announced that the 17th and 18th November will see a superb sale of Bonds and Share Certificates of the World in London. The sale will feature, amongst others, the Helmut Stahl Collection of Casinos, the third part of the Duppa-Miller Collection of Gold Mines, and selected items from the Menzel collection.
The long awaited Austrian bonds and share certificates from the German Ministry of Finance (BADV) is also on offer, with over 750,000 items in 260 lots. There are nearly 1,000 different bonds and shares dating from 1855-1945. After the Anschluss, the unification with Germany in 1938, these papers were transported to and stored in the impenetrable vault of the Reichsbank in Berlin and survived all of the Second World War bombs and subsequent Soviet occupation. Following the German reunification, the German Ministry undertook the settlement of all legal claims. With this process completed, this historically important collection of Austrian certificates can now finally be sold: a unique opportunity for collectors, dealers and investors. Any revenue generated by this auction will go directly to the Nazi-Crimes Compensation Fund.
A large part of the section covers bonds and shares from the 63-year long reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I, best remembered for Austrias conflict with Prussia during the war of 1866. Of particular importance within this section is the first loan issued by the new Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Unification Loan. Its purpose was to take on the entire stock of debt of the old Austrian empire. The loan consisted of four issues pf perpetual loans in the months of July, August, October and November of 1868 with identical conditions and print layout and only colour variations according their nominal values. A noteworthy peculiarity is that two issues paid interest in bank (state) notes and the other two in silver hard cash, Klingender Münze.
Another sizeable section of the sale is made up of the Helmut-Stahl-Collection, the biggest worldwide collection of casino shares, consisting of nearly 300 items issued in over 20 countries between 1830 and today. It gives a unique overview of the intriguing history of casinos as well as the queen of gambling Roulette. Roulette and casinos have contributed to human history as the symbolic double edged sword, they have created massive fortunes and destroyed the lives of many. Despite the latter, they remain mythic places of hopes, dreams and passions. The first game played in its present form was in Paris in the 18th century. The first real casino opened in the Belgian city of Spa in 1763. Due to the fact that the French Revolution denounced gambling as a vice and hence limited its enjoyment, casinos and gambling generally grew in German spa towns like Baden-Baden and Bad Homburg instead.
The myth and magic surrounding the potential of what could occur in a casino even inspired artists. Lot 159, a Roulette de Monte Carlo., 20% Obligation F500 au Porteur, was issued by Henri-Robert-Marcel Duchamp (1887 1968), a French-American artist of the cubist school, father of the Ready Made. He designed the visually compelling item and founded the company in November 1924 to finance his new passion for Roulette. Estimated at £3,000 6,000.