Forced loans by Napoleon

9 September 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

In our journal SCRIPOPHILY (August issue) the cover story ‘Bonaparte forces the issue’ based on an original article by Hans-Georg Glasemann in German from the ‘Aktiensammler’. This version can be downloaded here.


IBSS winter auction ending soon

27 August 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

10 days and counting until bids must be submitted. Browse our galleries and go through the lot list.

Results of IBSS auction April 2015

24 June 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

Here are the results of the last Society auction:

Lot £ Lot £ Lot £ Lot £ Lot £
11 22 48 32 73 12 143 24 206 15
12 70 50 18 77 35 144 10 207 10
15 22 51 15 79 18 146 20 208 11
16 35 52 15 82 27 148 40 213 30
17 20 53 15 83 15 151 18 216 22
18 35 54 13 87 20 152 35 219 8
19 10 55 22 89 15 160 25 230 30
20 30 56 16 90 30 164 10
21 32 57 16 98 22 165 12
23 18 58 20 99 18 167 22
24 30 59 15 104 35 168 16
25 20 60 16 120 45 169 12
33 50 61 14 121 20 170 22
34 15 62 20 127 35 171 26
35 8 63 20 129 20 172 28
36 26 64 12 131 20 174 20
37 25 67 18 134 35 179 20
38 30 68 10 137 20 182 20
40 25 69 7 138 11 186 30
41 28 71 15 140 16 187 30
44 12 72 12 141 35 191 24

Total = £1998 (40% sold)

Buyer’s premium 10% in addition


Faked new Denomination of 1937 China Liberty Bond?

12 May 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

A young German scripophilist from the Saar region informed us about a most probably faked 100.000$ China Liberty bond (1937) offered on lately (item # 301603074892). For more details download the article here.


Brief auction report: HSK Hamburg, February 28, 2015

24 March 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

At about €100,000 less start-price as well as total hammer-price than last year, but only 100 lots less, the first German auction of 2015 went well and was fun to watch. IBSS member Dieter Engel held a lecture on short stories of Maritime Companies before the auction.  The most fighted piece in the room was a mainly unknown Dynamit-AG vormals Alfred Nobel & Co in Hamburg, Actie 1,000 Mark, 1890, specimen, unseen and oldest share of the company so far. It hit €7,500, after a call price of 1,700.

The full auction report will be published in our SCRIPOPHILY journal in April.

Known company, but unseen paper

Known company, but unseen paper



Archives International Auctions Part XXIV

6 March 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

800+ lots of U.S. and Worldwide Banknotes, Scripophily & Security Printing Ephemera.

Scripophily comprises 615 lots beginning with number 200.

Visit website for catalogue and online/absent bidding:

Lot 238, Start price 230 USD

Lot 238, Start price 230 USD

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



Results of IBSS winter auction

15 February 2015 of IBSS Webmaster

Results of Society Auction held on January 30, 2015

auction results Jan 2015

Fourth Annual Wall Street Show (Oct 23-25, 2014)

14 December 2014 of IBSS Webmaster

The Wall Street Collectors Bourse IV took place at the Museum of American Finance in New York (, Thursday through Saturday October 23-25, 2014.  The show hosted dealers in coins, banknotes, stock and bond certificates, autographs and other financial memorabilia, and included an auction by Archives International Auctions.
John Herzog and his crew put in a lot of work to make the show a success. For the scripophily crowd, it would be nice if we could re-create the Strasburg shows of old, but sadly those days seem to be behind us.  Still, I found a number of items to buy and there was a slight uptick in scripophily dealer attendance, with Fred Fuld making it all the way from California to take a table and Stephen Goldsmith bringing retail inventory.  Also with scripophily tables were Larry Schuffman, Larry Falater and Lee DeGood, Roland & Co/Robin Majlak, Spink, and Champion Stamp. No European dealers or auctioneers took tables, and none were seen on the bourse floor.

Fred Fuld works with visiting students

Fred Fuld works with visiting students

This year John generously donated a table for hobby groups to display information. I manned the table for a while, carrying the flag for scripophily though I had no competition from anyone else. I saw a few scripophily collectors I knew already, but not many. Groups of students came through, the kids evidently being selected from magnet or gifted schools – the youngsters were notably bright and curious. Many were interested in the color copies of various old stock certificates I was giving away with the Society membership application on the back. At the end of the show 25 of these copies had disappeared one way or the other. So far, one has come back with a membership check.

New Society member Virginia Besas talks with Tim Welo

New Society member Virginia Besas talks with Tim Welo

Larry Schuffman’s enthusiasm is a delight to behold. He is particularly good with the kids, handing out free banknotes and trying to hook the “big spenders” with obsolete Yugoslav banknotes sporting an image of Nikolai Tesla for a dollar.
Last year Champion Stamp brought a few boxes of American Bank Note Co specimens they characterized as being in their inventory in “ones and twos”. This year they brought 45 boxes containing an example of everything in their specimen inventory, up through “P” in the alphabet. Stamp and bank note collectors value specimens as the “only examples available”, often pricing them higher than the often lower-grade issued examples. Surprisingly, we haven’t arrived at that point yet in scripophily.

 John Herzog contemplates auction lot

John Herzog contemplates auction lot

Lunchtime on Thursday or Friday, working days on Wall Street, might have brought in some curiosity seekers, but I noticed little increase in attendance around these times. I attended the bourse practically all the time it was open to the public. I met no one who was just dropping in from the local financial industry. On its face this event should bring in many new potential collectors from the industry literally outside the door. They don’t know what they are missing!
I was quite satisfied with what I found to buy, and I wrote off the high NYC costs as a vacation. One fun item for me was Larry Falater’s issued, uncancelled bond in the Ozark Land & Lumber Co.

Ozark Land & Lumber Company bond

Ozark Land & Lumber Company bond

I grew up in St. Louis, MO.  My family took many vacations in the Missouri Ozarks region, camping, fishing and hiking. The countryside was clear-cut logged from 1890 – 1912, leaving a lot of traces today.  Old railroad bridge pilings snared our canoes, and the rivers were choked with gravel from erosion. This company operated one of the largest sawmills in the region. There are no known stock certificates, and this is the only bond I’ve seen. It was issued in 1912 to finance land sales so the company could get rid of the denuded hills.  he land was (and is) rocky and infertile, so it’s easy to see why none of the coupons except the first 3 were paid. This is an example of finding your history through scripophily.

IBSS Breakfast

John Herzog spoke on the Penn Central hoard at last year’s breakfast. This was a tough act to follow, but I took the opportunity this year to speak on a subject that has interested me for a while – how to publicize our hobby. YouTube is my choice for “how to” videos on cooking, pet training, home repairs and other practical topics. Why not a YouTube video on scripophily – from the collectors’ point of view?
Take a look at YouTube yourself. Search under “scripophily” for best results. Without revealing the end of the movie, the best we can say about the current offerings is that they are “unsystematic”. Despite this, the better ones (auction results, press interviews) have gottn around 2,000 views in 2 years.  If only 4% of these viewers joined the Society every year we could neutralize our drip-drip-drip of membership losses. The Society could do newcomers a service by preparing a video on the subject. And it would help drive traffic to the Society website.
My Breakfast talk was intended to expose some “experimental subjects” to draft content for scripophily-the-movie. There were around 10 attendees. No total neophytes, but a few who were fairly new to the hobby.
Subjects covered were (1) What is Scripophily?, (2) Is Scripophily a new hobby?, (3) What are stock and bond certificates?, (4) What are obsolete stocks and bonds Worth? (“live” certificates and factors affecting market value for obsolete ones) (5) Where do old stocks and bonds come from?, (6) Why collect obsolete stocks and bonds (high ratio of rarity to price, “cherry-picking” opportunities, historical content, absence of condition mania, artistic merit}, (7) What are the ways to collect stocks and bonds? (autographs, printers, topical/geographical/industrial fields) and (8) What are some tips on collecting “smart”? (take your time, join collector organizations, subscribe to publications, find a variety of buying sources, use scripophily guides, research the historical record, and understand condition and valuation issues).
I got some valuable input after the talk, particularly “good luck on stuffing all that content into a 15 minute video”. 15 minutes is the largest unrestricted YouTube submission size. Good point. While videos up to an hour are possible on the site, we’d probably lose most visitors’ interest before then. Twenty minutes with arresting images and stories is probably the maximum.
I’d be grateful to hear from anyone who has experience preparing documentary videos for YouTube. I’d welcome help preparing the script and obtaining selecting images and sound track (not limited stocks/bonds either). Also useful would be financial contributions. I doubt that this is something I want to finance out of my wife’s “pin money”. We should present the image of a serious hobby, not something like Billy Bob’s Mardi Gras Vacation. If you know how to get James Earl Jones to narrate it please let me know.
Report by Max Hensley

Two interesting certificates offered on the floor:

The Steinway Railroad Co was a Brooklyn trolley line organized by Steinway of the piano firm.

The Steinway Railroad Co was a Brooklyn trolley line organized by Steinway of the piano firm.

The American Steel Hoop Co American Bank Note Co specimen certificate, when issued, functioned as a receipt for American Steel Hoop Co shares submitted to the 1901 United States Steel Co consolidation.

The American Steel Hoop Co American Bank Note Co specimen certificate, when issued, functioned as a receipt for American Steel Hoop Co shares submitted to the 1901 United States Steel Co consolidation.

Historisches Wertpapierhaus, 38. Online-Auktion

9 December 2014 of IBSS Webmaster

Catalogue will be published in time online:

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