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, 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. 


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