Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mario Boone - Auction 57

Boone's upcoming sale of historic bonds and shares will take place in Brussels. It includes two auction sessions followed by a collectors bourse. One of the lots featured is this tennis forerunner share certificate issued as early as 1840

share certificate from the Société du Jeu de Paume, dated  1840, a tennis precursor
Société du Jeu De Paume
stock certificate for 1000 Francs shares
Paris, 1840

The event starts on Friday evening 28 Oct 2016. As good as 100 collections and investor lots will then be offered. For instance, lot 7 is a group of 118 bonds and shares from Belgian automobile companies. According to the auctioneer, the seller took almost 30 years to build this collection. The lot's start price is €1,500 which comes down to €13 per certificate. Other collections awaiting a new owner involve themes like horse-racing, Algeria, Belgian beer, Canadian gold mines, Egypt, French wine and many more.

Mario Boone's 57th auction catalogue depicts lot 1056, 
a rare 1920 Fiat share discovered in 2001 in the US.
Click image to enlarge.

The share illustrated at the top is one of 1500 lots auctioned on the next Saturday. The Société du Jeu de Paume was founded in 1839 for the promotion of the Jeu de Paume sport. Do you know the movie The French Lieutenant's Woman ? Then you might remember the scene in which Jeremy Irons plays this precursor of the tennis game. Modern lawn-tennis developed from the sport in the second half of the 19th century. At the same time Jeu de Paume remained popular. In 1908 the American Jay Gould II, grandson of railway tycoon Jay Gould, won the Summer Olympics Gold medal for Jeu de Paume. (source Wikipedia)

Société du Jeu de Paume
detail from the certificate at the top
The stamped company seal shows two rackets.

The share certificate bears the stamped seal of the company. The seal pictures a pair of rackets, certainly the earliest ones seen in scripophily. Funny, the rackets look a bit distorted. Click the image to have a closer look. Could someone win Roland Garros with a bent racket like that ? Yet, the picture is not the result of an inaccurate stamp design. In those days, rackets were not built as symmetrically as today.

Rackets were often built asymmetrically.
Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences,
 des arts et des métiers
 Vol. 7
p.103 Paumier, Pl. I. Paulmerie, Jeu de Paulme et Construction de la Raquette
Denis Diderot & Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Paris, 1772
Source : Wikipedia

Practical info on the event :
  • Auction date: 28 and 29 October 2016
  • Bourse : 30 October 2016
  • Place: Brussels, Belgium
  • Further info, see here 


PS: You might want to read this too, if you are interested in US railroads.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Archives International Auctions - Sale 36

AIA presents nearly 700 historical stocks and bonds in a triple session auction. The sale kicks off in New York City at the Museum of American Finance on Sat 22 Oct 2016 and in conjunction with the 6th Annual Wall Street Bourse. One of the many attractive lots in the auction is lot 255. It concerns a 1907 share certificate in the Paris-France company designed by the Czech artist Alphonse Mucha.

Paris-France a luxury department store had its shares designed by Alphonse Mucha
500 Francs share, 1907
designed by Alphonse Mucha
click image to enlarge

Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) moved to Paris in 1887. There he became successful after producing a lithographed poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt (1). Mucha's commercial work became known as Art Nouveau in France. His advertisements, posters, labels and the like typically featured women, in flowing robes, surrounded by flowers and plants forming halos behind their heads. 

The certificate here depicts young women with a beehive, a scythe, a caduceus, a book and a pen, a gear and a hammer. These objects represent the allegories Industry, Time, Commerce, the Arts and Labor. Before, artists illustrated countless bonds and shares with these allegories drawn as strong but unrealistic figures. But Mucha brings a new story. His allegories are women of flesh and blood with ordinary traits. The girls look tired to me. One has bags under her eyes. Another one seems to be crying over her lover or maybe she has a Champagne hangover. After a night out they are not interested in their gadgets. It is also remarkable how the artist created sense of depth in the scene with the figurants placed so close together. One can almost guess the size of the room. 

detail from the share above
lot 255 in AIA's 36th auction at $130 start price

The Paris-France department store was founded in 1898 to sell high quality clothing, Parisian specialities, luxury and travel goods (2)The company opened many branches in provincial cities throughout France and lasted almost a hundred years. Its stock and bond certificates are one of the few securities designed by Alphonse Mucha

In the late 1920s Mucha delivered an artistic masterpiece The Slav Epic, a series of twenty huge paintings illustrating the history of the Czech and Slavic people. The Nazi's mistrusted the nationalism in Mucha's work and arrested him in 1939. After his release Alphonse Mucha died in Prague due to lung infection. 

One of the largest collections of Mucha's work is in the possession of former world champion tennis Ivan Lendl. I wonder if the Lendl collection contains a Paris-France bond or share.

(1) Alphonse Mucha, Wikipedia
(2) Max Hensley, Mucha Do About Securities, Scripophily magazine, Apr 2015

Archives International Auctions - Fall Auction 2016
US & Worldwide Scripophily, Banknotes and Printing Ephemera

  • Dates and locations
    • Session 1 : Oct 22, 2016 - Museum of American Finance, NYC
    • Session 2 : Oct 25, 2016 - AIA, Fort Lee, New Jersey
    • Session 3 : Oct 25, 2016 (internet only)
  • Further info : see here , for the catalog there