FOKIEN. Part Nominative de $1000. multicolour. #80. No 36. Most exceptional share, under the form of a 4 page 'book' on thick paper. The front cover consists of a hand painted traditional Chinese landscape with mountains, temples, walled city, etc. The back shows a large seal. The inside has the text, French on the left, Chinese on the right as well as a red ink stamp. The whole is conserved in the original leather envelop with Chinese text and the company name "Hoa-Hu". All well preserved. The text states (translated from French): "Hoa-Hu, Privileged Provincial Society of Fokien, formed by registered deed at the French consulate of Fouchou and at the mining office of the province, with a capital of $80,000, divided into 80 registered shares of $1000 each." Signed by 3 representatives of the company. Fokien/Fukien/Fujian is a hilly province on the southeast coast of mainland China. The company was set up by the famous French diplomate and poet Paul Claudel. Claudel (1868-1955) was for instance 6 times nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He had a long love affair with Rosalie Vetch, a married woman who must have been family with the holder of this share, EdouardVetch. Claudel's diplomatic career brought him all over the world, including as French Ambassador in Washington, Tokyo and Brussels. Between 1895 and 1909 he was the French consul in China. Claudel becomes the initiator of the Hoa-Hu company in 1902. The idea was to bring in French capital and specialised French engineers to start, for the very first time, miningoperations in the Fokien province. Upon exploration, zinc, lead and silver deposits were discovered. Claudel teamed up with Belgian banker Emile Francqui and his Compagnie Internationale d'Orient to get the necessary financial means. The Hoa-Hu companybecame the owner of the lands and concessions, the Co. Int. d'Orient was to organise the actual mining operations. A contract was signed between the Chinese authorities and the Hoa-Hu company giving the latter exclusive mining and railroad-constructionrights in approx. one-third of the Fokien province ; those prefectures best suited for mining (Shao-ou, Ting-tcheou and Kienning).In later years, the company ran into legal discussions with the local authorities and we were unable to find out what happened with the company after 1905. A most interesting share, of which only 80 were ever issued and only one other piece has ever been seen (auctioned by us in 2017). With its artistical design, it is most unlike any other scripophily we have ever seen from China. The company's history is a great illustration on how European powers tried to gain access to China, in particular its natural resources.
Themes: MINES (no gold, silver, coal)
Startprice: € 6000