PARIS. Action de F500. black. #22000. No 16600. Unusually large format (405x375mm), 2 folds and 2 pin-holes (outside the printed part of the cert.). A sensational discovery: the oldest French railroad share (1837) of a steam-powered railway line ever seen and the second-oldest French company to operate a railroad for passenger transport. The first being the Co. du C.D.F. de Paris à Saint-Germain (est.1835, opened 1837). The two companies were closely linked, with both being initiated by the Pereire brothers and financed by the banking familiesd'Eichthal and Rothschild. They both had the same President: the Jewish banker Adolphe d'Eichthal. Baron James de Rothschild had a seat in both boards of directors and Emile Pereire was the managing director of both companies (it was only later that both families would become fierce competitors, see lot 473). Moreover, 82% of the shares issued by the C.D.F. de Paris à St. Cloud et Versailles were held by the owners of the C.D.F. de Paris à Saint-Germain (a company of which no scripophily has ever been reported). The share we offer is personally signed by Emile Pereire, Baron Adolphe d'Eichthal and banker August Thurneyssen. On Emile Pereire (1800-1875) and his brother Isaac (1806-1880), books have been written. In short, they were major figuresin the development of France's finance and infrastructure from the 1830s until their death. They challenged the dominance of the Rothschilds in continental European finance (not in the least with their pioneering investment bank Crédit Mobilier - see lot 473). They were involved in tens of companies that made history, from the first railroads in France (but also in other countries such as Russia and Spain) over Paris's public transport system (omnibus) and gas lighting to shipping (Co. Générale Maritime/Transatlantique), wine (Château Palmer/Bordeaux) and international banking (e.g. Darmstädter Bank, Imperial Ottoman Bank, CreditoMobiliare, etc.). Baron Adolphe d'Eichthal was a key figure of this Paris-based banking family (est. by his fatheras Louis d'Eichthal et Cie), and of Jewish origin (just as the Pereires and Rothschilds). He takes up management functions in various leading French banks such as the Caissed'Epargne de Paris and the Banque de France. He is however best known as cooperator of the Pereire-brothers, presiding several of their railroad companies and taking up the vice-chairmanship of the Crédit Mobilier. As a leading figure during the industrialisation of France, but at the same time a major philanthropist, he was named Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur. Isaak Peter August Thurneyssen (1792-1871) came from Frankfurt to Paris and also built an impressive banking career (for himself and his heirs) and a close ally to the Pereire family. To that regard that his son Georges married Claire, the daughter of Emile Pereire. All signatures are in perfect condition (uncancelled). Together (and financially back by the Rothschilds) they thus founded this railroad company by Royal Decree on 21 Nov. 1837. A 99-year concession was granted and with a capital of 11 million frcs. (22.000 shares of 500 frs.), the works could start. The line was inaugurated on 2 August 1839 and still operates today as an important suburban line from or to the Saint-Lazare station in Paris. The original idea to construct the line was to help recovering the city of Versailles from the revolutionary disturbances by giving it a quick link to the country's capital. Chief engineer Desfontaines conceives a 22km route by the right bank ofthe Seine via St. Cloud (a commune 10km from the center of Paris with an impressive castle which was, until its destruction in the 1870 Franco-Prussian war, residence of several French rulers) to Versailles. The company was taken over by the Co. des C.D.F. de l'Ouest in 1853. Two years later, also the C.D.F. de Paris à St-Germain, de Paris à Rouen, de Rouen au Havre, etc. are all merged into the C.D.F. de l'Ouest and as such became one of the biggest railroad companies in France (and the place were Gustave Eiffel started his engineering career) until nationalisation in 1909. What we offer here is a previously unseen (founding) share... a share which is visually truly stunning. It has a wide border combining various allegorical figures (male,female, angels) with a very early steam locomotive pulling 3 carriages, the Paris Stock Exchange building, a railroad bridge, railroad tunnel and the entry gate to the Versailles Château. On the border of the share, we also discover the name of Alfred Armand (and his associate Athanase Mortier). Throughout all of their lives, he was the head architect of the Pereire brothers, and as such also heavily involved in their railroad projects. A most elegant share engraved by arguably most important Frenchengraver ever: Jacques-Jean Barre (1793-1855). He was the general engraver at the Monnaie de Paris (the world's oldest continuously running minting institution) between 1842 and 1855. In this position, he engraved and designed French medals, the official Great Seal of France, bank notes, coins (also Swiss coins) and the first two French postage stamps (Ceres series and Napoleon III series). His name is well-known in all these collecting fields, but it seems that earlier in his career, he designed this fantastic share, the oldest true French railroad share.
Startprice: € 12000