Sunday, October 21, 2018

Historic figures and Rumanians star in Boone's next auction of antique securities

Boone's 61th Auction of shares and bonds features more than 1600 lots covering about all fields of scripophily interest. The sale catalogue is available online and as an offline PDF document. Nearly all of its 200 pages include color images and background stories of the certificates to be sold. For easy retrieval purposes, search indexes help the collector on his quest for engravers, artists, security printers, Belgian provinces, more than 80 countries and an equal number of special interest themes. 

I noted several certificates signed by or issued to historic figures in the Autographs index. Here are some dazzling names. The Great Britain section begins with a royal series of financial documents : King Charles I, 1632, L(ot) 521, Queen Anne, 1713, L523, King George I, 1723, L524, King George II, 1745, L525 and King George III, 1790, L526. All, unique, representing the Early Modern Britain period, welcome bids from €2000.

Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez 
Dividend share, 1884, Paris, signed as Director by (Ferdinand) V(icomte ) de Lesseps 
Hercule Catenacci designed the share with pharaonic motifs and Egyptian street views. 
click image to enlarge 

Few personalities have made such an impact on global trade as Ferdinand de Lesseps. Right at the outset of the Second Industrial Revolution, de Lesseps' Suez Canal opened in 1869. Combined with the American transcontinental railroad, it allowed the world to be circled in record time. L182, a dividend share in the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez, 1884, is the only known scripophily with an original autograph de Lesseps. Start price €2000. 

From 1839, a share in the Moulins à Vapeur de Sclessin, a steam-powered grain mill, L218, is issued to industrialist John Cockerill from Lancashire. Cockerill is considered the founder of the Belgian manufacturing industry. Surprisingly, bidding on this extremely rare and one of the most important Belgian scripophily objects can start as low as €800. 

Of course, the Americans are also part of the show. Bidding can start at €500 for an Oroya Leonesa Ltd gold mine share, L1133, signed by Herbert C. Hoover, 31st President of the US. You can find John Paul Getty and George F. Getty II on a duo lot, L1275, comprising a Mission Development stock and a pay roll check. A Northern Pacific Railroad Company share, L1195, signed on the back transfer note by John Pierpont Morgan may be acquired from €100.

Another stunning signature certificate from the Neamul Romanesc Societate Cooperativa, a company formed for the commerce and industry of printing, packaging and publishing. The company printed its own shares. This one, dated 1908, is signed by historian, playwright and Prime Minister of Rumania (1931-32) Nicolae IorgaA commando of the fascist Iron Guard party assassinated "the greatest-ever mind in Rumania" in 1940. Lot 1591 in the auction. 

The Nicolae Iorga share, L1591, is one of an exciting group of about 360 rare, historic and superbly designed bonds and shares from Rumania. In pole position here is a bond of 100 Austrian Ducats issued by the Principality of Wallachia in 1834. Twenty-five years later, Wallachia would form together with Moldavia the State of Romania in 1859. The certificate, L1281, can find a new owner from €1400.

The Banca "Oborul" is named after the Obor district in Bucharest. Its 50 Lei  share, Art Nouveau style, starts at €200. L1403  

Art Nouveau became also in Rumania a popular style around the 1900s. Decorative elements, inspired by natural forms and the curved lines of plants, found its way on many gorgious security designs like those of the Creditul International, L1410, Banca Grivita, L1406 and Bukowinaer Landesbank, L1390.

This share in the Allgemeine Versicherungsbank Transsylvania A.G. was issued on Jun 21, 1918, only a few months before Transylvania, also known as Siebenbürgen, became a part of Rumania Dec 1, 1918. Illustrated are the arms of the seven provinces of Transylvania. L1420, €100 

The Rumanian sales section consists of the following subsections, between parentheses the number of lots is mentioned to illustrate the extraordinary range of scripophily : State & City Bonds (36), Railroads (27), Oil (23), Banking (138), Various Industries (135).

Soviet related scripophily can often be fascinating. At the end of WW II, the country was occupied by Soviet troops. In Feb 1946, the Uzinelle Metallurgice "Vulcan" issued new shares. In the same year the Communists organized and "won" the elections in Rumania. The company recovered from the war and already at the end of the decade production increased quickly. L1639 contains a duo of these 1946 issued "Soviet" shares and starts at €60.

The Romania Carbonifera certificate for 10 shares of 500 Lei was issued in 1920. Click the image to enlarge and admire the drawing of coalminers at work. L1556, €100 

On top of what has been discussed so far, another 1200 scripophily lots, 1639 in total, will be part of the sale. A few of the many worth looking at :

  • L118 Kathiawar Industries, India
  • L132 Manufactures Indochinoises de Cigarettes, Indochina
  • L150 Nanyo Yashi KK, Southern Coco-Nut Estate & Trading Co, Japan
  • L240 Expedition Antarctique Belge, Belgium
  • L472 Baden-Baden Co Ltd, Germany
  • L580 Agricultural and Commercial Bank of Ireland
  • L793 First Society of Silkworm Breeders in Kutaisi Government, Russia
  • L861 Stora Kopparbergs Läns Och Bergslags Enskilde Bank-Bolag, Sweden
  • L902 Ottoman National Economic Joint Stock Company of Konya, Turkey
  • L1075 Cardenas Sabanilla Petroleum, Cuba

One of the French top pieces in the sale, this 100 Francs share in the Société de Constructions de Levallois-Perret, a successor to the Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel, was issued in 1939 but printed in the 1890s. Only a handful known, this historic piece may be acquired from €1200. L456 in the auction. 

There is lots more to discover from other countries and all kinds of collecting themes in this auction. The day after the sale, Mario Boone organizes his regular scripophily bourse internationally attended by dealers and visitors.

Auction details

  • Location : Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Date : auction 27 October 2018, bourse 28 October 2018
  • Further info : online catalogue  here, and PDF version there 


PS : You can find out more about the Americal railroads in the auction in this preview from Coxrail

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