Friday, March 6, 2020

American scripophily in London

SPINK UK's latest auction went online last week and ends on March 17, 2020. Exactly 330 lots of intriguing antique bonds and shares will go on SPINK's E-block.  

Greyhound Motors Corporation share certificate with large vignette of early automobiles

SPINKS' sale bulks with stunning vignettes on securities printed for pioneering American companies. The Greyhound Motors Corporation, later renamed the Greyhound Motor Car Company, was one of the first companies that designed a little sports car, the "Trinca Patent Body", an idea by Frederick Trinca. L(ot) 196 in the auction, this $10 shares certificate from 1920 invites bidders from $120 onwards.

At stake in this auction is scripophily from many themes such as automobiles, aviation, shipping, railroads, finance, coal, iron and gold mining, oil companies, government and municipal loans, and more. The securities have something in common : they made American history.

share in the Sunflower Gold Mining Company with color vignettes of sunflowers

The Sunflower Gold Mining Company from Colorado Springs was founded during the Cripple Creek Gold Rush. This gorgious share, L240, dates from 1897

Spink and Son Ltd was founded in London in 1666. The company specialises in the auctioning of  stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, bonds & shares, autographs, books and wines. When specialist Mike Veissid joined SPINK in 2008 the company set up the Bonds & Shares Department. 

This Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair share certificate shows vignettes of Lewis and Clark

The Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair from 1905 took place in Portland, Oregon. It was set up to celebrate the centennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the first American expedition to cross the western part of the US. The exposition was a major success and welcomed from June through half October, nearly 12,000 visitors per day. L306

The auction features several shares issued to or signed by famous personalities. A stock certificate for 100 shares in the Irving Trust Company is issued to, and signed on the reverse by IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, L206. An East End Electric Light Company stock certificate from 1893 is issued to and signed on the reverse by electrical pioneer George Westinghouse, L295. A temporary share in The Edison Portland Cement Company, likewise but Thomas Alva Edison, L296.

A Pepsi-Cola share signed on reverse by its founder Caleb D Bradham

After being a school teacher for about a year Caleb Davis Bradham (1867-1934) started his own drug store. His 1893 recipe for "Brad's Drink" used kola nut extract, vanilla and "rare oils" and would become world famous as Pepsi-Cola. This Pepsi-Cola Company share was issued in 1922 to C. D. Bradham and signed by him on the reverse. Rare, bids for L317 start at $1,000.

The largest section in the sale is formed by a contingent of 137 American railway securities. Some highlights here : L45 Aspen Short Line Railway Company, 1889 specimen bond; L52 The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, $10,000 bond, 1902, signed by George Eastman (Kodak) on reverse. A top example of American steel engraved vignettes can be found in L158, a 1853 $1000 bond from the Virginia Tennessee Rail Road Company.

Atlantic-Pacific Railway Tunnel Company share with gold seal

This 1884 stock certificate in The Atlantic-Pacific Railway Tunnel Co shows a railway tunnel through a mountain (click image to enlarge). Note the gold seal which is embossed with a frontal view of a train coming out of a tunnel. Bidding on L48 starts at $70.

There is much more to discover for yourself in the other sections of the online catalog as well, e.g. shipping and oil.  Here are the sale's details
  • Location : online auction only
  • Date : ends on 17 March, 2020 at 1:30 PM
  • Further info : see Spink's online catalogue with full color images here
  • Note: The sales takes place in London, bids are mentioned in USD.


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