Result list 30 April 2022

The results of our April 30 sale are now online. Unsold items can be obtained in our aftersale until May 22 (first come, first served). .

Lotnumber: 402
COPENHAGEN. Share of 100 riksdaler. black. #5000. The Danish West India Trading Company was formed in 1778. It was the time of the American War of Independence; Denmark was neutral, and the aim was to take full advantage of this. 5.000 shares of 100 riksdaler were issued, and sold quickly. The directors were led by Ernst Schimmelmann (who has signed this piece, along with his fellow-directors). The company was at first a great success, paying good dividends to its shareholders. More capital was needed, and there was a further issue of shares. However, the end of the War led the other European trading nations to see the company as a competitor. Its position quickly weakened, and by 1785 much of its capital had been lost. The company had difficulty in meeting its payments, and the Danish state took over its debts. Its assets were auctioned, and the shareholders received only 60 riksdaler per share. Denmark had been involved in trade in the West Indies for many years. The key to the trade was slaves. Denmark, as well as several other European countries, had worked the 'golden triangle' - manufactured goods to the coast of West Africa, slaves from there to the Caribbean, sugar and other exotic products back to Europe. An earlier Danish West India Company had been successful in this field. Schimmelmann has been described as one of the greatest slavers of the 18th century, and the company whose share this is was his vehicle. Schimmelmann was, in fact, not a Dane, but a German. He was born in Pommern in 1724. He went into business in Dresden, in colonial products - sugar, coffee and tobacco, and earned a lot of money. Further successful business ventures made him a very wealthy man, and spread his reputation outside Germany. In 1761 the Danish state asked him to advise it on economic matters. He believed that the best money was to be made in overseas trade, and bought from the Danish king the four royal plantation islands in the West Indies, along with the largest sugar-factory in Europe in Copenhagen. He had many businesses, his own ships, important properties, large holdings in the trading companies, factories, distilleries. He died in 1782. His son Ernst (who has also signed this share) was not the same man - more interested in the arts than in commerce. The company was finally liquidated in 1824. The share has a fine vignette of gods, ships, freight, all under the Danish flag. The signatures of the Schimmelmanns, father and son, are cancelled, but clear. One of the most interesting of 18th-century tradingshares.
Date: 11 December 1778
Quality: EF
Startprice: € 1000