swedish Guadeloupe scripophily ? Me neither, but scripophily often reveals big surprises, sooner or later.


Reference links

Monday, July 4, 2016

Archives International Auctions - part XXXIV

The United States of America
3% (Spanish-American War) Loan of 1898-1918
bond for $20 including complete sheet of coupons
Lot 481 in AIA's XXXIV auction
The Guerra Hispano-Americana was a conflict fought between Spain and the United States in 1898. Officially at stake were the Cuban and Filipino struggles for independence from Spain. The US wanted to protect their economic interests (sugar trade) and saw an opportunity to increase their military naval presence overseas. The ten-week war was fought primarily in Cuba and the Philippines. After Spain's defeat, both parties signed the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. As a result Spain gave up sovereignty over Cuba, ceded Puerto Rico and Guam to the US, and sold the Philippine Islands to the United States for twenty million dollars.

This bond was issued under authority of an Act of Congress entitled The War Revenue Act of 1898. The act authorized a tax on a wide range of goods and services in order to collect funds for America's participation in the Spanish–American War. The act further gave the U.S. Treasury permission to issue a two hundred million dollar war loan at 3% interest. The phrase 'An Act to provide ways and means to meet war expenditures', mentioned on the illustrated bond, refers to The Committee on Ways and Means, which is the chief tax-writing committee of the United States House of Representatives and which has jurisdiction over all taxation, tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures.

This auction contains almost 400 lots of scripophily.
  • Dates : July 26, 2016 
  • Place : Fort Lee, NJ 
  • Further info : see here , for the catalog there