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. 


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