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Artefacts relating to the Vienna business.

The Ludwig Canal: commemorative wooden box, c.1840

000/1911/17, 1 item

Small wooden box with a lid believed to be of ivory. The box lid depicts a ‘Plan des kanals von der Donau zum Maine’. The Ludwig Canal, also known as Ludwig-Donau-Main-Kanal or Ludwigskanal, was built between 1836 and 1846. It connected the Danube River at Kelheim with the Main River at Bamberg, connecting the Danube basin at the Black Sea with the Rhine basin in Rotterdam. A joint stock company was founded in 1835, with the State of Bavaria owning 25 per cent of the shares, and finance from the Rothschilds. The shares were placed by the Rothschild Bank, and a contract with the Rothschild Bank promised an interest of 4 per cent per year, if the canal was not finished before 1 July 1842. Work started on 1 July 1836, and the first part of the canal between Bamberg and Nuremberg was opened by King Louis I on 6 May 1843. The complete canal was finally transferred to the joint stock company on 15 July 1846. The total cost of the canal was 17.5 millon Gulden, over double the original budget.