Result list 10 April 2021

The results of our April 10 sale are now online. Unsold items can be obtained in our aftersale until May 9 (first come, first served). .

Lotnumber: 678
WARSAW. Share of £100=4200 Polish Florins, unissued. black. #5000. Top piece: the oldest surviving Russian railway certificate. Printed on vellum, a few faint brown stains and folds. On the share, the text of the Ukase from the Tsar Nicholas I for the authorization of the railway is printed in full. In the Ukase, the Tsar gave the concession to the founder, Peter Steinkeller, as well as a guarantee to potential shareholders of a dividend of at least 4%, applicable up to the time when the company came under state control; at the time of the purchase of the shares by the state, an additional premium of 10% of the value of the shares would be guaranteed. The first railway in Russia would normally have been that from St. Petersburg to Moscow. However, the tsar decided otherwise. At first, in 1835, a 25Km-long test line to his summer residence of Tsarskoye Selo was built. So the first Russian railway was little more than a suburban line. The second line authorized by the tsar was the Warsaw-Vienna Railway, offered here. Peter A. Steinkeller, with the help of hisimportant sponsor, Count P. Lubenski, planned the railway already in 1834, but could start construction only after he had received the authorization from the tsar. Peter Steinkeller (1799-1854) was a banker and businessman, who was part of the business elite of Warsaw. He was well qualified; he was from a good background (his father had a trading business in Krakow), and he had important parents-in-law, the Warsaw business and banking family Anthonin, whose banking business he was later to inherit. Also belonging to the Warsaw business elite was Leopold Kronenberg, who came into the company after the death of Steinkeller, and acted as its president for many years. We see the signature of Leopold Kronenberg on later shares and bonds of the Warsaw-Vienna Railway. Of the 5000 founder's shares, 1500 were issued to the founders and sponsors in Warsaw and St. Petersburg; 1500 were placed in London and 2000 in Vienna. The Warsaw-Vienna Railway changed ownership several times. Three years after the founding of the company, the building of the railway came to a halt through lack of money, so the state saw the need to support the railway. In 1843 it became the property of the state. It remained in state ownership until 1857. After the takeover by the state, work continued. The phases of construction continued outwards along the following sections, which followed one after another: Warsaw-Grodsisk (completed 1845), Warsaw-Skernewitzi-Alexandrow (1845), Rogow-Lowitsch (1845), Rogow-Tschenstochau (1846), Rogow-Sombkowitzi (1847), Sombkowitzi-Sosnowitzi to the frontier station `Graniza', from where there was a junction to Katowice, and another to Vienna, Austria-Hungary (completed 1859). Including these stretches, there were about 300Km of line, costing about 7 million roubles. The line Warsaw-Kalisch, to the Prussian border, was completed in 1903. In 1857, the Warsaw-Vienna Railway moved from state ownership to a company founded in that year, the Warsaw-Bromberg (today Bydgoszcz) Railway. The tsar's concession was, in that year, extended by a further 75 years. It remained in the ownership of the Warsaw-Bromberg Railway until 1890. From 1890 to 1912 the railway was again an independent, newly-founded, company (founders: Leopold L. Kronenberg, G. Epstein, K.A.Milde, A.Renar, amongst others; president D.P.Palikin, amongst others). No share certificate from the foundation in 1890 has been seen in the collectors' world. Only about 10 examples of the second shareissue, in 1900, are known. In 1912 the Russian state again took over the Warsaw-Vienna Railway Company. The Warsaw-Vienna Railway, since it was linked directly to the railway networks of Austria-Hungary and Prussia, used the `Western European' gauge of1435 mm, while further railways built later in the Tsar's empire used the special `Russian' gauge of 1524 mm. In 1913, the rail network of the Warsaw-Vienna Railway was 749 verst (=1,0668 km) long, of which 290 were double-track; it carried 13 millionpassengers, and the rolling-stock included 500 steam-locomotives, 15.000 freight wagons and 500 passenger carriages. In that year the railway employed 19.000 workers and officials. The initial capital in 1839 was 3 million roubles, but by 1913 had grownto 98.6 million roubles. The profit in 1913 was 17% of the company's capital. The Warsaw-Vienna was thus the railway with the highest performance in the entire Russian empire. (our thanks to Erik Meyer for providing us with the above description). Textin English, Polish and French on the cover and Russian, Polish, English and French on the back. A highlight for any major collection.
Date: 1 April 1839
Quality: VF
Startprice: € 4000