Monday, March 29, 2021

Collectibles from the undersea world and other rarities emerge in Boone's scripophily auction

The 66th auction of Mario Boone takes place online with an exceptional wide range of scripophily collectibles. More than 1,100 antique stocks and bonds span 4 centuries of financial history.

The sale includes several historic items and a number of old collections have been consigned for this occasion. Very special, and unseen before, is a scripophily collection of the undersea world. The companies represented here had goals that captured our imagination. Their shares often featured fantastic vignettes.

During the American Civil War hundreds of ships  were destroyed. This share from the Life Saving Raft Company, was issued in 1866 just after the war. The amazing vignette shows the company's life raft with shipwrecked sailors. Early lithograph produced by Henry Seibert and Brothers, New York, and part of the Diving/Submarines collection 

The Diving/Submarines collection consists of about 90 certificates from companies involved in diving operations, the ship wreck salvage business, underwater treasure hunting, production of submarines, insurance of maritime losses, diving and life saving equipment and maritime archaeology. The collection, L(ot) 1051, offered as a whole, starts at €4,000. In case no bid is received, it will be offered again in smaller lots. 

I'll come back to the other collections consigned for this sale but let me discuss first some of the top items in the sale.

One of the highlights in the auction is this previously unseen share from 1747. Formed in 1720 the Compañia Real de la Havana organized the trade between Spain and Cuba. The company controlled the export of tobacco, sugar, wood and other Cuban products but also slaves, as well as all import of European products needed in the colony. L771 in the auction starts at €5,000. Detailed image provided on the auctioneers portal, see link below.

Here are some more lovely items from the Spanish chapter in the sale :
  • L772, an early copper engraving on vellum, boundless vignette all over the design, is a share from the Real Compañia de Comercio Establicida en Barcelona, dated around 1748 but unissued which explains the moderate start price of €400! 
  • Printed with a "gold" vignette of a mining operation, the San Juan Bautista (Teruel) silvermine share, 1857, belonged to the Duke of Rianzares, second husband of Queen Maria Cristina de Borbon, L775 
  • A great example of Art Nouveau design, L782, a share in the Nueva Plaza de Toros, shows off the bullring of Barcelona

Let's jump to the present. Everyone knows how to download a PDF auction catalog and read it with the Acrobat Reader application. Both PDF and Acrobat Reader were developed by Adobe Systems. The company was founded in 1982 by ex-Xerox PARC employees John Warnock and Charles Geschke. This specimen stock certificate bears the facsimile of Charles M. Geschke. In 1992 he was kidnapped from Adobe's parking lot. Four days later the FBI found and saved Geschke. L1043, a very interesting collectible from the software industry, starts at €50 

Regarding American scripophily there is lots more to find. This auction chapter includes a top collection of ninety early USA (1816-1860) certificates, lot range 884 through 976. A few examples :
  • L886, Thomaston Coal and Mineral Company, 1819!, then part of Massachusetts, today Maine
  • L910, Philadelphia Museum Company, previously Peale's American Museum, share from 1840
  • L943, West End Land Association, 1854, vignettes of villa and native Americans
The American 'regular' section, lot range 977-1044, has some more surprises, so don't forget that part. 

The Russian chapter consists of nearly 100 lots and kicks off with another highlight :  L678, a share in the Warsaw-Vienna Railway Company. In 1814 Alexander I of Russia was made king of Poland at the Congress of Vienna. His succesor Nicholas I approved the construction of the Warsaw-Vienna Railway. Its 1839, unissued, share shows the vignette of the Russian imperial double-headed eagle. Besides tsarist era scripophily, the chapter includes several soviet certificates as well.

The Azoff Steam Ship Company, founded in 1871, serviced the harbors at the Sea of Azov and the River Don. In the Soviet period the company became an asset of the Ministry of the Maritime Fleet (Minmorflot). This 1895 specimen share was printed by Typography Brothers Schumacher. The printing house finds its origins in the 18th century print shop of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The shop was founded by Johann Daniel Schumacher, secretary of the academy and librarian to the Tsar, and his brother Johann-Jacob, professor of architecture at the St-Petersburg university. L691 

Here is an overview of the other collections that will go on the block in this auction : 
  • L5, Collection of 16 Red Cross certificates
  • L187, Collection of 46 Austrian World War I bonds 
  • L321, Collection of 84 royal loans of France under the form of life rentes (cfr. the catalogue France, The Royal Loans by Howard Shakespeare), period 1689-1787 
  • L322-333, Corsica collection
  • Lot 625-677: Rolf Büchsenschütz collection of Romania (part)
  • L1080-1117, Fire fighting collection

The printed catalog contains several indexes to help you find what you are looking for.  The online versions can be searched by keywords. 

At the start of the 20th century, Ghent, Ypres, Bruges and other Flemish cities still counted many female lace workers. During WWI, war lace was bought by soldiers as a gift for the home front in England or America. This handicraft would disappear, partly because in the Congo, then a Belgian colony, nuns taught lace-making techniques in the missions. The Congolese women and children produced large quantities of lace at very low wages. De Vrouwelijke Beroepsbonden, in English: The Women's Occupational Unions, was a cooperative from Ghent founded in 1914. This unissued share shows vignettes of a lace worker and two seamstresses. Printed by Litho. F. & R. Buyck Frères. L229 

It is impossible to mention all items in this sale, but there is a way to find out more about them. Here are the auction details :
  • Location : Internet only
  • Date : 10 April 2021
  • Further info : 


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