Thursday, March 30, 2017

Spink US April 2017 auction

Spink US schedules its next Numismatic Collector's Series Sale next week. Amid hundreds of coins, medals, militaria and banknotes nearly forty lots of stocks and bonds are ready for a new keeper.

Now take auction lot 935 which consists of a scarce trio of Central Railroad Company of New Jersey bonds. Coxrail tells us that these types are not known as issued examples. The Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) with origins in the 1830s became known after WW II as the Jersey Central Lines. Over the years, the business grew into a Class I railroad company. In 1911, when the Interstate Commerce Commission classed railroads by their annual gross revenue, Class I railroads had an annual operating revenue of at least $1 million. 

The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey $50,000 General Mortgage 4% 100 Year Gold Bond specimen printed by American Banknote Company
The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey
$50,000 General Mortgage 4% 100 Year Gold Bond, 1887
specimen printed by American Banknote Company
part of lot 935 in the auction
click image to enlarge

In 1929 CNJ introduced The Blue Comet, a train designed to provide passengers with a luxurious accomodation and service. Capable of doing 100 miles per hour, this train catapulted its passengers from Jersey City to Atlantic City in three hours. A frequent rider of the Blue Comet was toy manufacturer Joshua Lionel Cowen. Admiring the train's elegance, beauty, speed and power, Lionel offered a popular standard gauge model of the train in 1930.

Details of the auction
  • Dates: 4 & 5 April 2017
  • Location : New York
  • More info : see here 


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mario Boone - Auction 58

Boone's sale on 1 April 2017 includes over 1300 scripophily lots. Antwerp's Crowne Plaza is the venue for this event. The offering spans more than 100 different countries including states and territories like British North Borneo, New Hebrides, Dutch Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Vatican City and Andorra . 

One of the lots in the auction, lot 1023, is an early 1800s share in a Valencian undertaking for the acquisition and equipment of ships bound for the colonies of America. Back then, a risky and even dangerous business.

During the colonial period (1492-1832) the Spanish Empire extended across the Caribbean Islands, half of South America, most of Central America, Mexico, Florida and the Southwestern and Pacific Coastal regions of the United States. It is estimated that in this period nearly 20 million Spaniards settled in the Americas. 

At the end of the 18th century the European monarchies were at war with Revolutionary France. In the course of these conflicts Spain decided to switch sides and became an ally of France in the latter's war against Great Britain. A wrong move.

The English navy blocked not only Spanish harbours like Cadiz but also the ones across the Atlantic, such as Havana and Vera Cruz. The war against Britain had disastrous consequences for the Spanish economy and trade. 

To ease the situation, Carlos IV of Spain issued a Royeel Decree in 1797. The decree allowed ships from neutral countries and companies to trade with the Spanish American colonies. (*) Soon, the use of neutral ships to trade with America became a common practice among Spanish merchants during the war, even when the decree was later revoked. Within a year ships with flags from neutral companies carried almost two thirds of all Spanish exports to the colonies. With a neutral flag merchants tried to protect their ships from British attack. They were succesfull in doing so at least for a short while. The Anglo-Spanish War was a conflict fought between 1796 and 1802, and again from 1804 to 1808. The share certificate shown here was issued in 1803.

Practical info 
  • Auction date: 1 April 2017
  • Place: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Further info, see here

Tip for 2 April : IBSS Breakfast meeting followed by Boone's International Scripophily Bourse, at the same place.


(*) Clothing the Spanish Empire : Families and the Calico Trade in the Early Modern Atlantic World, Marta V. Vicent, 2006, ISBN 978-1-349-53352-7

Friday, March 10, 2017

Archives International Auctions - 39th auction

AIA's upcoming sale includes an offering of nearly 1,300 scripophily lots from the American Bank Note Company Archives. One of the lots is a specimen stock certificate from The Warner & Swasey Company.  

The Warner & Swasey Company
specimen stock certificate for 100 common shares, 1950-1960s
lot 1112 in the auction 

Warner and Swasey started a machine tool and instrument busines in 1880. From the beginning W&S constructed telescopes and became famous for that. In 1888 they built a 36-inch (91-cm) refracting telescope - the lens manufactured by Alvan Clark - for Lick Observatory, University of California. Astronomer E. E. Barnard used this telescope when he discovered Amalthea, the fifth moon of Jupiter. The planet's first four moons were observed by Galileo 300 years earlier. In the lower left corner of the certificate you can see the company's seal which incorporates a drawing of the Lick telescope.
W&S also produced turret lathes and made the transition to computer numerical control machine tools during the 1950s through 1970s. In 1976 the company introduced the RT-4 computer terminal system intended for industrial applications. It was built around the Intel 4040 microprocessor. 

U.S. & Worldwide Scripophily and 
Security Printing Ephemera.

Auction details
  • Date : 14 March 2017
  • Locaton : This is an Internet only auction.
  • Further info : see here, catalogue there


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chennai Museum displays historic stocks and bonds from India

The Chennai Government Museum started in 1851. It holds many archeological and numismatic objects including one of the largest collections of Roman antiquities outside Europe. Its founder, Edward Balfour, a Scottish surgeon, orientalist and pioneering environmentalist, housed once the first zoo of Madras on the museum's grounds. At this very moment visitors can admire antique bond and share certificates in a special exhibition through 17 March 2017.

Telegraph To India Company, 1862 share certificates
Telegraph to India Company
£2 share certificate, 1862

The company had the extremely difficult task to restore
the undersea telegraph cables between Egypt and India.
Image courtesy Sayeed Cassim

"Scripophily" is a temporary exhibition organized by the Government Museum in Chennai. The exhibtion counts 83 historical Indian stocks and bonds from the collection of Sayeed Cassim and his family. The show, well received in the local press, was inaugurated in the presence of British Deputy High Commissioner Bharat Joshi, Dewan to the Prince of Arcot Mohammed Asif Ali and Museum Director Dr. D. Jagannathan.

detail from a share in The Malabar Forest and Rubber Company
In the 19th century the creation of securities, mostly for British companies,
was done in England and followed a British design tradition.
Since the 1900s Indian printers developed their own lettering styles and ornaments,
resulting in a unique range of bond and share certificates.

The collection includes securities issued during India's pre-independence era from companies like the Imperial Bank of India and the Madras Railway Company. Some of the early certificates are printed on vellum and linen. Other scrip on display are full of artwork illustrating the activity of the issuer. Good examples are the shares from The Malabar Forests and Rubber Company Ltd and The Jaipur Bus Service Ltd. Sayeed Cassim, resident from Chennai, explains that this exhibition helps the younger generation to understand how shares and bonds were sold in the past. Visitors not oriented towards business history will be attracted to the artwork.

visitors of the Scripophily exhibition in Chennai Government Museum
Visiting the Scripophily exhibition
Edward Green Balfour, founder and first officer in charge of the museum,
had much enthusiasm for collection and education, especially for women.
He introduced special days to encourage women visitors.
No doubt, he would have been very pleased with this initiative.
Image courtesy Sayeed Casseem

Practical info 
  • Location : Government Museum, Egmore, Chennai 
  • Duration : 3 March - 17 March 2017 
  • Opening hours : Monday-Sunday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Entrance fee : the special Scripophily exhibition is free

The Cassim collection can be seen in Chennai through 17 March 2017, so don't hesitate to visit the event if you have some time to spend in Chennai.

Related links

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reference book : Michigan Copper Mining Stocks and Bonds by Lee DeGood

Many Michigan copper mining stock certificates are illustrated with mining scenes. Some of these show proud American Indians. To name a few : Adventure Mining Company of Michigan, Indiana Mining Co., Mohawk Mining Co., Ojibway Mining Co. and What Cheer Mining Co. That should not be a surprise. American Indians were the first to mine the copper of the Lake Superior region. Did you know that the word "Michigan", used by the first French immigrants, evolved from the Ojibwa word "mishigamaa" meaning "large water" or "large lake" ? 

  • Title: Michigan Copper Mining Stocks and Bonds by Lee DeGood
  • Author : Lee DeGood
  • ID : 978-1-4507-5395-1, published 2011 by Lee DeGood
  • Languages : English
  • Number of pages : 399
  • Images : more than 500 large color images
  • Index : index by mine company

The author described each company with its location, incorporation date, presidents or trustees, secretaries or treasurers, mine closing date, predecessor and successor mines, a brief description of the status of the mining company and interesting facts about the mine. The book also contains a list of mining company mergers, useful for studying a company's evolution.

Mohawk Mining Company
share certificate, 1900, cat. MOHAMC-1
vignette of  quiver filled with arrows
Large amounts of mohawkite were found on the mine's property.
Mohawkite is a rare rock consisting of mixtures of arsenic and copper.
Due to the amounts of arsenic, ordinary smelters could not treat mohawkite
because of the deadly arsenical fumes driven off. A special smelter was built for
the reduction of this mohawkite at Hackensack Meadows, NJ.
The Mohawk Mining Company was established in 1898, very profitable
and closed after 34 years of operation.
image courtesy Scripophily.Com

Lee DeGood based his work upon nine of the most important known collections of Michigan copper mine securities. About 250 mining companies are included. Company entries are illustrated with large color images of known certificates each one tagged with a catalog number, rarity scale, (un)issued/(un)cancelled status, color description and size. This large format, hard cover edition is the kind of reference book we cherish.