The share document as a precious artwork
Old securities bear more eloquent testimony to the 200-year history of Polish capital markets than the archives. And, what’s more, collecting them may bring higher yields than investing in today’s stock market.
If Leszek Koziorowski, partner in GESSEL, were to sell his collection, he would be looking at a rate of return unheard of in the market. He began assembling his collection of Polish shares, bonds, and pledge letters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the mid-1990s when, as a young lawyer, he was working for the Securities Commission, the predecessor institution of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority. “I would look at antique booksellers, on the curios market at Warsaw’s Koło, at random flea markets. They were ridiculously inexpensive, hardly anybody paused over them back then, they were to be had for PLN 5, maybe PLN 15”, he recalls. Polish share documents include masterpieces of the graphic arts, first and foremost in the art deco style – designs by Adam Półtawski or Józef Mehoffer. (...)