At Spes non Fracta: Hope & Co. 1770–1815 by Marten Gerbertus Buist

By Marten Gerbertus Buist

The environment for this research is mirrored within the sub-title 'Merchant bankers and diplomats at paintings. ' the purpose is to stick with the companions of their many and various actions: of their courting in the direction of one another, of their contacts with different homes and of their attitudes in the direction of govt of­ ficials. additionally, the writer has tried to teach the reasons for his or her advertisement and monetary activities, the place those have been discernible. some extent of departure similar to this suggests that the surviving correspondence consti­ tutes the relevant resource of data. Quantitative facts are incorporated, yet inside this framework their position is subsidiary. simply because this booklet is meant for varied different types of readers, it's been divided into 3 elements. The introductory bankruptcy, which includes an abridged heritage of desire & Co. as much as 1815, is meant for these whose curiosity within the topic is of a extra basic nature. within the similar bankruptcy, a couple of major subject matters similar to the expansion of overseas loans within the Nether­ lands and the strategy according to se of issuing loans are mentioned, and at­ tention is dedicated to a few of the issues of exchange and to the query even if desire & Co. may be considered as retailers or as bankers. In end, an effect is given of the half performed by way of Amsterdam as a monetary centre through the Napoleonic period and of the very remarkable po­ sition which wish & Co. occupied at that time.

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To take over the loans at par. In a few instances, the entrepreneurs were permitted to pay for their bonds 'at 99 % free money,' which implied a profit of I % if, as was clearly intended, they sold them at par. After 1790, however, contracts with the entrepreneurs stipulated a minimum selling price. At first this was 98i%, but in 1792 it rose to 991%-probably on account of the abundance of capital in that year. 4 In the Napoleonic area, takeovers at par could not be sustained. The THE FAMILY AND THE FIRM majority of the older loans had fallen in price, and new ones had to be competitive if they were to appeal to the investors.

According to the agent of Prussia, Niebuhr, the partners admitted having made six million guilders, but he believed that the true sum was considerably greater.! The Spanish loan of thirty million guilders floated in 1807 similarly afforded opportunities for speculative profit on the conversion of old, lowpriced Echenique bonds. But Spain's financial predicament, coupled with political developments in the country, produced an early drop in the market quotation for the new bonds, making them difficult to sell.

The three large front rooms on the first floor were for the purpose of housing Henry Hope's collection of paintings and sculptures. 2 Three catalogues of paintings, which were compiled by insurers following Henry Hope's departure for England, provide an insight into the extent and nature of his collection. The emphasis was on works by Italian and Dutch masters, but Flemish and French painters were also represented. Henry Hope had been careful to spread his purchases, with the result that the collection contained no more than ten works by a single artist.

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