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 :


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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.

image courtesy HWPH 

Good luck and have fun !


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