ANTWERPEN. Aandeel van 1000 Gulden. black. #6000. No 106. The company was formed in 1723 by wealthy Flemish businessmen on the initiative of the Austrian Kaiser Karl VI, who wanted to establish an independent colonial policy. It was formed for 30 years, and was given the right to trade with the East and West Indies. The initial capital was 6.000.000 florins, divided into 6.000 shares of 1.000 florins, and these were over-subscribed by 11 a.m. on the morning they went on sale! The company's trading was extremely successful, paying dividends of more then 11.000.000 florins to its shareholders in the first year of its existence. Its success was its misfortune, since the great trading powers - England, Holland and France - felt their position to be menaced; they threatened war. Under the terms of the Treaty of Vienna, in 1731, the company was liquidated. This was part of the deal under which the three powers accepted that the Habsburg throne of Austria was available to Maria Theresa. The company had been sacrificed to the needs of politics. The certificate is attractive, with a copper-engraving of the arms of the company, including the Habsburg double-eagle. The initial payment on a share was 250 florins only; the certificate acknowledges receipt of this payment, and of the three later payments of the same amount (1723-1725). The signatures are those of leading Antwerp financiers of the time. One of the very first companies founded in what is today Belgium. Note that this share was issued to Hercule-Louis Turinetti, marquis of PriÃ©(1658-1726). This Italian Marquis di PriÃ© was the de facto ruler of the Habsburg Netherlands between 1716-1724 as the deputy of the (in name) governor-general, Prince Eugene of Savoy, who did not reside in the Netherlands. He ruled in a highly despotic manner, which turned the entiry country against him. As he wished to control the foreign trade from the Austrian Netherlands himself, he oppossed the formation of this Ostend Company. Yet, having failed in his opposition, he than purchased 50 shares inthe company to keep up appearences. Due to his lavish life style, he got into financial difficulties and sold his shares (but also his furniture, etc.) before leaving the Austrian Netherlands in 1725.
Themes: BEFORE 1800, IMPORT/EXPORT
BELGIUM, HUNGARY, INDIA, NETHERLANDS
Province: ANTWERPEN, WEST-VLAANDEREN
Date: 30 August 1723
Startprice: € 400