Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Titanic victim Benjamin Guggenheim scripophily for sale in AIA's auction

Archives International Auctions sets its next auction date to Monday, 30th October 2017. Nearly four hundred US, Chinese & worldwide banknotes, ephemera, stocks and bonds are ready for a new owner. Among other beautiful certificates, the scripophily section also includes a bond from the International Steam Pump Company.

Lot 259 : International Steam Pump Company 
First Lien Twenty Year 5% Sinking Fund Gold Bond, specimen 1909 
Click image to enlarge, check the vignette and notice 
the size of the steam engine powered pump in comparison to the person. 

Benjamin Guggenheim, born in Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1865, was the fifth of seven sons of Meyer Guggenheim. By the time he was 20 years old, his father sent him to Leadvilie, Colorado, to manage the Guggenheim's mining interests. In 1903 Benjamin Guggenheim built a plant at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the manufacture of mining machinery. Three years later the business was merged with the International Steam Pump Company. He became the latter's Chairman of the Executive Committee, until Jan 1909, when he was elected President.
Following a trip to Europe in 1912, Benjamin Guggenheim boarded the RMS Titanic and was accompanied by his entourage and his mistress, the French singer Léontine Aubart. After the Titanic's collision with an iceberg, he and his valet, Victor Giglio, helped the rescue of women and children. Subsequently they changed clothes and headed for the ship's Grand Staircase foyer. Guggenheim remarked, "We've dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen." Both men went down with the ship, Léontine Aubart survived.

Auction details

  • Location : Fort Lee, New Jersey
  • Dates : 30 October 2017
  • Further info : see AIA , online catalogue here and PDF version there 


Spink auction presents American winemaking history

Spink USA plans its next New York auction in The Numismatic Collector's Series for Oct 30 and Nov 1, 2017. The sale includes coins, decorations, militaria, paper money, antique maps, autographs and other historical documents. Also on the menu are more than fifty, mainly American, bond and share certificates. One of these is a share from The Company for Promoting the Cultivation of Vines in Pennsylvania, one of the earliest wineries in America.


Company for Promoting the Cultivation of Vines in Pennsylvania
Lot 1916, share of $20, issued 1811, embossed seal with a bunch of grapes, surrounded by "SEAL OF THE VINE COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA.
click to enlarge

Peter Legaux fled from prerevolutionary France in 1785. He boarded a ship bound for Philadelphia. There he found many compatriots and applied for citizenship. Legaux soon purchased an estate by the Schuykill River at Spring Mill. He discovered that native grapes were prolific and that the soil and climate conditions were comparable to those in Italy and France.
Legaux decided to produce his own wine and established one of the first vineyards in America. The wine he produced was a success. An entry in Legaux’s diary on July 22, 1787 states, “This day General Washington, General Thomas Mifflin and four other members of the Constitutional Convention did the honor of paying us a visit in order to see our vineyard and the bee business.” Peter Legaux could later persuade President Jefferson to support a duty on imported wines to encourage home production.

In 1802, Legaux incorporated The Company for Promoting the Cultivation of Vines in Pennsylvania. The company's first President was Peter Muhlenberg, a Revolutionary Brigadier General at the battles of Brandywine and Yorktown. In the same year Muhlenberg became also Philadelphia's customs collector.
Source: History of the Company for Promoting the Cultivating of Vines in Pennsylvania, Earl Moore, Financial History, Issue 65, 1999, Museum of American Financial History

Auction details
  • Location : New York City
  • Dates :  30 Oct  - 1 Nov 2017 
  • Further info : see here 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Uranium from Belgian Congo and more at Boone's 59th Auction

This Saturday, Boone's upcoming sale will take place in Brussels. The auction includes over 1,300 lots of historic bonds and shares and ends with the sale of a phenomenal, you can say epic, collection of Belgian banknotes. The event concludes with an international scripophily bourse on Sunday.

The auction's scripophily section features material from almost 90 countries. Top piece is a 1777 share in the Iron Bridge Trust, regarded by UNESCO as the symbol of the Industrial Revolution. Second highlight in the auction is a 1922 specimen certificate from Union Minière du Haut-Katanga, a star item in any Belgian Congo or world mining collection.

Lot 136 in the auction : Société Union Minière du Haut-Katanga , 1922

Union Minière du Haut-Katanga (UMHK) mined copper, uranium, radium, cobalt, gold and other minerals in Belgian Congo between 1906 and 1966. By the 1930s the company had a virtual monopoly of the world uranium market. The rich uranium ore was refined in UMHK's plant at Olen, Belgium. In the 1940s the Americans purchased tonnes of uranium to be used for their atomic bomb program. During WWII the Nazis captured over 1000 tonnes of uranium stored at Olen. It was recovered by US forces at the end of the war.
click image to enlarge

Mario Boone, 59th Auction and Bourse of Historic Shares and Bonds
Depicted is lot 525, Iron Bridge Trust, 1777.
According to UNESCO, the company marks the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

A special catalogue has been printed for the sale of a unique collection of Belgian papermoney from as early as 1848 right until the introduction of the euro.

Auction details

  • Location : Brussels
  • Dates :  21 Oct  (Auction) 2017, 22 Oct  (bourse) 
  • Further info : see here