Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The most expensive share sold at auction in 2021

In its last Summer edition, Scripophily magazine lists the top 25 scripophily auction lots from 2021. Ranked on number one is a share from the Compagnie des Indes Orientales. It was issued as early as 1665.



This Compagnie des Indes Orientales share was offered at auction in Antwerp by Booneshares on 16 October 2021. Starting at €44,000 it rose to €120,000. 
image courtesy Booneshares 


It was the French minister of finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who founded in 1664 the Compagnie des Indes Orientales with authorization of Sun King Louis XIV.  The purpose of the company: to compete against the English and Dutch colonial trading companies.

The company was granted a 50-year monopoly of French trade in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Straits of Magellan, with a concession in perpetuity for Madagascar and ‘all other islands and lands it could conquer’. The company also had to build churches and train priests in its territories.

This certificate was issued in 1665, an eventful year:  the Second Anglo-Dutch War begins, King Charles II of England leaves London fleeing the Great Plague, the Qing invasion of Taiwan fails due to a typhoon, and the Compagnie des Indes Orientales sends twenty settlers to start the colonisation of Réunion.



The blazon of the Compagnie des Indes Orientales includes the Latin phrase Florebo quocumque ferar. Meaning 'I will flourish wherever I go' it became the motto of Réunion Island. 


The company had interests all around the coasts of Africa, Madagascar, Réunion, the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula and India, as well as islands in Southeast Asia, even China and Japan. Several ‘comptoirs’ were established in various parts of India such as Puducherry and Chandannagar. Especially Indian cotton was in demand on the French market.

In 1720 the Indes Orientales merged with John Law's Compagnie d'Occident to form the Compagnie des Indes.

The certificate is the oldest French share known today, as well as the oldest one from a company active on the Peninsula of India. It is also the oldest share ever offered at any auction world wide. 

The share was printed as a standardized form and issued for 6000 French Livres, 2000 Livres been paid. Its features include transfers of ownership, hence it was tradeable and transferable. 

Only two other certificates like this one are known to have survived. Being one of the top items at the Swiss Finance Museum, this is the only one that is on display for the public.

Bidding started at €44,000. The hammer fell at €120,000 and that's without buyer's premium.


F.L.

Further references

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Jigsaw Mayombe

According to The New York Times jigsaw puzzles improve skills like spatial reasoning. Jigsaws can even help to avert anxiety. (Enjoy More 'Eureka!' Moments with Jigsaw Puzzles, NYT, Alexis Soloski, Dec 12, 2020)

So here is a new scripophily jigsaw depicting one of the most appealing Belgian Congo share certificates:  http://leeuwerck.blogspot.com/p/puzzle.html . 

Have fun !


This 1899 share from Les Produits du Mayombe was produced by Félix Wylands, a well-known photoengraver. Wylands started his career as a pharmacist but was soon fascinated by the possibilities of the chemical photoengraving process. As owner of the Société Anonyme Les Arts Graphiques he made several prints for artistic publications. 



F.L.


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Monday, November 14, 2022

Banks in Transition : From Counters to Apps

Last summer the Swiss Finance Museum opened its new exhibition Banks in Transition : From Counters to Apps

This special production shows the evolution of Swiss banks and their relationship with private clients. A selection of authentic historical securities showcase Swiss banks, as well as global tech companies that are driving digitization in the financial sector.   





In several parts the exhibition present the roots of Swiss banking, the emergence of the Swiss financial centre, the Internet, and the advent of the smartphone and its huge impact on today's digital payment culture. The latter part features interactive tools and displays.

The exhibition shows several antique share certificates from companies like the Banque Générale Suisse de Crédit International Mobilier et Foncier, Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild SA Genève, Apple Computer, etc.


 This eBay Inc. stock certificate is part of the new exhibit. A success story of the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, e-commerce and online auction site eBay offered online money transfers through its previously wholly owned subsidiary Paypal. 


The Swiss Finance Museum is located at the headquarters of SIX in Zurich. In its Permanent Exhibition the museum explains the origins of the economic system and the role of the stock market. This unique museum is home to a collection of 10,000 historic securities from more than 150 countries. 

Key historical pieces, combined with interactive videos and animations, historical film recordings and interviews, tell the story of the development of our modern financial economy. Since this summer, the permanent exhibition features a new highlight: a share in the French East India Company from 1665.




More info about the museum can be found here .

F.L.


Related links

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Boone's 69th auction spans now 2 days. Among the stars are Ferdinand de Lesseps Suez Canal certificates and a 16th century loan from Antwerp.

Mario Boone scheduled its next sale of antique stocks and bonds for 5 and 6 November 2022. That's right, the auctioneer applies a new event format which starts in Antwerp with an international bourse on Saturday morning. The live auction kicks off at 2 PM in the same venue. On Sunday, the second part comprises of a internet/mailbid auction. 



Altogether more than 1700 lots will be hammered in Boone's upcoming auction.  This is an opportunity to see many stunning certificates like this one. Noted security printer Charles Crabbé produced this 1902 share from the Paris-based Crédit National Assurances. L(ot) 353 starts at €100.

Latin America is excellently represented. More than 300 lots fill several chapters : Latin America lot range 534-556 , The Carribbean Collection L729-861, Venezuala Collection L862-965. All of these are scheduled on Saturday, and then there is another Latin America chapter, L1518-1580, on Sunday.  

Some of the interesting items are :
  • The Cuban Central Railways Ltd £100 debenture from 1899 shows two small vignettes and is rare, L544.
  • Lots 806 through 828 includes several Panama Canal certificates.
  • L887 shows a frontal view of a steamship on a Orinoco Steamship Company bond printed in 1902 by the International Bank Note Co. from New York.
  • The Société de Recherches de Temascaltepec (Mexique) was organized to mine for silver in Temascaltepec. L1569



L548 in the auction is a share in the Syndicat des Placers Guyanais. The company was formed in 1913 to dig for alluvial gold and diamonds. An overseas department of France in South America, French Guiana's currency is the euro. Gold mining, often done illegally, is still one of its main industries today. Bidding starts at €200.


Included in the sale are several certificates signed by or issued to historic figures, such as:
  • members from the Rothschild banking family, L402 through 415, 
  • Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic, L296
  • L499 shows the signature of Robert Surcouf, the French slave trader and privateer who raided British ships
  • A Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij share issued to the Dutch King Willem III, L441.
The auction catalog's Autographs index refers to many more personalities, including Ferdinand de Lesseps !



On March 23, 2021, container ship Ever Given gets stuck in the Suez Canal and disrupted global trade for six days. The consequences were incalculable: industries were impacted with shortages, e.g. of semiconductors. The non delivering of food resulted in price rises and livestock shipments were suspended.
The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. It was constructed by Ferdinand de Lesseps' Suez Canal company between 1859 and 1869.  
Boone offers a set of printer proof bonds from the company's 1879/80 loan, all different and unique. One of these is corrected by Ferdinand de Lesseps himself, and personally signed by him. His handwritten signature in scripophily is of the highest rarity. The set of certificates deserves a place in any top collection highlighting France, Egypt, Canals & Transport, and even World History. Start price €10,000 .


The 16-18th century chapter counts more than 50 lots of shares, bonds and related financial documents. Among these "prehistorics" are 
  • bonds from the Flemish cities Antwerp, Aalst and Oudenaarde (L480, L482, L484)
  • a 1759 share in the Compagnie Royale Prussienne de Bengale , L511
  • whaling and canal companies, L486 & L514
  • 18th & early 19th century French privateer companies, L489 through L499, and an American one, L533
  • a collection of 108 French lotteries issued between 1699 and 1828, L501
  • a put option certificate of the Bank of England as early as 1730, L516



An amazing discovery is L480, an Antwerp city bond for 100 Carolus Guilders from 1558. Issued on vellum, it has a large Antwerp city seal in red wax showing 'Het Steen', the still existing 13th century castle. The bond was part of a loan granted in 1555 by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.

At the start of the 16th century Antwerp belonged to the Habsburg Netherlands, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. The city was a major shipping base for Spanish and Portuguese merchants importing sugar and raw produce from overseas. Antwerp became the main business centre around the Atlantic. Its wealthy bankers lended money to governments in Europe.

Between 1555 and 1556, Charles V split his empire into an Austro-German and a Spanish branch. As a result of Charles's abdications, the Habsburg Netherlands were left to his son Philip II of Spain. Thus became Antwerp part of the Spanish Netherlands. 

During these decades war with France was never far away. Also the Catholic Church in the Spanish realm had to be defended against the upcoming Protestant Reformation. The loan was raised to finance the construction and maintenance of the fortifications of Antwerp, the so-called 'Spaanse omwalling' (Spanish ramparts). These were built on order of Charles V from 1542 onwards.
€5000 is the start price for this top item that has witnessed a florishing but turbulent Flemish and Spanish 16th century.


As usual the sale includes a large chapter of USA scripophily, presented in both the Saturday and Sunday sessions of the auction. 
  • There is an opportunity to buy a Southern State Bonds Collection as a single lot (L649-L728). When there is no buyer then the collection will be regrouped by state, each one then offered as one group lot. In turn, these, when not sold, will be split into single item lots. 
  • US railways are plenty. You can find an interesting review on this chapter on Coxrail News and Announcements, see here     



The National Glass Company from Pittsburgh, Pa., was a short-lived glass trust. It owned several factories in places like Dunkirk, Ind., Cumberland, Md. and Marietta, Oh. They specialized in colored table glassware and decorated lamps. This $1000 bond from 1901, a Western Bank Note print, starts at €50. L1708


It is impossible to address all items in this sale, but there is a way to find out more about them. Here are the auction details :
  • Dates
    • 5 November 2022, Antwerp Crowne Plaza Hotel
      • International Bourse 8h30-12h 
      • Live auction 14h-18h30
    • 6 November 2022, mailbid and online auction
  • Further info : 
    • online catalog & bidding, see here 
    • or via the Invaluable platform (large images), see there 
    • and the PDF version of the catalog can be found here 

Even if you are not a collector 5 November 2022 is an opportunity to see some great antique securities. The venue is the Antwerp Crown Plaza. The public bus stops right outside the place and takes you in 10 minutes to Antwerp Central Station. 

F.L.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Over 1500 lots of historic securities go on the block in FHW's upcoming sale, including an amazing share from Frederick the Great's Chinese trading company !

Freunde Historischer Wertpapiere (FHW) has scheduled its next sale for October 8, 2022. This time the auctioneer selected more than 1500 lots of historic bonds and share certificates. Major sections have been reserved for scripophily from Germany, the German DM era, USA and a series of more than 200 lots from other countries worldwide.



One of the highlights in the sale is this share in the Hippodrom-A.-G. Frankfurt am Main. The company was founded in 1897. Its main building was used to promote equestrian sports in public events and festivities and had the largest indoor riding arena of Germany. Allied bombing destroyed the hippodrome during WW II. Reportedly only four of these shares were discovered in the 1980s. L(ot) 756 in the auction is expected to realize €2,800. 


The German chapter presents over 750 lots from the pre-DM period and covers all regions and branches. A dedicated Deutschland Top 20 section, lot range 748-767, bundles the high-end items.  The auction also includes the Klaus H Reifenrath Collection consisting of 69 rare Kux and mining shares from the Siegerländer Erzrevier mining area.



The auction includes several shares designed in Art Deco. This one, issued in 1922 by the Mechanische Buntweberei J. Sim. Fleißner Aktiengesellschaft, a textile company from Münchberg, illustrates one of the company's modern fabric designs. L730 starts at €100. 


All lots are well-illustrated with high quality images on the Invaluable online platform. However, the Top 20 section includes even more in-depth information with extra illustrations in the catalog's PDF version (links see further below). 

Some examples from the German chapter  :
  • The Central-Afrikanische Seeen-Gesellschaft operated gold mines and saltworks in the African Great Lakes region, then part of German East Africa. Seeen is German for lakes. This 1000 mark share was issued in Hamburg, 1902 and starts at €900, L384.
  • The 1855 share from the Steinkohlenbau-Verein zu Rochlitz, a coal mine company, shows the city of Rochlitz, gnomes at work and an explosion in their mine, mined rock with imprints of fossilized plants and lots more. Extremely rare, this is in my opinion the most awesome German share certificate. L763, a top item, starts at €9,000.
  • L926 starts at €320. The share from the Sundwiger Eisenhütte Maschinenbau-Actiengesellschaft displays a lovely Jugendstil design.

Time to highlight the absolute top item in the auction.



Four years after Frederick the Great became King in Prussia he annexed in 1744 the independent city-state of Embden (Emden), then the most important trade port on the North Sea. Eager to give Prussia a share of the Asian trade similar to the V.O.C. or the British East India Co., Frederick the Great granted the privilige in 1751 to found the Emden Trading Company
The company, also known as the Königlich Preußische Asiatische Compagnie in Embden nach Canton und China (Royal Prussian Asiatic Company in Emden to Canton and China) was allowed to conclude contracts with foreign Asian rulers in the name of the King of Prussia. The Emden company owned four ships that made six voyages to Canton bringing back tea, porcelain and other goods. 
The company operated independently - the king's main interest was filling the Prussian (war) treasury - and became the first modern German stock corporation, i.e. without state influence.


The share, L760 in the auction, issued in 1752 for 500 Reichsthaler in Friderichs d'Or is the oldest German share known. 
It is also the oldest share in the German language. A complete translation of the text on the obverse, as well as a hint on its non-German provenance, can be found in the latest issue of Scripophily magazine, No. 119 August 2022. 
The clipping shown here says [..the Company's ships which shall sail] to Canton in China as well as other places in India .. . The document must be the oldest known share mentioning the word China as well. Start price €50,000.


The sale's Deutsche Mark section comprises of more than 230 lots, including a Top 20 chapter. To mention a few : L1146 is a 20 shares certificate in the Erste Kulmbacher Actienbrauerei AG (EKU), 1990, showing the company's logo with crown and prize medals, €75; L1249 Teutoburger Wald-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, Hamburg, 1951, unissued share, starts at €200. 



The Aachener Kleinbahn-Gesellschaft and the Rheinischen Elektricitäts- und Kleinbahnen AG merged in 1942 into the Aachener Strassenbahn und Energieversorgungs-AG (ASEAG). The company provided local public transport in the Aachen city region. During the Battle of Aachen, 1944, Allied troops used tramcars loaded with explosives and ammunition as rolling bombs on the sloping routes from Siegel and Grundhaus to the city center, which, however, caused little damage. This share, from 1954, shows a high voltage power pole and tram car in the underprint. Bids for L1088 are welcome from €40 onwards. 


The USA section features more than 200 lots. Here are some interesting examples to look for:
  • L1429 is stock certificate in the Lamb's Run Oil Company coming from an old collection. Printed by Chandler from Philadelphia, 1865, it shows two vignettes of early oil derricks. The company was incorporated in Venango County, Pennsylvania where the biggest oilboom sparked only a few years earlier. €100
  • Confederate States of America, 8% $100 bond from 1862, large vignette of the city of Richmond and portrait of C. G. Memminger, L1378, €300
  • €380 may buy you a Laramie, Hahns Peak and Pacific Railway Company 100 common shares certificate issued in 1912. The company was incorporated in Wyoming. The shares of this company are illustrated with 3 vignettes of a locomotive, lumberjacks and miners at work, Cox cat nr LAR-083-S-51. L1430



This share from the Compañia Ron Bacardi can be found in the sale's Ausland section (foreign countries). The company was founded in 1862 in Cuba and became worldwide known for its white rum and derived cocktails such as the Cuba Libre and the Daiquiri. The share depicts bats, the company logo, a bottle of Bacardi rum and many of its prize medals won at contests. It is issued to Emilio Bacardi y Rossell, great grandchild of Facundo Bacardi Massó, founder of Bacardi, and grandchild of Emilio Bacardi Lay, mayor of Santiago de Cuba. Note that the certificate was issued in 1955 during the Cuban Revolution. The Bacardi family left the country in 1960 after the government confiscated the company's assets in 1960. L102 starts at €150. 


There is a lot more to discover in the sale, so here are the details :


F.L.


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Monday, September 5, 2022

Puzzling scripophily - No. 7

Unleash your detective skills !

Puzzle No. 7 is about a remarkable person. The correct solution reveals this person's first and last name.

The following three visual clues may help you solve the puzzle. These are images of antique stock certificates.
  • How to take part ? Submit your reply in the comments section of this post, or in any other way.
  • What's in it for you ? The first correct answer yields eternal fame.
  • When will the solution be revealed ? Check this particular blog post in a few weeks again.




image courtesy HWPH 





Good luck and have fun !

F.L.



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Monday, August 22, 2022

HWPH auctions Friedrich Wilhelm III scripophily, a VOC bond from the Dutch Golden Age and nearly 2000 lots of historic stock certificates.

Historisches Wertpapierhaus AG (HWPH) scheduled its next double-session sale for 3 and 4 September 2022. For this occasion specialist Matthias Schmitt and his team brought together some 2,000 lots of scripophily and related documents . 

Included are several top-notch items such as a unique share from the Preussische See-Assecuranz-Compagnie issued to King Frederick William III of Prussia and one of the oldest securities from the mother of all joint stock companies, a Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie bond from 1623. 



L(ot) 568 in the auction is this wonderful share from the Actien-Verein für den zoologischen Garten zu Dresden. The Dresden Zoo opened in 1861 and was bombed in World War II by the Allies. Reopened in 1946 it now welcomes about 1 million visitors per year. This 50 thaler share from 1863 starts at €1800. 


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. 

A major part of the offerings consists of antique bonds and shares from Germany, spread over several sections in both parts of the event. Among several German highlights you'll find these two :

  • A radical democratic anti-monarchist, Gustave Struve's Gesellschaft deutscher Republikaner tried to finance the German revolutions of 1848-1849 with the issue of bonds. L515 is one of these rare certificates. Illustrated with several allegorical vignettes, it is propably the earliest known scripophily showing the colors of Germany's flag.
  • AEG, worldwide known today for its eponymous home appliances brand, originated as the Deutsche Edison-Gesellschaft für angewandte Elektrizität. The auction features a 1883 share from this company, L538. The company changed its name change into Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft. L539 is a share, 1887, from the first issue using the new name. Both are extremely rare. 



Perhaps the most spectacular object in HWPH's auction is this share in the Preussische See-Assecuranz-Compagnie. The company provided insurances against sea and fire risks and was organized in Szczecin, Poland, then capital of the Prussian Provence of Pomerania. The share shows a three-master with the flag of Prussia (click image) and is issued in 1825 to Frederick William III King of Prussia (1797-1840). He joined the coalition against Napoleon, and unified the Protestant churches in Prussia. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II are two of his grandchildren. L546, a unique historic document from Germany's and Poland's prehistory, is expected to realize €25,000 


The sale includes many more lots from all over the world. The auction's online catalog allows searching for your interests by means of country as well as thematic indexes. I tried out Luftfahrt (aviation) which refered to several airline companies : 
  • Linhas Aereas Paulistas S.A. (LAP), Brazil map vignette, L68
  • Lloyd Aereo Boliviano, L69, La Paz, aircraft vignette
  • Badisch-Pfälzische Luft-Hansa A.G. Mannheim, L221
  • Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, L734
  • Japan Air Lines Company, Ltd., L770 and L771



Founded as Pan American Airways in 1927, Pan Am became the largest international airline of the USA in the 20th century. Its advertisements and so-called "Clippper" airplanes featured in movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Live and Let Die, Blade Runner and Catch Me If You Can. The company ceased operations in 1991 and reincarnated several times. The Pan Am Corporation owned and controlled the airline and services division. This share was issued in 1998 to scripophily pioneer Wilhelm H. Kuhlmann. Bidding on L1761 starts at €50  


There is plenty to discover in HWPH's auction catalogs. The live auction concludes with a meeting for EDHAC members. Here are the details of the event:
  • Dates
    • 3 September 2022, Zorneding, Germany, public auction
    • 4 September 2022, online auction
  • Further info and catalogs, see here on HWPH
  • Live bidding is possible through Invaluable.com, see here, where you can find high quality images of the lots.



Collectors of 18th century scripophily, and even older items, will find more than 50 entries in their category. The most iconic lot is a 1623 bond for 1000 Flemish Pounds from the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (V.O.C.), aka Oost-Indische Compagnie aka Dutch East India Company.  Securities from this historic company are extremely rare and considered the crème de la crème in our field. Why can be read on this blog here. In 2019 HWPH auctioned a similar bond, issued for 500 Flemish Pounds, at €46,000 without buyer's premium. L500 starts at €40,000. 


F.L.


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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Gigantic : Moody's Industrial Manual

"Moody's Industrial Manual for 1963 is the most comprehensive source of information on industrial corporations and enterprises available to the banker, investor, analyst and business executive."
Introduction, Moody's Industrial Manual 1963


The Moody's manuals are a treasure for scripophily researchers. They contain tons of information about the companies from which we collect antique stocks and bonds.




The American John Moody (1868 – 1958) was a financial analyst and investor. In 1900 he published his first manual providing details and ratings of company and government bonds. In 1909 he founded Moody's Investors Service to produce yearly manuals like the one illustrated here. 

Featured in the Industrial Manuals are thousands of profiles of industrial companies, mainly from the USA but also from Canada, Great Britain and other countries. For instance, Siemens & Halske, Honda Motor Co., Heijn (Albert), Ontario Steel Products Co., SIMCA Industries, Rolls-Royce and Montecatini are a few of the many non-American entries in the illustrated 1963 edition.




Here's an excerpt from a profile from the Stanley Aviation Corp, an aircraft equipment manufacturer. This is one of the smallest entries in the book. Medium-sized and large companies are listed with much bigger profiles, up to several pages. For instance, R. H. Macy & Co., Inc., is described in four pages; E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. fills six pages.

The entries consists of : a company history, its capital structure, background, mergers and acquisitions, company name changes, subsidiairies, plants and properties, employee statistics, officers and directors, business activities and products, operating statistics, balance sheets, and much more. 




These books are gigantic. Issue 1963 measures about 21,5x28,5 cm, or 8.5x11.2 inch, and counts 3028 pages. It's thickness is 10,5 cm or 4.1 inch. It weighs 5 kg or 11 lbs. Don't put any of these on your flatbed scanner ! Some year editions are even bigger and consist of two volumes : monstrous. 

Illustrated below is an extract from the Alphabetical Index in the 1963 edition. The index section counts 114 pages with each page referring to about 130 company names ! 




I use manuals like this for looking up company details and identifying hard to read signatures. Let's try this with a 1960s specimen share from The Bendix Corporation

The manual has three pages on this company: 

"Incorporated in 1929 as the Bendix Aviation Corp., the company adopted its present name in 1960. Bendix and its subsidiaries produce a wide line of aviation, automotive, missile, electronic, marine, space and automation products, .."




What about the signature of Bendix' chairman ? Note that this is a facsimile signature, which is a reproduction by engraving, printing (like this example) or stamping of the manual signature.

The manual lists for Bendix over twenty officers and directors. One of them, our match, is listed both as Exec. Vice-President and Director : A. P. Fontaine. This information in turn allows me to find out more about the person :

Athanas P. Fontaine (1905-1989) was a pioneering airplane designer. After graduating in aeronautical engineering, he helped designing the Aeronca C-1, the first lightweight passenger plane in the US. An aircraft designer and project engineer he worked for several aircraft companies such as Fairchild Aircraft Corp and Republic Aircraft Corp. 
A. P. Fontaine headed Bendix' aircraft division in 1944 but left in 1946 and returned in 1952 to become director of engineering. He was chairman and chief executive of Bendix from 1965 to 1972. source: The New York Times, May 17, 1989


These books are valuable research tools. Unfortunately very few have been digitized. On this Moody's Manual Wikipedia page you'll find several links to editions from the 1910s and 1920s. A few of them actually lead to a fully browsable digitized version.

F.L. 


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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Spink's summer scripophily sale brings us to New Zealand, Mexico and beyond

Precisely 496 lots of scripophily will go on Spink's E-block. At stake are antique stocks and bonds from all continents. Large sections are reserved for scripophily from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Latin America and the USA. This online sale already took off at 17:00 June 16. The bidding window closes on Jul 5 at 11:00. 



This is L(ot) 182 from the European section. The Société Française de Phonographes "La Fauvette" was incorporated in 1900 in Paris. The company's major product was "La Sirène", an early cylinder gramophone player that could play "Ideal" (large format) cylinders with a duration of up to 12 minutes.  La Sirène is depicted on this 1902 share, together with a fauvette (warbler bird). 


Spink's upcoming sale features many bonds and shares from Australia, New Zealand, and even one from the British Solomon Islands. A few examples : 
  • L5 is 5 shares certificate in The Railway Construction and General Development Company (Tasmania) from 1901. 
  • The Butcher's Reef North Gold Mining Company, Bear Hill, New South Wales, shares, 1889, bold red, purple and gold printing, L11
  • The share from the South Australian Oil Wells Co shows a large vignette of an oil field. The company operated in Gippsland, Victoria, and reported test drills in the 1940s at a depth of over 4,000 feet. L29



New Zealand is represented by more than 40 lots, several from gold mining companies. L76, a share from The Maoriland Gold Mines Ltd, was issued in 1896. 


The British chapter consists of several sections: railways, canals and shipping, government, banking and insurance, bridges, commercial, industrial, mining, automobiles and cycling, newspaper and publishing. Let's mention some entries:
  • Railway enthusiasts will love the 1875 issued share in The Gorsedda Junction and Portmadoc Railways Company, Wales. Rare, L228 depicts a double-ended steam locomotive, a "double Fairlie".  
  • L290 contains lots of history: a share in The London Clinic and Nursing Home Ltd from 1929. The London Clinic is one of the UK's best private hospitals and has treated many famous names such as Charlie Chaplin. It was here that Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested in 1998. 
  • L264 consists of a group of three shares in the Associated Newspapers Ltd. Today known as DMG Media. This media holding publishes the Daily Mail, Metro, New Scientist, the Irish Daily Mail and many more. 



The Normal Powder and Ammunition Company Ltd, ordinary shares, 1898, company logo with rifles and canon repeated in the embossed seal, L292, click image to enlarge 


The USA chapter is split into 5 sections: automobiles and aviation, commercial and industrial, government, mining and railways. Here are some of the interesting lots noted :
  • The Duquesne Incline Plane Co., Pittsburgh, PA, incorporated in 1876 with a capital of $40,000 consisting of 800 shares of $50. This certificate, from 1877, was issued for 20 shares. The company built a funicular on Mount Washington that ran at a grade of up to 30.5 degrees. L480 
  • Several $1000 6% Territory of Florida bonds from 1838, several vignettes, are offered. L360 through L368.
  • L440 is a $5 Class B stock certificate in The North Carolina Gold Mining and Reduction Company, Philadelphia 1882, uncommon vignet of miners at work and railway bridge.



A section of 60 lots includes scripophily from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Honduras and many more Latin American countries. Several Mexican railway certificates will pass in review, including this Ferrocarriles de Toluca á Tenango y San Juan, 1907. It is part of a trio, each one printed with a distinct denomination and in different colours, but all with the same great locomotive vignette. L331 


There is lots more to discover in this sale, so here are the details :
  • Location : this is an Internet only sale
  • Date : Jun 16 17:00 - Jul 5 11:00, 2022
  • Further info : see here 

F.L.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Schweizer Finanzmuseum celebrates its 5th Anniversary

In its Permanent Exhibition the Swiss Finance Museum explains the origins of the economic system and the role of the stock market. This unique museum is home to a collection of 10,000 historic securities from more than 150 countries. 

Key historical pieces, combined with interactive videos and animations, historical film recordings and interviews, tell the story of the development of our modern financial economy. The museum, since 2017 located at the new headquarters of SIX in Zurich, celebrates its 5th Anniversary.



Schweizer Finanzmuseum
view on the Permanent Exhibition 
image courtesy Schweizer Finanzmuseum


The museum welcomes the public to its Open Day on July 2, 2022 from 11 am to 3 pm with a dedicated program : 
  • 11 am - 12 pm: Combined tour (permanent and special exhibition), in German
  • 12h30-1 pm: Guided tour through the special exhibition Sport & Geld, in German
  • 1 pm -1h30 pm: Guided tour through the special exhibition Sport & Geld, in English 
  • 2 pm - 3 pm: Combined tour (permanent and special exhibition), in German

Participants of the Open Day should register here



This stunning 500 Lire share from Pirelli, printed by the Milan-based security printer Brevetti Calcografia e Cartevalori was issued in 1947. It is one of several antique shares on display in the Sport & Geld special exhibition. Pirelli, one of the top tyre manufacturers in the world, sponsored sport competitions since the start of the 20th century. Its financial backing was/is important to e.g. the FIA Formula One World Championship, football club Inter Milan, the Chinese Super League (football), the Hungarian Grands Prix (motorsport) and the Alpine World Ski Championship. 
image courtesy Schweizer Finanzmuseum 


The current special exhibition Sport & Geld shows why money plays such an important role in sports. Using the sports of Formula 1, tennis, equestrian sports, soccer and skiing, the exhibition gives a glimpse of the financial aspect of physical exercise. Sport & Geld can be seen until July 15, 2022. On display here are a dozen historical shares. 

The museum then closes for the conversion up to and including August 25, 2022. Its new special exhibition Banks in Transition: from Counters to Apps will features securities as well.  The opening of this new exhibition is planned for the end of August.

More info can be found here (German), or there (English).

F.L.



Sunday, June 5, 2022

The smallest company in terms of equity capital, is it ?

How much money do you need to start up a company ? How much money do you need to organize an airline ? Apparently, not that much.

Here is a share certificate from Croydon Airways Limited. The company was organized with a capital of only £100. 




The world's first airport air traffic control system with control tower and radio position-fixing procedures was developed at Croydon Airport. During the interwar period Croydon Airport was UK's only international airport, the home base of Imperial Airways. 

Former Surrey Flying Services pilot Tim Woods founded Croydon Airways in 1936. The business owned two De Havilland Dragonfly airplanes. Flight services to Paris were provided. 




The company's capital was divided into 100 £1 shares. Take a look at the certificate's image above. The certificate bears serial number 1 and represents 50 shares. In other words, it stands for 50% of the company's capital. 

The Croydon–Le Bourget route (to Paris) was then the busiest in the world. Yet, the company was already in receivership the next year. Undercapitalization may have been the reason.


F.L.

Do you know of shares from even smaller capitalized companies ?


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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Collecting antique stock certificates ? Go to the next level with Scripophily magazine !

Scripophily magazine is the world’s most comprehensive and insightful publication for passionate collectors and researchers of antique securities. Its 2022 April issue brings over 50 pages of scripophily news, in depth articles, book reviews, pictures of collector friends, auction reports and quality images of stunning, historic and rare stocks and bonds.



Scripophily magazine is illustrated with tons of gorgious stock certificates. This one from The Cincinnati Edison Electric Company is featured in the Deutsche Bank trilogy (© HIWEPA). The company was incorporated in the state of Ohio. Its $1 million capital was represented by 10,000 shares of $100. This certificate, issued in 1892 to the Deutsche Bank of Berlin, for 3,333 1/3 shares, represents a third of the capital. Image by Horst Klophaus 



Compelling tales, business plot twists and memorable personalities keep you spellbound. Scripophily magazine uncovers the stories of historic and artistic securities. In addition, reports from the auction markets help you to stay up-to-date. This periodical is the flagship of The International Bond and Share Society (IBSS) and appears three times a year.

Here is a summary on the topics brought in the latest issue :
  • Piers and Seaside Entertainment, interview with a collector 
  • Book review : Stamp Taxes in Nevada I. Silver Fever! Nevada Territory Stock Certificates, 1863-4, author Michael Mahler 
  • Book review : Michigan Copper Mining Stocks and Bonds, Part II, author Lee Degood
  • El Partido Revolucionario Cubano, a rare but fake bond emerged 
  • The Insanity Spreads, NFT technology flirts with Scripophily 
  • Dispatches from the Front, Bits and Pieces, market concerns with the Russo-Ukrainian War 
  • The Greenawalt Donation : Interview with David Mihaly of the Huntington Library 
  • Charles V Bond with phenomenal Face Value emerges (Spain)
  • Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, Terry Cox reflects on his US railway project coxrail.com 
  • The Howe Sound Co, copper mining in British Columbia 
  • Selling the Security, member contributions with share certificates promoting the business 
  • Studebaker, the family, stocks and bonds, and legacy
  • Deutsche Bank Part I : The History of "Deutsche Bank AG"
  • Boomtimes in the German Sugar Industry : 1850-1885 

On top of that the issue brings results and analysis on more than 20 auctions that took place during the preceding period in Germany, USA, China, Switzerland, UK, and other countries. You'll find out which auctions took place, what collecting themes are currently in demand and what price results are achieved for top pieces.




Subscribing to Scripophily magazine brings you valuable free extras: 
  1. The IBSS Directory brings you in contact with fellow collectors. Many of those are experts in their field, often share common interests with you, and possibly live nearby. The Directory contains members from more than 40 countries. 
  2. Upcoming events : Learn which auctions, collector bourses and society meetings will take place.
  3. Locate dealers and auctioneers : The Membership Directory also contains a list of dealers and auctioneers with further contact details. Most  auctioneers and dealers publish their catalogues either online or on paper.
  4. Access to the Experts : Being part of the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS) has provided me access to a network of experts in a variety of specialties related to the collection of Stocks and Bonds, always willing to led a hand and point me in the right direction.
  5. Access to all content on the IBSS website, including digital versions of previous issues of Scripophily magazine, the online forum, special theme galleries, and the like. 
  6. Newsflashes on the website focus on hot topics that can't wait for the next issue of the magazine. 
  7. Get extra credibility : being listed as a member is a good reference in any deals made remotely with parties previously unknown. 
A 1-year subscription only costs £25 or $35 or €28. The magazine is published by IBSS. More info : https://scripophily.org/membership/join/ 



F.L.

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