Wednesday, May 24, 2023

HSK presents American scripophily, bonds and shares from Northern Germany and the H-W Schmidt collection of German banking securities

Hanseatisches SammlerKontor für Historische Wertpapiere (HSK) plans its next auction of stocks and bonds on June 3, 2023 at its headquarters in Wolfenbüttel. Over 1200 lots are described in full in a 200 pages counting auction catalogue. All lots can be checked out online as well.

This 1000 mark share from the Landbank, Berlin, featuring a Jugendstil design, was printed in 1897 by the Reichsdruckerei. Only a handfull of these certificates are known. This one is part of the H-W Schmidt collection. L(ot) 762 in the auction starts at €800. 

The Hans-Werner Schmidt Collection of German banking securities forms a major section in this auction. This collection consists of lots 677 through 816 and has been assembled over several decades. A few examples:
  • Rarely seen is the bold industrial artwork of the 10000 mark share in the Ostbayerische Industrie- und Handelsbank AG, Furth i.W., 1923, L778.
  • L751, Herzogl. Sächs. Landrentenbank in Coburg, 100 mark bond, issued in 1911.
  • One of the most spectacular typographical designs in scripophily is the multicolor share certificate from the Preussische Boden Credit Actienbank, Berlin, 1873. L783

The 1873 founder share of the Stadttheater-Gesellschaft zu Hamburg is the top highlight in HSK's auction. The new stone building of the Hamburg State Opera was inaugurated in 1827. In 1873 the building was renovated in Gründerzeit style, as illustrated in the large underprint of the certificate. Gustav Mahler was the company's musical director from 1891 to 1897. In World War II Hamburg was an easy to find target and the opera house was destroyed by fire-bombing. Rebuilt in the early 1950s by Bauhaus architect Gerhard Weber, the Staatsoper reopened in 1955 with Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. L515 starts at €10,000. 

About 900 lots of German scripophily are presented in several sections:
  • L315-446 Bremen and Niedersachsen, for example L348 Deutsche Petroleum-Bohr-Gesellschaft, 1881, illustrated with an oil field vignette 
  • L447-519 Hamburg, e.g. L515 Stadttheater-Gesellschaft zu Hamburg, image see above 
  • Lot range 520 through 645 consists of a collection of Hamburg related zero numbered specimen certificates from the Deutsche Mark period. 
  • L646-676 Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, such as L650, two shares in the Flensburg-Ekensunder Dampfschiffs-Gesellschaft, based in the very north of Germany.
  • L677-818 H-W Schmidt collection of German banking securities, see above
  • L817-1046 Germany before 1945, including L817 a 1852 share from the Aachen-Mastrichter Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft, bilingual in German and Dutch, two coat of arms 'Gott mit uns' and 'Je Maintiendrai', elaborate floral design.
  • L1047-1239 Germany from 1945 onwards, e.g. L1110 Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft, Köln, 1997, illustrated with a world map vignette

Polish Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel - who later formed Atari Corporation - founded in 1954 the Commodore Portable Typewriter Company. In 1955 the company was reincorporated in Canada as Commodore Business Machines, Inc., and went public on the NYSE under the name Commodore International Limited in 1962. Already in the early 1970s the company produced electronic programmable calculators. Reorganized in 1976, CIL moved its financiel headquarters to the Bahamas. Launched in 1977 the Commodore PET personal computer helped to bring personal computers to widespread use. L63 starts at €100. 

The American section counts 200 lots including several certificates signed by or issued to Thomas A. Edison, L79, L196, L197 and L78.  A Pan American Airways Corporation stock certificate from 1945, L155,  is issued to Sherman M. Fairchild who also signed it on reverse.  
Some other examples:
  • L106 is a bond from The Huntingdon and Broad Top Mountain Rail Road and Coal Company, large railway bridge vignettte, issued in 1862.
  • A lovely banking vault vignette adorns a Lowry Banking Company stock certificate, Georgia, 1894. L120
  • L26 The American Quick-Transit Steamship Company, 1882, Boston, Mass., depicts a large ocean steamer.

The European section in HSK's 42nd auction includes objects such as this 1904 share from the Société Anonyme du Théatre-Concert du Moulin-Rouge. Located in the Boulevard de Clichy, Paris, this cabaret became a world famous attraction with its can-can danse. Bids start at €200 for L292.

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


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Thursday, May 4, 2023

The image tricks your eyes

Since the 1900s Indian security printers developed their own lettering styles and ornaments. Distinguishing themselves from the British design tradition, their work resulted in a unique range of bond and share certificates.

Here is an example from The Ahmedabad New Textile Mills Co. Ltd: a one 4% (Free of Income Tax) Redeemable Cumulative Second Preference Share of Rs.50, issued on 1 March 1947.  

The Ahmedabad New Textile Mills Co. Ltd was established in 1916 by Jivanlal Girdharlal. In 1923 the neighbouring Zaveri Spinning and Weaving Mills was taken over. ANTM produced saris, dhotis, voile and the like. After World War II it had more than 900 looms and provided work to 2,000 employees. 

Have a look at the circular geometric pattern in the upper left corner of the share certificate. In that figure, the middle circle is formed by a black line. 

Can you notice that the first word of the company name, namely 'The', blends in perfectly? The circle's black line changes into the color blue and connects at the same time with the blue outline of the black T character. 

The image tricks your eyes. We still see a full circle. But take away the T-letter, and the circle is broken. Remove the circle and the T is incomplete. Great, isn't it.