Tuesday, February 14, 2023

FHW auctions the Gottfried Schultz collection of worldwide automobile securities

Freunde Historischer Wertpapiere (FHW) has scheduled its 123rd sale for March 4, 2023. This time the auctioneer selected nearly 2000 lots of historic bonds and share certificates. 

FHW reserved major sections for scripophily from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, the German DM era, and the USA. Over 400 lots from previous auctions are grouped in a "50% from previous callout" section. On top of that about 900 lots of automobile related securities will attract the attention of collectors worldwide. 

In 1928 Harry J. Wolfington signed this stock certificate from Alex. Wolfington's Son, Inc., as President. At the age of 14 he joined the carriage body business founded in 1876 by his father Alexander. Seeing business opportunities with the rise of the automobile, he turned to the production of bodies for luxurious buses and carbodies for Stutz, Pierce-Arrow and Duesenberg. The latter's convertible 1929 Phaeton Royale is legendary. L(ot) 725 starts at €750 and is part of the Schultz automobile collection. 

The bulky Automobile section includes nearly 900 lots of antique securities from lesser known companies but also resounding names appear on the block such as : L923 Duesenberg Automobile and Motors, L1059 Hansa-Lloyd Werke, L1116 Hispano Suiza, L1329 Rolls-Royce and L1491 Automobiles Delahaye.  Food for specialists!

No doubt two top pieces in FHW's Automobile section are a 1908 share from the Établissements De Dion-Bouton, L957, signed by Georges Bouton, as well as a 1919 bond from the same company with facsimile signature of Albert De Dion, L958. In 1900 De Dion-Bouton was the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Its cars and engines were all being made by hand; the assembly line had not yet been introduced. 

A major part of the offerings consists of antique bonds and shares from Germany with pre- and post-DM eras each in a dedicated section. Some examples:
  • L1621, a specimen share from the Credit-Bank Nürnberg eGmbH, 1924, large underprint of building, originating from a sample book printed by the Universitätsdruckerei H. Stürtz, Würzburg
  • A 1837 interim share in the Rhein-Weser-Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft depicts a train entering a tunnel. Daring for the time! Early and only certificate known. L1682
  • L1722, Basalt-Actien-Gesellschaft aka Basalt-AG extracts basalt, limestone, sandstone, granite and other rock from quarries in Germany and Europe. A large vignette on its DM100 share, 1973, depicts a worker handling basalt chunks.

The world's first passenger airline, Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (DELAG), was organized in 1909 as a subsidiary of the Zeppelin airship construction company. DELAG's airships made air travel possible first between Germany's cities, later to the Mediterranean and then across the Atlantic with destinations in the US and South America. Its LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin measured over 230 meters long and cruised at 117km/h with a 15,000 kg payload. In 1929 it made a round-the-world flight (including stops) in 21 days, the fastest circumnavigation of the globe at the time. This share was printed by Osterrieth in 1910. L1626 

There is a lot to discover in the sale. Here are the details :

FHW's 123rd auction includes a Austro-Hungarian Empire section, L18 through L209. However, this 1895 share in the Magyar Folyam- és Tengerhajózási Részvény Társasag (Hungarian River and Sea Shipping Joint Stock Company) can be found in the "50% from previous callout" section.  


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