Sunday, June 10, 2018

Original British automotive shares for sale at Spink London

SPINK's Bonds and Shares Department has scheduled its next ONLINE only sale for 21 June 2018. Specialist Mike Veissid and his team noticed that most of the buying in the market of antique securities happens online and decided to no longer produce any printed catalogues. Sales will be held entirely online at least four times a year and go live two to three weeks before the sale date. The June sale has 526 lots of world wide scripophily. Included are a unique series of British automotive shares.

Rolls-Royce needs no introduction. Founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Frederick Henry Royce in 1904, the company developed and manufactured the "best car in the world". Did you know that RR was responsible for the cabinets of Ferranti's Pegasus, one the world's earliest (and British) computers. Apart from the modern issues, RR shares from earlier periods like the one offered in lot 333 are extremely rare. Issued in the middle of World War II, 1942, a very modest estimate of £140-180 will certainly attract the attention of many automobile enthousiasts.

More about these British automobile shares right away, but there are many other lots in the sale worth having a look at. The sale starts with a line of bonds and shares from New Zealand and Australia, lots 2 - 14, and includes a Lake Bathurst Australasian Gold Mining Company from the 1850s.

A large Chinese section of government loans counts many group lots, such as lot 34, a group of 9 5% Tientsin Pukow Railway Supplementary Loan 1910 £100 bonds, issued by the Chinese Central Railways in 1911, estimated around £275.

Chinese Government 5% Gold Loan of 1912 £1000, lot 44.
It is the highest denomination of the £10,000,000 loan. Nicknamed the ‘Crisp’ loan because it was floated by C. Burch, Crisp & Co. in London at 95% on behalf of the British & International Investment Trust, Ltd. 
Only 750 issued, it is estimated to fetch £1,400 - £1,800

Twenty-five lots of Chinese company securities are next. Amongst them a group lot of 5 different issues from the Banque Industrielle de Chine, including a blue founders share. These are true classics but are oh-so nice to look at, as you can see here. Estimated between £150-£200.  Lot 86 is a China Portland Cement Co. Ltd. 50,000 yuan share, high denomination, 1926. A group of 7 Manchuria Iron Company certificates from the 1920's and 30's deserves attention. This huge company at some time produced 50 per cent of Japan's wartime steel. Lot 104, £90 mid estimate.

Some other striking Asean certificates : two shares in the Borneo Rubber Company Ltd, 1917, map of Indonesia and Malaysia in underprint, lot 108 & 109, estimated around £55, and a very rare Ottoman 3½% Loan Secured by the Egyptian Tribute, 1894 £100 bond, lot 114 in the sale, is expected to fetch £600.

£60 May buy you lot 238, a stunning Tramways d'Astrakhan share from 1896. The share is designed by the artist Gossart, engraved by Malvaux and signed by the wealthy Belgian entrepreneur and amateur Egyptologist Édouard Empain.

Most countriest from Europe are represented. Some examples : 5000 Pesetas Spanish specimen bond from the Law of August 1899 - Royal Decree of June 1902 Loan, head of the King Alfonso XIII as a boy at top, rare, lot 249, £70 estimate. Lot 153 is a highly illustrated Serbian bond issued by Belgrado's Jewish community. A very large format Danish 5% Loan specimen bond £1000 from 1864, rarely seen, lot 161, is estimated between £80-100.

The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, lot 270 in the Spink sale. 
This specimen 5-Yr  $10,000 Gold Note from 1916 was printed by the American Bank Note Company shortly before the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921). A rare historic piece for any UK and Irish collector, with very attractive estimates between £250 and £300.

Not less than 105 lots are from Great Britain.  A parade of early British canal companies include several certificates from 18th century.  The Glocester and Berkeley Canal Company share, 1794, printed on vellum, yellow paper embossed seal, may be obtained for £300. An unissued bond from the Thames and Severn Canal Navigation, from the 1790s with brown-orange printed vignettes of canal tunnels, is an early example of color security printing (lot 279). From 1762, a £100 share in the River Nene Navigation Joint Stock features nine wax seals and a lead seal. Marvellous to see (here), this museum object, lot 277, can become a highlight in a collection from £600 onwards.

Poseidon with trident at a rough sea, detail from lot 270 (see image above)
Click the image to enlarge it, and see how curved engraving lines make Poseidon' s cloak fold gently. Poseidon sticks his left foot outside the oval frame surrounding the scene, a clever idea from the artist to create extra depth in the artwork. To print a wonderful vignette like this, you need  both a great artist and a top talented engraver. 

Spink's sale provides a remarkable cross-section of British car makers securities. Here are some of the highlights with lot numbers between parentheses : Rolls-Royce (333), Calcott Brothers Ltd (313), Minerva Motors (England) Ltd (327), Lea-Francis Cars Ltd (325), Humber Ltd - with the Humber logo (322 and 323) and Singer & Company Ltd (335). Even early electric automobile companies are not missing the stage, e.g. The London Electrical Cab Company (293, see image). A share from The Electromobile Company Ltd, a manufacturer, dates from as early as 1904 (319).

Pioneering with electric automobiles, this company's cabs had two sets of accumulators suitable for forty miles on one charge. Lot 293, estimates £50-60

The last chapter contains more than 150 lots from North and South America. Almost all countries from this part of the world make an appearance. Some noteworthy items are : Canada Company, 1842 (377), a group of five bonds from The Brazil Great Soutern Railway Company Ltd, 1891 (395) , Saint Helena Whale Fishery Company, 1837 (417), County of Lee-Fort Madison, West Point, Keosauqua & Bloomfield Rail Road Company, 1857 (454)  and Lykens Valley Coal Company, 1837, superb vignette of forge and printed by Underwood, Bald, Spencer & Hufty (488).

City of Rosario 4% Sterling Conversion Loan for £2,000,000 
£500 Sterling bearer bond, series "B", specimen, 1908 
lot 391, estimated £80 to £100

Here are the sale's details, so you can discover much more for yourself :
  • Location : online auction only
  • Date : 21 June 2018
  • Further info : see Spink's online catalogue with full color images, here, and PDF version there