Auction report: Boone in Brussels, Nov 1, 2014

18 February 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

A singular event was Mario Boone’s auction in the Brussels Atomium. He plans to offer his autumn auctions in Brussels from now on but the Atomium was a one-off for the start in Brussels. About 35 mostly well known participants gathered throughout the day in the event ‘sphere’ of the 1958 Expo building and in the afternoon some new faces could be seen. Boone offered his usual mix of a wide variety of countries and themes. The smaller than usual number of lots (1,289) allowed for longer breaks on a very sunny day with excellent catering by the host.

Mario Boone

Host Mario Boone smiling in the Atomiums event sphere “Ilya Prigogine”

The overall result of the auction was € 175,718 (£ 137,700/$220,100), 60% sold. Apart from the Baron Empain collection of almost 600 pieces offered at € 25,000 (not sold), the auction did not have any huge highlights. Nevertheless the quality of the offered lots was very good and ambitious collectors found a selection of new valuables. Most of the four-digit lots were sold. Twenty-six lots exceeded a hammer price of € 1,000 and 16 of those went for more than € 2,000. Russia dominated this range and also provided the two top prices at € 5,200 – Baron E E Bergenheim, starting from only € 600, and Company for Steamshipping Services between Kronstadt, Oranienbaun & St Petersburg (start price € 2,500), both graphically unexciting though. These were closely followed by two others massively above expectations: Grain-Sucre SA 1913 share at € 4,800 (start price € 1,100) and NSN Kistova Timber Industry share 1916 at € 4,600 (starting at € 800). In total 58% of the 98 Russians were sold.
Amongst the 70 British, 53% sold. The leader here at its € 2,500 start price (£ 1,960) was a 6% bond issued in 1698, doubling as a lottery ticket to win a share in future profits in the Welsh mines “late of Sir Carbery Pryse”, which eventually became the Company of Mine Adventurers of England. A 1725 South Sea Company annuity went for € 450 (£ 350), its start price, and an Exchequer Bill issued in 1720 to support the company, not in top condition, sold for € 1,000, also its start price.
The two largest sections were Belgium and France, which each sold 53% or so of 150 lots. China was strong, 77% sold, several above start prices, such as a 1939 share of the Lu Hsing Bank at € 1,000 (double the start). Outstanding was a 1932 Vickers Loan £ 1,000 sold for € 1,300 (€ 200 start). Common Belgian pieces – sometimes for a small € 10 start price – and US pieces, 48% sold, aroused little interest. An exception was a very early and rare railroad share – the Philadelphia, Germantown & Norristown Rail Road Co, 1834 – sold for its € 700 start price ($ 875).

Bond issued in 1867 by the Irish Republican Brotherhood to raise funds in the US to support a rebellion against the British, which was quickly crushed. This piece beat its start price to sell at €700


Fu-Li Electric Company, 4 Shares of 200 yuan, 1932, located in Panyu, a district of Guangzhou, southern China, which fetched €2,000


Yzererts-Terreinen in Nederlandsch-Indie share of 1910 in Dutch and French with the value in four currencies, sold for €500. The company was to exploit iron ore deposits in the Netherlands Indies

A group dinner in the top sphere of the Atomium ended the day. The bourse on the Sunday was as quick as the room was small. Professional participants had made most of the deals before the first collector hit the scene. Some dealers had already left by noon.


Auctioneer Guy Bertrand (center) in a quite unique location

IBSS members discussing lots(from left): Volker Malik (D),  Joachim Wallrabenstein (President of EDHAC) and Peter Bürgi (CH)

Three IBSS members discussing the papers (from left): German dealer Volker Malik, Joachim Wallrabenstein (President of EDHAC) and Peter Bürgi (Switzerland)


Three presidents of national Scripophily societies (from left): Joachim Wallrabenstein (D), Lucien Levy (F) and Peter Christen (CH)


.. last but least: The glittering Atomium on a perfect ‘summer day’ November 1, 2014



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