Result list 5 November 2022

Here are the results of our 5 November 2022 sale. Unsold items can be purchased in our after-sale at the start price plus 20% sales commission (+ VAT/Postage if applicable). First come, first served. Offer valid until 4 Dec. 2022.

Lotnumber: 282
PARIS. Obligation de F500 3%, printer proof set. Amazing set of 9 - all different - printer proof bonds of a 27 million francs loan issued by the famous Suez Canal company in 1879/80. The printer company was the famous 'Graveur Stern' in Paris. Most importantly, one of the proofs in this lot is corrected by Ferdinand de Lesseps himself, and personally signed by him. This is certainly one of the very top autographs in world scripophily. The printer proofs are all distinct: either in size, colours (black/white / blue / multicolour) or printing paper (from ultralight (#1) to - in most cases - cardboard). This collection clearly demonstrates step by step the - complicated - process of how a high quality bond (or share for that matter) in the last quarter of the 19th century came to being. The collection includes the final printer proof - with the note permitting it to be printed. The true top piece is of course a black/white printer proof on cardboard on which de Lesseps personally corrects the drawing on the bond of the Canal map with a red pencel (later printer proofs in this lot have it corrected) and than he personally writes his signature on the cardboard, just below the printed bond. Clearly, he was not satisfied with the original print of his certificate. Note the final letter 's' of his name is written differently on the first two printer proofs than on those of the latter ones. Ferdinand de Lesseps was the president of the company and builder of the canal. From a noble family, Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805-1894) starts his career as a French diplomat in Lisbon, later Tunis and in 1832 he becomes vice-consul at Alexandria, Egypt. In 1854, he obtained a concession from his friend, Said, the Turkish viceroy of Egypt, to form a company to construct a maritime canal open to ships of all nations. The Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez was formed on December 5, 1858 with a capital of 200 million francs. Good 10 years later, on 25 April 1869, the canal was officially opened. After several other exotic businessadventures, he was asked in 1879 (at age 74) to organise the construction of the Panama Canal. A number of technical difficulties as well as tropic diseases, insufficient capital and financial corruption led to the bankrupcy of the Panama Canal Co. in1888 (it would finally be completed by the United States in 1914). However, his reputation was long made. A monumental statue of de Lesseps stood at the entrance of the Suez Canal from 1899 to 1956. He's also known as chairman of the Franco-American Union and in this position, he officially presented the Statue of Liberty to the United States in 1884. He died in 1894 and is barried in the famous Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. The bond design shows a map of the canal, the pyramids and sphinx, thetemple of Philae at Aswan, etc. The lot includes apart from the 9 printer proof bonds, also a chart of the canal and an invitation to an official banquet offered by the English Suez Company directors to the French company directors, most notably its new (1896) chairman, Prince Auguste d'Arenberg (the menu might give you some inspiration for your next Christmas dinner...). A set of (by definition) unique printer proofs of a company that made world history, with a handwritten autograph of Ferdinand de Lesseps.
DE LESSEPS, Ferdinand
Date: 28 May 1879
Quality: EF
Startprice: € 10000