Monday, September 6, 2021

HWPH stars Shanghai Stock Exchange predecessor in double session sale

Historisches Wertpapierhaus AG (HWPH) has scheduled its next international event for 18 and 19 September 2021. Specialist Matthias Schmitt and his team brought together over 2,300 lots of historic securities and related documents for this special occasion. 

The first leg of the auction is both a live and an online event and takes place in Zorneding, near Munich. The second part is an online only sale and happens the next day. 

The offerings are peppered with German rarities but also includes many desirable antique stock certificates from states like Russia, Sweden, Italy, and much more.

A dedicated 50 Highlights catalog has been compiled for the top lots in the sale. One of the highlights in the auction is a share in the Shanghai Securities and Commodities Exchange  Company Ltd from the 1920s. 

After the first turbulent years of the Republic of China, "Father of the Nation" Sun Yat-sen wanted to develop a stable national economy. A stock exchange, headed by Chinese people, was part of that plan. Together with Zhu Zhixin and Yu Qiaqing, he proposed in 1916 the formation of the Shanghai Securities and Commodities Exchange. But the military regime at Beijing blocked the initiative. When at the end of 1918 Japanese businessmen started their Share Co. Ltd in Shanghai in order to control the exchange market, the founding of the Shanghai Securities and Commodities Exchange Co. Ltd was reproposed and approved in 1919. The new exchange was inaugurated on July 1, 1920, and Yu Qiaqing was its first chairman. Shanghai became the financial center of the Far East. The exchange merged with the Shanghai Chinese Merchant Exchange to form the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 1929. This rare stock certificate, 100 shares of 50 yuan, was issued in 1925. Its vignette shows the exchange building and features early microprinting in the underprint. L(ot) 702 in the auction is expected to realise at least €9000.

The lion's share of the sale involves German securities. The auction's online catalog allows searching for your interests by means of country as well as thematic indexes. A keyword search using the word Nürnberg yields more than twenty lots, including a stunning share, interesting from an art history perspective as well, in the Tiergarten Nürnberg.

Hermann Gradl used to design Art Nouveau decorations for the Nymphenburg porcelain works in Munich. In 1907 he became a teacher at the Nuremberg School of Applied Arts. He designed the share of the newly founded Tiergarten Nürnberg AG in 1911. The zoo received 800,000 visitors in 1918. By then Gradl was as a succesful painter of German landscapes. 
Tiergarten Nürnberg survived the hyperinflation years but after the Nazis seized power, the zoo had to make way for the Nazi party rally grounds in Feb 1939. Two years earlier Adolf Hitler saw several Gradl paintings in the studio of architect Franz Ruff. The latter finished the Party Congress Hall on the new party rally grounds. Hitler arranged a meeting with Gradl and ordered six huge landscape paintings for the New Reich Chancellery in Berlin. 70,000 Reichsmarks were paid as an advance. After delivery of the works in 1941, Gradl was "asked" to join the NSDAP and he received the remainder of his fee totalling 120,000 RM. 
The Nuremberg Zoo was almost entirely destroyed during World War II. By the late 1950s it was rebuilt and today it is one of the largest zoos in Europe. L365 in the sale  

The auctioneer provided a dedicated catalog - in Russian - for the more than 200 Russian offerings : 59-й аукцион антикварных ценных бумаг. Some examples from this category :
  • L704,  a share in the Gesellschaft der Anstalt für künstliches Mineralwasser in St. Petersburg, the first company traded on the Saint Petersburg bourse, issued to and signed by Baron Ludwig von Stieglitz, court banker of Tsars Alexander I and Nicolas I. Large vignette of the building, 1834, reportedly unique 
  • L709, Moskau-Yaroslav-Archangelsk-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, 4% 1000 Rubel bond, 1895, 2nd emission 
  • A coat of arms, showing Archangel Michael with sword and shield and the Tsar crown on top of it, adorns a pink and black printed 5000 Rubel specimen bond from the Société du Crédit Foncier de la Ville de Kief, L765
  • L902, Trans-Alaska-Siberian Railway Company, stock certificate, 1906, issued to and signed by the French Baron Léon Loicq de Lobel known for his proposal to build a bridge-and-tunnel link between Siberia and Alaska. The project was authorized by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

The sale includes more than 40 Italian lots. To name a few : Banco di Roma, L1055, Fabbrica Automobili "Nazzaro", L149, and shipping company La Polare, L184. The certificate illustrated here is a 1925 share in the Industria della Maglia Dott. Francesco Floris, a textile company from Florence. Gaetano Spinelli, an Italian painter, made the wonderful monochromic print for the certificate's central vignette. Spinelli's works are displayed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, and Rome's Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderne e Contemporanea, among others. L167. 

The auction offers historic and beautiful antique stocks and bonds from all continents spanning 5 centuries of financial history. There is much more to tell, but the best way is to see for yourself. Here are the auction details:
  • Dates and place : 
    • 18 September 2021, live (and online) auction, Zorneding, followed by a meeting for EDHAC members 
    • 19 September 2021, online auction
  • Further info, catalogs and search tools, see here on HWPH. Live bidding is possible through, see there, where you can find high quality images of the lots. 

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