A. Ruffer & Sons was a Franco-German bank established in Lyon in 1872 and dissolved in 1964. The bank was founded by Baron Joseph Ruffer, a German merchant, in order to support his family’s involvement in the silk trade.
By the turn of the century the bank had diversified into supporting farming and the wool trade in both French and Belgian Flanders and opened a branch in London to manage its cross Channel interests.
A. Ruffer & Sons was hit badly by losses during the First World War and was forced to seek a loan from the Bank of England and convert from a partnership to a limited company, with the bank as primary shareholder. Further losses during the 1930s and the Second World War led to the company being liquidated in 1941, and the little banking business that remained was transferred to Glyn, Mills & Co. in 1946. The company was finally dissolved in 1964.
Ruffer handstamped security overprints are found on Queen Victoria Foreign Bill stamps and less commonly on the Victorian 1d lilac stamp.