Monday, September 21, 2020

FHW sells Chinese scripophily collection

Freunde Historischer Wertpapiere has scheduled its 118th auction for October 3rd 2020. This time more than 1,500 lots of antique securities will go under the hammer including the China collection of former Volkswagen CFO Dr. Werner P. Schmidt.

This scripophily event starts off with more than 300 American lots with the emphasis on US railway stocks and bonds.

A stunning print, this share from the Alaska Central Railway Company was issued in 1903. Engraved by the Seattle Engraving Company and printed by Yerkes Printing Company, it shows a full map of Alaska with the proposed route of the railroad and where timber, coal, gold, copper and quartz were to be found. Click the image to enlarge and note the area on top of the map designated as 'UNEXPLORED'. Lot 3 in the auction 

China collectors and investors will be interested in the collection of Dr. Werner P. Schmidt, recently deceased, and former CFO of Volkswagen AG. The series starts with lot 325, a share from the Aka-Dine Wood Production Company, and features several more shares from Taiwan. 

The Schmidt collection also counts several external loans from China. A £1000 bond from The Chinese Central Government Loan aka Arnold Karberg Loan III, only 300 issued, very rare, is one of the highlights and is expected to realize €5000. Lot 334 in the sale.

Chinese Government 23rd Year (1934) 6% Sterling Indemnity Loan for £1,500,000 
The Republic of China (ROC) was based in mainland China between 1912 and 1949, before the relocation of its government to the island of Taiwan. This £1000 bond shows the portrait of Sun Yat-Sen, Provisional President of the ROC. It was issued to finance the completion of the Canton-Hankow Railway. Part of the Dr. Werner P. Schmidt Collection and lot 338 in the auction.

Detail from lot 411, a share from the Kuangtun Canton-Hankow Railway Company (Kwong-Tung Yueh-Han), from the Dr. Werner P. Schmidt Collection. 

Germany gets the "lion's share" of the auction. Nearly 900 lots are divided over two sections, Deutschland (pre Deutsche Mark) and DM (from 1945 onwards). Note that both contain a subsection with 20 highlight picks from the auctioneer.

Offered as lot 1005 this 25 Reichsthaler Gold share in the Aper Canal-Gesellschaft was issued in 1849, Westerstede. The vignette is drawn by the artist A. Gordes. 

The catalog's table of contents reveals that scripophily from other countries is there as well. Nearly 100 lots represent the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Indexes on collecting themes, such as Art Nouveau, and German regions, may help you find what you are looking for.

Szeged is now one of the largest cities in Hungary. This share in the Szeged-Alsótanyai Népbank , or People's Bank of Szeged-Alsótanyai, was issued in 1906 when Szeged was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A great example of Szecesszió, the Hungarian Art Nouveau variant. Lot 569 

There is a lot to discover in the sale, so here are the details :
  • Location : The event takes place at Wolfenbüttel, however, at the time of writing, due to the covid-19 situation personal presence is likely not possible. Check out whether a visit is possible with the auction house. 
  • Date : 3 October, 2020
  • Further info, see here; PDF catalog see there; live bidding is possible through 

"You will find happiness and joie de vivre while sleeping in a Steiner Paradies bed"
Now that's what we call maintaining a successful house-style. The Vienna subsidiary of the Paradiesbettenfabrik Steiner reused the photovignette from an earlier advertising campaign on its 1924 share. The Paradies brand still exists today. Lot 557 in the sale. 


PS : Did you like this post ? Thank you for sharing it on you favorite social media channel !

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Referenskatalog Svenska Aktiebrev

On the occasion of their 40th Anniversary the Swedish scripophily society, SFHV, published its third edition of the Referenskatalog Svenska Aktiebrev. This reference work in the Swedish language lists over 8000 Swedish stocks and bonds.

front cover of the Referenskatalog Svenska Aktiebrev

Members of the Svenska Föreningen för Historiska Värdepapper (SFHV) produced a third up-to-date catalog. In 1998 SFHV published a first reference catalogue on Swedish shares (5651 entries). A second, updated catalogue from 2010 added 2000 “new” shares. In this new book editors Marita Strandberg, Bo Niklasson and John Örtengren included 8500 certificates.

Several small chapters enclose the main catalog section: 

  • Förord/Preface
  • Att samla på gamla aktiebrev är också att göra utflykter i ekonomisk historia (Collecting old share certificates is also making excursions into economic history) 
  • När började aktiebrev anvaändas i Sverige ? (When were share certificates used in Sweden?) 
  • Starten på SFHV (The start of SFHV) 
  • Det internationella aktiebrevsamlandet började för hundra år sedan (International stockbroking [in Sweden] - began a hundred years ago) 
  • Internationale föreningar (International [scripophily] associations) 
  • Värdering av gamla aktiebrev är en sammanvägning av olika faktorer (Valuation of old share certificates is the result of various factors) 
  • Hur man hittar i katalogen (How to use the catalog) 
  • Förkortningar i textkatalogen (Abbreviations in the text catalog) 
  • Main catalog section 
  • Stadgar Svenska Föreningen för Historiska Värdepapper (Statutes SFHV) 
  • Litteraturförteckning ([interesting] Bibliography [on Swedish scripophily]) 

share certificate from the Rosenbad AB from Stockholm

This AB Rosenbad share illustrates the Rosenbad building that was designed by Art Nouveau architect Gustaf Ferdinand Boberg. The share is adorned all around with roses. Completed in 1902 on the site where there used to be a rose spa, the building features several rose ornaments on its facades. When you walk all the way through Stockholm’s Drottninggatan shopping street towards Gamla stan, the old town district, you’ll find the Rosenbad building on the right corner before you cross the bridge that leads to the Parliament House. It now houses the Swedish government chancellery. Catalog entry 5578, 5 shares of 1000 Kronor, 1900 

The catalog section counts over 8000 entries of Swedish stocks and bonds which are classified by company name. Each entry is characterized by

  • name of the company or organization
  • type of activity
  • county
  • municipality
  • denomination
  • year
  • remarks

NOTE : Apart from the basic twenty-six letters, A–Z, the Swedish alphabet includes Å, Ä, and Ö. These are distinct letters, and are sorted after Z. So you'll find the entry for a share in the Östra Centralbanans Jernvägs AB, see image here, at the end of the catalog.

share in Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson

Lars Magnus Ericsson started in 1876 his telegraph repair shop which became Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson in 1925. After WWII the company specialized in computerized telephone exchanges. In the late 1960s Ericsson developed a military computer and got involved in personal computers in the 1980s. Bluetooth technology was invented at the company's Lund office in 1989. Catalog entry 7149 : 1 "A" share of 35 Kronor, 1951 

More information about the book
  • Title: Referenskatalog Svenska Aktiebrev
  • Editors : Marita Strandberg, Bo Niklasson, John Örtengren
  • ID : 978-91-89330-69-6, published 2019 by Svenska Föreningen För Historiska Värdepapper
  • Languages : Swedish
  • Number of pages : 215
  • Images : more than 750 small color images (ca 3cm x 3.5cm)
  • Index : no index, certificates are classified by company name in the main catalog section

Are you into Swedish scripophily ? Then, no doubt, this would be a nice Christmas present. You can order the catalog from the Swedish Association for Historical Securities, or you can check your favorite scripophily dealer.


Related link

Previous posts

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Antique securities up for sale at SPINK's Autumn 2020 Bonds and Shares auction

Spink and Son Ltd specialises in the auctioning of stamps, coins, banknotes, medals, autographs, books, wines, bonds and shares. Their latest sale went online earlier this week and ends at 11 AM, Sep 22. Over 650 lots of antique securities will go on the block. 

share certificate from a Utah mine company with vignette of a bluebird

The auction features many historic and decorative share certificates. This one, L(ot) 564 in the auction, is from The Bluebird Copper-Gold Mining Company Ltd. The print features a great vignette of a mountain bluebird which lives in open country across western North America. Click the image to enlarge. 
P. H. Franklin from Salt Lake City founded The Bluebird Copper-Gold Mining Company Ltd in 1901. He signed this 1902 share as president. Other co-founders were M. J. True, Jos. Kittinger and F.A. Fox, all three from Buffalo, NY, and C.S. Hutchinson from Syracuse, NY, the location of the principal office. Operations took place at Milford, Beaver County, Utah. 

At stake in this sale are historic and vintage stocks and bonds from many countries. Main sections include British canals, civil engineering, docks & harbours, piers, bridges and railways, as well as Irish railway scripophily and stocks and bonds from American mining and railroad companies. 

share certificate of the Monmouthshire Railway and Canal company with canal vignette

The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company operated a canal and a network of railways in south-east Wales. It started as the Monmouthshire Canal Navigation and opened canals from Newport to Pontypool and to Crumlin from 1796. The vignette on this 1852 share certificate shows a train and a horse-drawn barge nearing a canal bridge. L120 in the auction. 

The auction features over 250 bonds and shares from British railways, canals, docks & harbours, and pier and bridge companies. Some examples :
  • Historic is L119, a share in the company 'for making the rivers Mercy and Irwell navigable from Liverpool to Manchester, in the County Palatine of Lancaster', dated 1724 ! Ten years later small boats were able to sail from the centre of Manchester through to the Irish Sea. Printed on vellum, extraordinary lettering, red wax seal with sailing ship and paper revenue stamps, genuine signatures, in other words lots to enjoy. 
  • A red paper seal depicting a bridge adorns The Hoarwithy Bridge Company share from 1855. L333
  • Two shares from the Vauxhall Bridge company, L362 and L363, parade a stunning copper seal. The first iron bridge over the Thames river opened in 1816.
  • L283 St. Helen's and Runcorn Gap Railway, early share from 1830 
  • Train watchers can be spotted on The Leeds and Thirsk Railway Company share from 1846, L227 

A series of 23 Irish lots follow, most of these consisting of scarce railway securities. The following Newry Navigation Company share offers a splendid vignette and a great story.

share certificate from the Newry Navigation Company issued to the Earl of Kilmorey

Francis Jack Needham, Earl of Kilmorey (1787-1880), purchased this share in 1834. Lord Kilmorey had married Jane Gun-Cuninghame in 1814. He became High Sheriff of Down. Over fifty years old  Francis Jack became the legal guardian of the twenty year old Priscilla Anne Hoste. She was the daughter of the late Admiral Sir William Hoste and Lady Harriet Walpole. The Earl and Priscilla quickly became lovers and ran off together. A year later, in July 1844, they had a son, Charles. The Earl acknowledged his son and gave him his surname. He housed his wife and his beloved Priscilla in adjoining houses connected with a tunnel. L392, Newry Navigation Company 1834, £50 share issued to Francis Jack Needham, Earl of Kilmorey. 

The second half of the sale counts over 250 lots from North, Central & South America.  A selection from the catalog :
  • Atrato Mining Company, Colombia, 1880, unique vignette of river dredging activity, detailed map of South America in embossed seal, and more to see, L428 
  • L415, Bolivia Trading Company, 100 shares of $10, 1902, large llama vignette 
  • L433 is a rare Consolidated External Debt of Costa Rica £100 bond from 1886 
  • Puget Sound, Chelan and Spoke Railway Company, share certificate from 1910 with triple pane vignette 
  • Stock ticker vignettes are seldomly seen, but here is one on the Electric Reporting Company share from 1884, L624 

vignette depicting cowboy and Christian church

The Guayabillas Mining Company operated near Yuscaran, Honduras, where the Spaniards found gold and silver in its foothills in 1746. L439 in the sale

Make sure you check out online more of these wonderful securities. Here are the details :

  • Location : this is an Internet only auction
  • Date : Sep 2 15:00 - Sep 22 11:00.
  • Further info and online catalog: see here 


PS : Did you like this post ? Thank you for sharing it on you favorite social media channel !

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Scripophily Puzzle No. 3 - solution

Scripophily Puzzle No. 3 was about a sensational art theft that happend in Belgium during the night of 10 April 1934. As a matter of speaking, you could say that, back then, the news of the robbery went viral.

On Thursday, April 12, 1934, The New York Times reported  :

Thief Steals Panel by van Eycks That Treaty Restored to Belgium
Wrenches It From Altarpiece, 'Adoration of the Lamb,' in Ghent Cathedral During Night — Most Sensational Art Theft Since That of 'Mona Lisa' Is Laid to an Eccentric. Thief Steals Panel by van Eycks That Treaty Restored to Belgium
-- Wireless to The New York Times ---
BRUSSELS, April 11. — One of the panels from the polyptych, "The Adoration of the Lamb," by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, one of the masterpieces of Flemish art, was stolen last night from the Cathedral of St. Bavon in Ghent. ... The panel stolen is the panel of St. John the Baptist and includes the figures of virtuous judges. It is about 54 inches long and 22 inches wide. The theft was discovered early this morning when the beadle of the cathedral was making his rounds. The thief had evidently hidden in the cathedral last night and had allowed himself to be locked in. ... The polyptych had been complete only since the conclusion of the World War, when Germany was ordered to return two panels, one of them that [was] stolen last night. The theft of a panel of the Ghent altarpiece is the most sensational event in the art world since a thief walked out of the Louvre in Paris with Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" in August, 1911. ...

source:, accessed 2 Sep 2020

The three towers of Ghent in a vignette

The three towers in the old Ghent city center, from left to right :
A) Saint Nicholas Church, B) Belfry of Ghent, C) Saint Bavo Cathedral

Puzzle No. 3 was a multiple-choice question in which you had to indicate one of three towers in a vignette. I also gave you two visual clues that lead to the solution : images of share certificates in these two companies :
  1. La Victoire des Flandres SA - Vlaanderens Zege NV
  2. Société de Plantation & d'Exportation de l'Elaeis au Kasaï, dite "Plantexel"

share from La Victoire des Flandres - Vlaanderens Zegeshare certificate from Plantexel

Obviously the vignette with the three towers was taken from the former share in a Flemish insurance company. After enlarging the image - by clicking it - you could see that the company was based in the city of Ghent. Searching online for images of towers in Ghent would confirm your first clue: Ghent. 

Registered office in Ghent 
in French : siège social Gand 
in Dutch : maatschappelijke zetel Gent 

The second clue showed a share from Plantexel, dated 1928. This Belgian company cultivated palm oil, aka elaeis, in Belgian Congo. You'll be surprised knowing how this company fits in this story.

First, let us have a look at the painting. It looks like this when all panels are open. The panels have paintings on both sides.

the Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert van Eyck and Jan van Eyck

The brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck painted the Ghent Altarpiece, or the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, in Dutch: Het Lam Gods, in the 15th-century. The polyptych altarpiece measures with all panels open 11 ft × 15 ft (3.4 m × 4.6 m). This masterpiece of European art is located in the St Bavo Cathedral, Ghent.

In our story, the stolen panel is the one in the lower left corner. The painting on its front side is called The Just Judges or The Righteous Judges, in Dutch: De rechtvaardige rechters. A notice from the public prosecutor's office, dated 12 April 1934, shows one of the last pictures taken from the paintings on the front and the back of the panel. 

public prosecutor's office notice about the theft of the Ghent Altarpiece

The public prosecutor's office distributed two days after the theft a notice with a description of the panel.
Left : front side painting The Just Judges 
Right : rear side painting St John the Baptist 
attribution : Vdkdaan / CC BY-SA, Wikipedia

At the end of April 1934 the thief demanded from the Bishop of Ghent a ransom of one million Belgian francs in return for the panel. The Belgian government intervened and refused to meet the demand.

The authorities started negociations after receiving a second letter from the thief in May 1934. More letters led to the return of the rear side painting. There was no further trace of the thief.

At this point our main suspect comes in to the story.  On 25 November 1934, stockbroker Arsène Goedertier, once a sacristan of the Bishopric of Ghent, suffered a heart attack. He was dying in the sole company of his lawyer to whom Goedertier declared that he knew the repository of the painting. Goedertier however was not able to disclose it but, so told the lawyer, he referred to documents hidden in the house.

signature of Arsène Goedertier

signature Arsène Goedertier 

The documents found were incriminating and included carbon copies of the ransom notes. The  lawyer notified the police only a month later.  The latter concluded that Goedertier had been the thief.

After a while doubts arose whether Goedertier had been the thief, or the brain behind it. Some suggested that somebody else may have put the incriminating documents in Goedertier's home office after the latter's death. Several researchers have tried to prove Goedertier's guilt or innocence or tried to find the painting.

Today the original painting The Just Judges is still missing. What you see today, and also in the picture above, is a copy made in 1945 by Jef Van der Veken. A Ghent police detective is still assigned to the case of the missing painting.

Arsène Goedertier was one of the directors of "Plantexel". He signed many of the company's founder shares (the 2nd clue in this puzzle).

Searching the word 'Plantexel' in Google yields links to the story of the famous theft. The answer for this puzzle is C: Saint Bavo Cathedral, the location of the Ghent Altarpiece by the van Eyck brothers.
I received one correct reply. Well done reader-detective DB ! Why don't they assign you the Goedertier case ! 


Previous posts