Monday, August 31, 2015

Exhibition : Can luxury be a sin

Luxury is necessary. Luxury brings progress, and 
it exists everywhere in al layers of the society. 
Whether or not you agree with the above bold statements, 
this exhibition may teach you a lot about yourself 
more than any other scripophily exhibition before.

Image courtesy by Wertpapierwelt

What is luxury? 
Kann denn Luxus Sünde sein - Can luxury be a sin, the new temporary exhibition from Wertpapierwelt, examines various aspects of this age-old question. On display are not only objects that can be assigned to individual aspects of luxury but also about 50 shares and bonds of companies that "produced" luxury. The exposition investigates the complexity of the subject along with all its social and economic facets. Dagmar Schönig, curator of Wertpapierwelt, clarifies Visitors will find out what different emotions that the mere word luxury evokes in each and every one of us .

share certificate from John Mackintosh & Sons
John Mackintosh & Sons, Limited
10% cumulative preference shares of one pound, specimen
printed by Waterlow & Sons, London
Image courtesy by Wertpapierwelt
double-click to enlarge

Digital information at your fingertips
A premiere for scripophily exhibitions, visitors can make use of the Wertpapierwelt app on their Apple or Android smartphone.  The app was created as a digital museum guide in German, English and French. Visitors can also borrow a tablet-pc and walk through the room. Whenever they are interested in learning more about a specific item, they can photograph the QR-code attached to it and get all the information including the high resolution images of the exhibited stocks and bonds.

Wertpapierwelt's app can be used
on Apple and Android devices.

Wertpapierwelt is run by the Stiftung Sammlung historischer Wertpapiere (Foundation "Collection of Historical Securities"). The museum is located in the town of Olten, only a one hour's drive away from Zürich, Bern and Basel.

Mackintosh Toffee de Luxe vignette
John Mackintosh and Sons, Limited
detail from the share certificate above
Mackintosh started producing Toffee-De-Luxe chocolate sweets in 1917.
Today we still know Rolo and Quality Street goodies,

which Mackintosh brought to the market in the 1930s.
Image courtesy by Wertpapierwelt

Practical exhibition info :
  • Place to be : Wertpapierwelt Museum, Baslerstrasse 90, Olten, Switzerland
  • Opening hours : Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Entrance: free entry for ages under 10, CHF 8.00 for ages under 18 and CHF 10.00 for adults; free entrance with the Swiss Museum Pass
  • Special arrangements possible for groups and guided tours, see here 

Wertpapierwelt's one-minute teaser video.
The 9-minute movie can be seen here on the museum's YouTube channel.
The Swedish singer/actress featuring in it, is the very special Zarah Leander .
The original song title is “Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein” (Can love be a sin). 
For the video the museum adapted the song's lyrics and 
had a professional singer to dub it.


Two tips for visitors with extra time:
1. Can luxury be a sin is actually a part of a threefold exhibition. These are the two permanent sections :
    • Shares & Co - How financial instruments work, displays the multifaceted nature of financial instruments and their workings.
    • The Story of capitalism – How shares changed the world is devoted to the origin and spread of the joint stock company throughout the last 400 years.
2. A fictitious trading workplace has been setup with two PCs having access to the collection's database. The database contains both the fronts and backs of all the approximate 10,000 securities in the collection.

Related links

Monday, August 17, 2015

Digest of scripophily readings XVII

New online scripophily articles and references, August 2015

Don Mesler's blog
A retired stockbroker, investment adviser, and convertible bond trader, Don Mesler has examined innumerable stock and bond certificates. With more than 25 years of collecting experience, he has an eye for distinct themes and vignettes in US scripophily. Something you can witness on his sleekly designed Scripophile blog, see here. Don recently teamed up with Lawrence Falater (author of American Automobile Certificates) to co-author American Brewers Stock and Bond Certificates. Thank you for sharing all these beauties, Don, happy to follow along !

Annuaire Desfossés
In 1907, E. Desfossés & Fabre Frères, Paris, started publishing a yearly directory, the Annuaire Desfossés. These manuals describe local and international securities, issued by governments, municipalities and companies, and traded on the French interbank market. Information included with the entries :  nationality, date of establishment, object, registered office, duration, social capital, detail of the distribution of profits, names of directors, highest and lowest quotations, authorized amount, issue amount, nominal value, interest coupon due, and much more.

Annuaire Desfossés, excertp from the large table of contents 1907 edition
Annuaire Desfossés
Valeurs Cotées en Banque à la Bourse de Paris
excerpt from the large table of contents, 1907 edition 

From 1912 the editor included also the values ​traded ​on the official stock market. Twenty years later, in 1932, regional securities from the provincial exchanges, over-the-counter ​and a large number of colonial values were added to the directory. Following an agreement between the Société Anonyme Cote Desfossés and the Société d’Éditions Économiques et Financières (SEF), a single directory is published annually, from 1950 until 1981, under the name Desfossés-SEF. It consists of two volumes. The first includes a section on loans and information related to corporate law. The second includes records on companies. Source : Centre des Archives Économiques et Financières (CAEF) 

The first four editions of the directory have been digitized by Gallica, the digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. You can query and download the books for the years 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910, right here . Once on the page, open up a book from the list by clicking its title. When the book opens up in your browser, you'll find a link to download (in French: Téléchargement). Accepting the usage conditions, click "Envoyer" (send) after which a PDF file is being prepared for you. The files can be easily searched for keywords in French, e.g. "Mexique" or "mine d'or".

Scripophily magazine featuring Million Dollar Bank certificate

Scripophily magazine
In addition to the online sources above, the last April 2015 No.97 issue of Scripophily magazine contains the following stories :
  • Life among the aggregators, about "auction house aggregator" companies and their online databases
  • Stocks on stamps
  • US war bonds
  • Warner Company, profile and history
  • The world's first investment trust, The Million Bank , 17th-18th century banking in Great Britain
  • Scripophily and the first American colony in Cuba
  • Trust this bank , a historic overview of US trust companies and banking
  • French annuities (18th century)
  • The railroad that run for only one day , about the Lawrenceburgh & Indianapolis Rail-Road Company
  • Mucha do about securities (Alfonse Mucha)
  • Cox's Corner : Upside-down is the new normal, reflections about abnormal pricing situations
  • other periodical topics : society matters, news, bourse reviews, auction reviews, events calendar, member classifieds, book reviews, interviews and lots of pictures of collector friends and scripophily

Scripophily magazine is a publication from the International Bond & Share Society.

Signed the Guest book, yet ?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Exhibition : Our mutual debt - Finnish government borrowing 1859-2015

Spending some time in Finland this summer? 
Why not visit the Bank of Finland Museum's new exhibition? 
Can't you make it there? Then you should take the virtual tour !

coat of arms and flags of Finland
Coat of arms of Finland surrounded by two Finnish flags.
The flag features a blue Nordic cross on a white
background, which represents Christianity.
Detail from the bond below.
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland

Exhibition on Finnish government bonds
Finland's declaration of independence on 6 December 1917 fails to unify the nation. In 1918 the Finnish Civil War breaks out. The government is in desperate need of funding and its debt rises from below 10% of its gross domestic product (GDP)  before this period, to almost 30%.

1923 bond Republic of Finland
Government of the Republic of Finland
6% loan of 1923 for 1,000,000 pound sterling
bond for £100, Helsingfors 1923
Helsingfors is the Swedish name for Helsinki.
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland
double-click image to enlarge

The seasonal exhibition, Our mutual debt - Finnish borrowing 1859-2015, runs from 21 April 2015 until 20 September 2015, and is a joint project of the Bank of Finland and State Treasury. On exhibit are Finnish government bonds beginning with the first railway bond issued in 1859. The exhibition also presents a cross-section of developments in central government debt and its history. Some of the topics addressed : first railway bonds, external market loans (France, Germany, the Rothschild's, US), war loans, internal loans, Finland's modern monetary policy, Euro loans.

loan of 1859 (Helsinki-Hämeenlinna railway)
4% 50 years loan of 1859 (Helsinki-Hämeenlinna railway)
From 1809 to 1917, Finland is an autonomous
Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland

Bank of Finland Museum
The Museum opened its doors in 2003. Its permanent, partly interactive, exhibition is divided into three sections: 
  • I Monetary policy
  • II History of the Bank of Finland and of the Finnish money market
  • III Banknotes and banknote art.

1903 3.5% 56 Years amortisation bond (railways)
5,000 Finnish marks=5,000 francs=3,600 kronor=4040 reichsmark
Only 200 bonds were issued in this denomination.
This certificate bears the number 1.
Source & copyright © Bank of Finland

Practical info
  • Location : Snellmaninkatu 2, Kruununhaka district of central Helsinki
  • Duration : 21 April 2015 - 20 September 2015
  • Opening hours : Tue-Fri 11:00-17:00, Sat-Sun 11:00-16;00, Mon closed
  • Entrance : free
  • Guided tours : available in Finnish, Swedish and English, to be booked in advance via email 


Related links