letterhead
"A. CAVAILLE-COLL Père & Fils" Société en Nom Collectif
(Partnership) from 1845 to 1849.

When the Cavaillé-Coll family, father and son, decided to venture up to Paris and tender for the construction of a neogothic organ case in the royal church of Saint-Denis … a group of individuals applied: a family! This was at the end of 1833. As in the old days, before the Revolution, Mr. Thiers chose a "favoured" candidate to execute the first big commission of the century, without the bank guarantee that was, a priori, assured by the shareholders' share capital.

Nonetheless, the legislator and the craftsmen were still a little unwilling to regularise this type of situation. This was the case also for Daublaine the organ builder who created a Partnership with Father Cabias in February 1834, the same month as the Cavaillé family received the commission for Saint-Denis.

Similarly, the organ builder, Abbey created his company "Abbey and Company" in December 1837 reckoning: "that by raising enough capital to meet the parish administrations' wishes, they would secure sizeable orders and thus, through the considerable profits to be made in this industry, would obtain a very good return on the investors' money, as well as offering complete security".

While the Cavaillés had entered into complex accounting for the Saint-Denis project, we can assume that the financial agreements for the development of Mr. Barker's machine were a deciding factor in the family consortium's decision to opt for a legal framework similar to their competitors'. The "Société en nom collectif" (Partnership), "A. Cavaillé-Coll Père & Fils" was formed on January 1845 to be wound up on December 31 1849 as a result of relative dissension between Aristide and his brother, Vincent. Thus, the commission, with a value of almost 100,000 francs, which was at first given to the members of one family, was transferred to a Company "in which all partners are jointly and indefinitely responsible for company debts". The amount of the share capital was not specified.

Thus the July Monarchy opted for "thinly disguise favouritism of the Cavaillé-Coll Company" throughout almost its entire political existence.

But the businessman, Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, seemed free again and, from 1850 to 1856 he was his own liquidator. The new hope offered by the Second Empire led him then to found a " Société en commandite A. Cavaillé-Coll & Cie " (a limited partnership) "whose partners are jointly and severally responsible for the company's liabilities up to the amount of the declared capital of 200,000 francs".

back to top of page

indexThe company's financial historycategories