Sunday, March 14, 2021

Cuban scripophily at Spink's upcoming "world bonds and shares" auction

More than 300 lots from the Andrew Kirk collection of bonds and shares are going on Spink's E-block. At stake are antique stocks and bonds from many countries. This online sale started last week on the 9th of March and the bidding window closes on March 23rd 11:00.

Rare and interesting scripophily objects represent themes like UK railways & shipping, British theatres, United States, China & Latin America.

The sale also presents an attractive section with Cuban scripophily. Here are some highlights from Cuba's pre-independence period :
  • L(ot) 223 is a rare 1853 share in the Compañia de Caminos de Hierro de la Habana, vignette of the railway station, incoming train and lots more, a feast for the eye, and early
  • L225, Compañia de Seguros Maritimos de la Habana, 1857, very fine vignette of steamship in trouble at sea near lighthouse
  • Issued ten years earlier is a 50 peso share from the Sociedad de Minas de la Habana, 1847, L234.

L224 is a share in the Compañia del Ferro-Carril de La Bahía de La Habana à Matanzas. Issued in 1859, the year when the company opened its first track, it shows the old Fesser railway station. The company was also a ship owner. Their side-wheel steamer, the Nuestra Señora de Regla, built in 1861 in New York was meant to run on a ferry between Havana and the railroad's terminus at Regla. On her way to Havana the ship entered Port Royal, South Carolina, then in rebellion against the United States during the American Civil War. The ship was seized by the Union fleet, it was searched and incriminating letters were found including an order from the Confederate Army for purchasing rifles, bayonets, cavalry sabers, cannon powder and the like from agents in London.
source: The Mystery of the Nuestra Señora de Regla : Underwater Archaeology in North Carolina, by Richard Triebe and Mark Wilde-Ramsing, Prologue - Quarterly of the National Archives, Spring 1992, Vol 24 No 1

Collectors of UK railway and shipping scripophily must have a look in the Great Britain section. Some examples :
  • L122, Poole Isle of Purbeck, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Steam Packet Company, 1845, beautiful vignette of paddle steamer in heavy seas, printed on vellum with green embossed seal depicting ship.
  • Two rare 1845 shares from the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) are offered, L120 and L121. The term Peninsular stood for the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal. Soon the company offered round trips to Alexandria and Constantinople. Two years after these shares were issued, the company entered the opium trade in the East.
  • Another fine landscape with train vignette can be seen on a share in The Middlesbrough and Guisbrough Railway Company, L106, issued 1857

American scripophily forms a substantial part of the sale. This is L259, a $1000 City of Boston Water Scrip bond, issued in 1848 and signed by mayor Josiah Quincy Jr (IV). During his term the Cochituate Aqueduct was built to bring water from Lake Cochituate to the growing city of Boston. Both Quincy Jr's father and grandson were mayors of Boston.

There is much to discover in the sale! So, here are the sale's details : 
  • Location : online auction only
  • Date : ends on 23 March, 2021 at 11:00 AM
  • Further info : see Spink's online catalogue with full color images here 


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