Saturday, March 31, 2018

India Textile Industry Directories

The first steam powered cotton mill in India was founded in 1818 near Howrah, Kolkata as the Fort Gloster Mills. It was later renamed into the Bowreah Cotton Mills. The Oriental Hosiery Ltd, 1833, and the Wellington Jute Mills, 1855, were also set up in the Kolkata region. The first cotton mill that became operational in Mumbai, 1856, was the Bombay Spinning and Weaving Company. Demand for Indian cotton became heavy due to the American Civil War (1861-1865). By the 20th century hundreds of factories were set up in "mill village" Girangaon, Bombay, which became the Lancashire of India.

1926 share certificate from The Gold Mohur Mills, Bombay

The Gold Mohur Mills Limited, 100 Rupees share certificate, 1926 
Registered in 1926, the company's mills were situated at Dadar, Bombay 
and were equipped with 40,540 spindles and 1,020 looms. 
Capital: Rs.25,000,000 in 25,000 shares of Rs.100 each, fully paid. 
source : Handbook of  Textile Industry 1948, Bureau of Economic Research

When it comes to Indian scripophily, you can't miss the many, often charming, textile securities. Researching the companies and people behind these certificates is not always easy. Luckily, the Internet Archive, a non-profit library of millions of free resources, made available two interesting works for that purpose : 
Both digitized books contain lots of historic information and statistics on the cotton, woolen, worsted, jute, rayon and hosiery industries and the like. Each book has directories of the companies involved with a short description and their directors. Both can be downloaded as a large PDF file, but only the online versions are searchable.

The Gold Mohur Mill's share shows a mohur in the underprint. (click to enlarge ) 
The mohur is a 26 mm diam. gold coin, hence 'Gold Mohur'. 
Several types were minted in British India and the local princely states allied with it. 
obverse: head of Queen Victoria, 'VICTORIA QUEEN 1841
reverse: lion and palm tree, 'EAST INDIA COMPANY ONE MOHUR
The lion represents the British Crown and the palm tree the East. 


An interesting read? Why not sign the Guest book ? 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spink UK presents hundreds of antique securities in upcoming April auction

SPINK's Bonds & Shares Department was created in London in 2008 when specialist Mike Veissid joined Spink. It's upcoming, online sale on 4 April, 2018, features about 400 lots of antique bonds and shares representing all continents. 

Art lovers can find securities designed by artists like L. Blombed, G. Bonnet, A. Mucha and the exceptionally Alfredo Roque Gameiro who illustrated this Adamastor share from 1918.

Companhia de Seguros Luso-Sul Americana, Adamastor
1 share of Esc 200$00, 1918
design by Alfredo Roque Gameiro
lot 241 in the auction, estimated at £200-250

The Companhia de Seguros Luso-Sul Americana, Adamastor, in English: Portuguese-South American Insurance Company, Adamastor, was a marine insurance company founded in 1918. The company operated both in Portugal and Brazil.
The design of the company's share, printed as a litho, was made by the Portuguese artist Alfredo Roque Gameiro (1864-1935). Roque Gameiro, painter and illustrator, specialized in water color painting. He studied fine arts in Lissabon and lithography in Leipzig. 
The company's name and its choice of artist is not coincidental. Adamastor is a Greek mythological character representing the dangers at sea. Adamas (ἀδάμας) is Greek meaning "untameable". Luís de Camões uses the character Adamastor in his epic Os Lusíadas (1572). Adamastor symbolizes the forces of nature Portuguese navigators had to overcome during their discoveries. In 1900 Camões' work is printed again by the Empreza da História da Portugal as the Os Lusíadas, Grande Edição Illustrada. It is co-illustrated by Roque Gameiro. One of his illustrations from that work is displayed below.


The SPINK sale includes shares and bonds from the UK, Russia, France, Australia, Austria, Mexico, USA and much more. Each section contains several group lots with sharp start prices that will interest both starting and advanced collectors. E.g. lot 19 comprises three Egyptian shares from the early 1900s and starts from £80. A noteworthy Chinese government and railway bond section includes for example a rare 1913 £1,000 bond from the 6% Arnhold Karberg Chinese Central Government Loan with a £2,500-3,000 estimate (lot 116). There is more to discover in the catalogue.

Auction details
  • Location : online auction only
  • Date : 4 April 2018
  • Further info : see Spink's online catalogue with full color images, here, and PDF version there 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Archives International Auctions sells Vigo Bay Treasure history

AIA offers nearly 300 lots of historical stocks and bonds in a double sesssion auction. Among the many attractive certificates is an incredible stock certificate from The Vigo Bay Treasure Company. 

The Vigo Bay Treasure Company of Camden, N.J. 
$100 shares certificate, 1886
lot 825 in the auction

The Philadelphia based Vigo Bay Treasure Company was founded in 1884 for finding the sunken Santa Cristo de Maracaibo. This ship, loaded with silver coins and gold from Cuba, was taken by the British after the Battle of Vigo Bay (Spain) in 1702. On its way to England, the ship collided with a rock and sank.
The Spanish government granted several concessions for the recuperation of the lost galleons and their cargo. All attempts remained fruitless. The New York Times (NYT), Apr 2, 1874, reports about the Spanish concessions and mentions a silver and gold treasure worth $37,000,000. 
John J. Boyle, General Manager of the Vigo Bay Treasure Company, is quoted in the NYT, Apr 30, 1885 : "The Vigo Bay Company has a contract with the Spanish Government to attempt to recover it, one-fourth of the proceeds to belong to the Government.". 
That same year the company lifts a galleon's hull, but the weight of the mud inside breaks it into pieces. No further results were achieved and on June 26, 1888, the company was declared insolvent. The following day, the NYT reports : Nearly $300,000 worth of the stock was subscribed for and about $60,000 was expended in endeavouring to find the sunken treasure. It is claimed that the assets of the company amount to but a few hundred dollars.

Along with antique stocks and bonds AIA's 47th sale presents hundreds of US, Chinese & Worldwide banknotes, coins, historic and security printing ephemera. 

Auction details
  • Location : Fort Lee, New Jersey
  • Date : 13 March 2018
  • Further info : see AIA , online catalogue here and PDF version there 


PS: You might want to read more about AIA's highlights on CoinsWeekly