Result list 1 April 2017

The results of our April sale will be available here on April 2.

Lotnumber: 378
LIEGE. Action de F1000. black. #12500. No 11421. A share of the very first issue of this giant of Belgian industry.In 1814 the brothers Charles-James and John Cockerill bought the castle at Seraing of the prince-bishops of Liège, and built there one of the largest, most modern and powerful metallurgical plants in the whole of Europe. Charles-James withdrew from thebusiness in 1823, leaving John as the sole owner. First a machinery factory, then a smelter, then blast-furnaces were built. Cockerill also bought coal-mines to serve the plant. He received financial help from the King of the Netherlands, and a loan from the Société Générale. The revolution of 1830, when Belgium came into being, cut him off from Dutch support, and caused an economic crisis. In 1831 he had to suspend payments, and had difficulty in keeping his businesses going. By 1834 he was re-establishing himself, and made agreements with the new Belgian state. In the 1830s he specialised in the production of heavy steam-powered machinery, especially for the textile industry, also iron and steel, locomotives and marine engines. He had acquired various mining and industrial interests in Hainaut, but his cash requirements forced him to sell them. Although his Seraing and Liège businesses were making profits, Cockerill's debts became ever larger. By 1840 it was clear that outside capital was needed, and the John Cockerill S.A. was formed on 21 February, 1841, with a capital of F12.500.000, divided into 12.500 shares of F1.000 each. The Banque de Belgique supplied much of the new capital. The first director, Gustave Pastor, was Cockerill's nephew and long-time partner; he has signed this share. Signed as administrateur also by Pierre Wéry, another long-time colleague of John Cockerill, and also, as commissaire-général for the government, by Jules Gernaert, an engineer, formerly with Société Générale, later chief inspector of mines in Liège, and a considerable mining entrepreneur. For over 150 years this has been one of the top companies in Belgium. Although Cockerill shares from the 20th century have been seen occasionally, pieces from this very first issue, in 1843, are very rare indeed. A share of major historical importance for Belgium and Europe. Stamps on face, but in much better condition than the very few others seen. The lot also comes with 2 more recent Cockerill certificates (a share from 1882 and a warrant from 1989). Rarity 9.
Province: LIEGE
Date: 18 April 1846
Quality: VF-EF
Startprice: € 1000