By Kerry Rodgers
On Nov. 20 Spink will put up for sale a vast inventory of historic financial instruments of the former German Reichsbank. The items concerned touch the very heart of German economic history. They constitute largely of treasury bills and bonds of the Reichsbank and the German States from 1878 to 1938.
These certificates survived World War II and its aftermath in the bowels of the Reichsbank in Berlin. They remained largely untouched during the years of the GDR. Following German reunification the Ministry of Finance sought to establish any and all possible claims. This process is now complete and the historically valuable collection goes for auction in its entirety.
Any revenue from this auction will go directly to the Nazi-Crimes Compensation Fund. And, before anyone asks, no bonds or bills bearing a swastika will be offered for sale.
The sale covers the whole German history from Bismarck’s time c.1878 until the beginning of Nazi rule in 1938. The lots vary in size from single pieces to more than half a million items.
Among the larger items are German Reich Treasury certificates from 1922 (approximately 14,000 items) and 1934/35 (approximately 40,000 items), as well as the whole restructuring of German debt from 1925 (more than half a million certificates). And, of course, there is a complete set of Germany’s war loans from 1914-1918.
Rarities include loans of the German Reich from 1878, 1889 and 1908, Royal Prussian Treasury bills of 1914, Prussian Treasury bills of 1922, and German Imperial gold bearing certificates of 1923.
For those into German colonial monies, and who would like something to dress-up their wall/collection, there are debentures related to German Protectorates such as Togo and Kamerun from 1908-14.
For the specialist there are numerous pieces from the German states. Examples include Thüringen 1937 and Bayern 1941.
The auction will take place in the sale rooms of Spink’s London office: 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4ET. The catalog can be read online or can be downloaded from: www.spink.com. Alternatively a hard copy can be requested online or from: Spink London, 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 4ET, England.
This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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