Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Archives International Auctions - US Feb 2017

Spread over two days, AIA's 38th Sale features banknotes, bond and share certificates, coins, security printing and related ephemera. Over 500 lots of worldwide scripophily are included in particular from China and US railway companies. For instance, lot 327 is a specimen bond from the New York Connecting Railroad Company.

This New York Connecting Railroad Company bond shows Hell Gate Bridge.
In 1942 Nazi Operation Pastorius landed secret agents on American soil. Their aim was to destroy the Hell Gate bridge and other strategic targets. The operation failed. 

In 1892, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), together with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, founded the New York Connecting Railroad Company (NYCRR). The latter company wanted a rail link between Astoria in Queens and Randalls and Wards Islands in Manhattan. A bridge over Hell Gate, a narrow strait of the East River, was needed to complete that section.

The PRR turned to civil engineer Gustav Lindenthal (1850-1935) and asked him to design the bridge for the NYCRR. Lindenthal was a pioneer in bridge construction. He designed lighter and cheaper bridges that did not need to support the full load of a train. Lindenthal accepted the assignment. Construction of the Hell Gate Bridge started in 1912. When the bridge was completed in 1916 it was the world's longest steel arch bridge (1,017 feet 6 inches, 310.1 meters) and included four railroad tracks. NYCRR's entire track was officially opened on Jan 17, 1918. 

The 1913 4.5% 1st Mortgage Gold Coupon bond specimen, lot 327 in the auction, is a new entry for the Coxrail database of US railway securities (cat. NEW-570 B-66). It differs in the following aspects: $1000 denomination, new color, but also the vertical format (click image to enlarge). 
The vignette is curious. When the bonds were issued 1913, the Hell Gate bridge was not built yet. Amazing how well the bridge on the bond resembles the resulting bridge that was to be finished three years later. 

Archives International Sale 38
Chinese, Asian, U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Scripophily & Coins

Auction details
  • Date : Feb 7 & 8, 2017
  • Place : Fort Lee, NJ 
  • Further info : see here, catalogue see there 


Friday, January 6, 2017

Spink US Jan 2017 auction

Spink US is announcing details of their upcoming Numismatic Collector's Series Sale. The auction features more than 1,000 lots of coins, banknotes, medals, and the like. Over sixty lots of scripophily items are included, mainly consisting of US stocks and bonds. Four of these comprise historic Matson Navigation Company securities.

vignette of the brigantine Lurline, Matson Navigation  Company

William Matson (1849-1917) was a Swedish-born American shipping executive. As a youngster he became friends with the industrialist and sugar beet refiner Claus Spreckels while working on the latter's family yacht. With the help of Spreckels, Matson founded in 1882 his own shipping business, the Matson Navigation Company. Its ships carried merchandise from the US Pacific Coast to the Hawaiian islands and returned with sugar. In the early 1900s Matson introduced passenger lines to Hawaii where he soon opened hotels. Its luxurious Matson Airlines operated between San Francisco and Hawaii (1946-1948).

stock certificate from the Matson Navigation Company
The collector's market knows a few types of historic Matson Navigation Company shares. These show vignettes of the company's important ships :
  • The company's blue $100 shares (capital $1,500,000) were issued when the company incorporated in 1901. They illustrate a vignette of the barque Roderick Dhu, the first ship to have a cold storage and electric plant with electric lights on board. 
  • Shortly before World War I, the company increases its capital to $5,000,000. Matson's brown $100 shares depict the SS Lurline (1908),  the company's first steamer. 
  • Spink US now offers four lots, each consisting of about 500 stock certificates issued in the 1940s and 1950s. Printed in green and black by the Western Bank Note & Eng. Co. Chicago, their design show the brigantine Lurline (I) purchased by Matson in 1887. Coming from Hawaii the ship carried 600 tons of sugar and 12 passengers.

Details of the auction
  • Dates: 17 & 18 Jan 2017
  • Location : New York
  • More info : see here 


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Spink China Jan 2017 auction

The next 13th January Spink China will present nearly 70 lots of antique bond and share certificates from China and Hong Kong. One of the certificates offered is an early bond from Mongolia.

early government bond from Mongolia People's Republic

Earlier, Spink sold a bond from Inner Mongolia, see there. This time a bond from the state of Mongolia will be offered (lot 3341 in the auction, image shown above). In 1924 the Mongolian People's Republic was established with a communist regime. The country suffered from collectivization, economic downturn, unrest, uprisings and during the 1930s from repression and genocide by Stalin. This government bond was issued for 25 Tugrik in 1932. The tugrik (tögrög) was introduced in 1925 at a value equal to one Soviet ruble (18 grams of silver).

Spink China - Jan 2017 auction
Banknotes, bonds & shares and coins of China and Hong Kong
The two days lasting sale features more than 2,000 lots of 
coins, medals, tokens, banknotes and the like.

Practical info
  • Session 1 : Jan 13, 2017
  • Session 2 : Jan 14, 2017
  • Location : Spink, Hong Kong
  • Further info : see here