Tuesday, June 16, 2020

American scripophily in London 2

Last Thursday SPINK specialist Mike Veissid launched a sequel on his recent American scripophily in London e-Auction. At stake are 310 lots of captivating antique bonds and shares. This sale covers many themes such as railroads, mining, automobiles, banking and insurance, and more. 

SPINK's upcoming e-Auction features several rare and marvellous securities. This $10 shares certificate in the Boston Sub-Marine and Wrecking Company was issued in 1854. Lot 100 in the sale 

A series of 92 American railway securities forms the largest section in the sale. Some highlights here:
  • L(ot)89 Silver City, Deming and Pacific Railroad Company, great artwork and exceptional denomination counter along the lower border, 1896
  • L92-94 St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad Company, 1885, three new discoveries
  • L84 Santa Fe, Liberal and Englewood Railroad Company, $1000 bond, 1906 
  • L86 Second Street Cable Railroad Company, see image below

The Second Street Cable Railroad Company was the first cable railroad operational in Los Angeles. The line ran the steepest cable gradient in North America, 27.7%. This share was issued in 1885 to Walter Scott Newhall who also signed it on the back. It is also signed by Edward A. Hall and Henry C. Witmer. 
These three formed the Los Angeles Improvement Co which became a major player in the city's development. After purchasing about 1000 acres on Crown Hill they set out 1,400 town lots. The cable railroad was organized to carry people there. All lots sold within 18 months. 
Newhall's share represented 4936 shares, almost half of the capital. The Newhall's constructed Queen Anne mansion, known in the 1960s as the spooky house of the Adams Family. Lot 86 in the auction 

The Mining section offers material from Colorado, Alaska, California, Dakota, Alabama, New York, Nevada and other states as well. Some nice examples :

  • L200 Albion Consolidated Mining Company, location Eureka District Nevada, 1882, miner vignette and great lettering
  • L226 Apothecaries Gold Mining Company, Colorado Springs, 1898, remarkable vignette of apothecary scales which is repeated in the design of the embossed seal
  • L236 Atwill Gold and Silver Mining Company, location Flowery Mining district, Virginia City, Storey County, Nevada, issued to and signed by Joseph F. Atwill, 1863!
  • L242 Great Cariboo Gold Company, South Dakota, 1907, printed with several mining sceneries including nuggets in gold print, probably the most spectacular American mining share, see for yourself in the online catalog.

L183 The Advance Gold-Dredging Company, share issued in 1900, printed by Denver Lith. Co.
Incorporated in Colorado Springs, the company's dredging properties were located in San Diego County, California.  The vignette shows a huge floating gold dredging machine. These steam driven dredges used steel buckets on a "continuous" line to extract gold from the riverbed. 

And there is more. The event includes more than 40 American automobile lots, nearly 100  "industrials", banking and insurance certificates, government bonds, and so on. In short, much to discover! Here are the sale's details : 

  • Location : online auction only
  • Date : ends on 30 June, 2020 at 11:00 AM
  • Further info : see Spink's online catalogue with full color images here 
  • Note: The sales takes place in London, bids are mentioned in USD.


Friday, June 12, 2020

Uncharted : The Buller Gold Mining Syndicate

Here is a share certificate about which I can not tell you much except from what can be seen in its design. 

It was issued by The Buller Gold Mining Syndicate Limited. The company was founded in the early 1900s with its head office in Johannesburg, then part of the Transvaal Colony. 

share from the Buller Gold Mining Syndicate

The Buller Gold Mining Syndicate Limited, £5 share, issued 1904, Johannesburg, Transvaal 

The vignette shows General Sir Redvers Henry Buller who apparently inspired the founders when chosing a name for the company. The British General Buller fought in the Second Boer War (11 Oct 1899 – 31 May 1902) against two independent Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State.

That's about it. I have no idea whether the company obtained any mining concessions, where it operated, nor who the founders were. Hence, this "Uncharted" post.

Who can tell me more about this certificate ?


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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Experts in mondial automobile and American railroad securities, look out ! F.H.W. kicks off its first online auction

Freunde Historischer Wertpapiere (FHW) has scheduled its next double day sale for June 26-27 2020. A milestone in its history, Jörg Benecke's auction team goes online for the first time with more than 2200 lots of historic bonds and share certificates.

This auctioneer offers a large cross-section of German scripophily, early and modern. On top of that the event features a voluminous American railway section and the wide-reaching automobile collection of Dr. Werner P. Schmidt.

FHW's 117th auction opens with a classic in scripophily, a share in the Compagnie Impériale des Chemins de Fer Éthiopiens. Every auction participant will be able to bid on this stunning print from 1899. Each bid will be accepted and guaranteed at the start price. All proceeds goes to the German Church School in Addis Abeba. The school is the first one in Ethiopia in which blind and seeing children are taught jointly. 
image courtesy F.H.W. 

The American railroad section is huge and counts more than 450 lots. Some of the highlights :
  • L(ot) 58, California Railway, Oakland, 1897, certificate for 850 shares of $100, representing over 15% of the initial share capital, in numismatic terms ultra-rare, bidding starts at €240.
  • L72 Chautauqua Lake Railway Company, 5% $1000 bond, 1887, only 800 issued, printed by the reknown Homer Lee Bank Note Company, N. Y., check the vignette and the artwork on the title.
  • George Jay Gould I, investor and railroad executive, eldest son of Jay Gould, purchased in 1895, L162, a share representing 25% of The Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad Co. of 1882. The certificate is signed by him on the reverse. After the death of his first wife, actress Edit M Kingdon, he married his mistress Guinevere J Sinclair and moved to England. Top American railway history, as such, unique.

An example of the many rarities in the US railway section, this $50 shares certificate was issued by the Miami Valley Railway Company in 1877. The company, incorporated in Ohio, 1874, had its shares printed by the Krebs Lithographing Company from Cincinnati. L239 in the auction. 
image courtesy F.H.W. 

Collectors and investors will be interested in an exceptional variety of automobile scripophily. Over 450 lots from the W. P. Schmidt Collection will be offered. Dr. Werner P. Schmidt, recently deceased, was CFO of Volkswagen AG and succeeded in bringing together hundreds of bonds and shares from motorcar companies all over the world.

The collection includes scripophily from all top brands like FIAT, see image here, Benz L972, and Renault, L1239,  which is issued to Louis Renault himself, and many more.

One of the gems in the W. P. Schmidt collection is this 1920 5 x 200 Lire shares certificate from the world famous FIAT company. The name is an abbreviation for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino.  The company soon exported its first cars and in 1910 a plant was built in Poughkeepsie, NY, to produce costly, luxury cars. L1048 in the sale starts at €1500 
image courtesy F.H.W. 

Historic, you could say "archeological", is L1272, a share from the Société des Moteurs Lenoir, 1859, founded by Etienne Lenoir, father of the combustion engine. Even older is L1124, a share certificate, 1835, in the London and Birmingham Steam Carriage Company, which produced steam engine driven cars.

Some more remarkable car builders spotted in the catalog :
  • L896 Aachener Stahlwaarenfabrik Fafnir-Werke, 1000 Reichsmark share, 1912. This German company produced the Fafnir automobiles and motorcycles, and also the Omnimobil motor kits allowing others to start motor vehichle production. Rare, bids invited from €500. 
  • L1006 Deutsche Last-Automobilfabrik AG, "DAAG", Rating, 1920 
  • L1216 RiCHARD Auto Manufacturing Company, Cleveland, Ohio, 1917. This stock certificate is signed by its founder François Richard. Check out the image in the catalog. You'll note how the brand name was changed into to RiCHARD - with a lower case i - in an attempt to encourage the more correct French-like pronunciation 'ree-SHARd'. An example of small but great automobile history, with an early automobile vignette as well.

Besides the US railway section and the W.P. Schmidt Collection, the 270 pages auction catalog includes the following chapters :

  • Confederate States of America
  • Germany Pre-1945
  • Germany DM era
  • Austro-Hungarian Empire/Austria, Switzerland, Italy and several more.

Indexes on collecting themes and German regions may help you find what you are looking for.  I checked out the sports entries and bumped into bobsledding scripophily !

This rare 300 Mark bond from the Herzogliche Bobsleighclub zu Gotha (Ducal Bobsled Club from Gotha) shows the still existing clubhouse. Opened in 1913 its bobsled track was one of the longest in Central Europe at the time with a length of 3600 metres. L1601 in the sale 
image courtesy F.H.W. 

There is a lot to discover in the sale. Here are the details :

  • Location : The event takes place at Wolfenbüttel, however, at the time of writing this, due to the covid-19 situation personal presence is likely not possible. Check out whether a visit is possible with the auction house. 
  • Date : 26 and 27 June, 2020
  • Further info, see here; PDF catalog see there; live bidding is possible through https://connect.invaluable.com/dwa/