bon de jouissance de la Société Commerciale de l'Océanie, 1910
(donnant droit à une part du bénéfice net)

recherche un historien de l'Océanie

coloniale, germanophone, pour


de la thèse de Claus Gossler


Claus Gossler vient de publier, en langue allemande, sa thèse de doctorat portant sur les activités de la Société commerciale de l'Océanie (1876-1914) et soutenue au Département d'histoire économique et sociale de l'université de Hambourg. Il recherche celle, ou celui, qui serait capable de lire son ouvrage et d'en faire un compte-rendu.

association "Études Coloniales"


Papeete (Tahiti), quai du Commerce


Review of my doctoral dissertation just published : Die Société commerciale de l'Océanie (1876-1914)

To the editorial board !

I wonder if there is a chance of finding somebody on your staff willing and able to review my doctoral thesis written in German. It has been accepted by the Department of Social and Economic History of the University of Hamburg, was graded "magna cum laude" and has just been published. It is called :

Die Société commerciale de l’Océanie (1876-1914). Aufstieg und Untergang der Hamburger Godeffroys in Ost-Polynesien.

(in English:  Société Commerciale de l’Océanie (1876-1914). Rise and Fall of the Hamburg House of Godeffroy in East-Polynesia.)

The company I researched into was a joint-stock company registered in Hamburg whose center of commercial activity was located in Papeete, Tahiti, Society Islands. This trading company exported local products from these islands, such as coprah, mother of pearl shells, cotton and vanilla to Europe, the US and Latin America while importing manufactured goods and food stuffs from these countries for distribution on the islands. It operated between three and five trading stations on other islands at different times for collection and distribution, and it owned schooners for transporting their goods, and for a time also plantations.

It was the most important trading company in the area until the beginning of WW I, when it was expropriated by the French. From the correspondence of which a major part was handed down and deposited at the Hamburg State Archive I was not only able to reconstruct turnover figures, balance sheets and profit and loss statements for most of the years, but I also portrayed the personalities of their managers, their staff, some customers and all competitors. Critical analysis of their managers' actions and decisions are part of the study as well as a detailed picture of the social, political and economic circumstances under which the company had to operate.

If you are able to find a person to review this monograph (of 592 pages), I would be happy to send a complimentary copy.Claus_Gossler

ISBN-13: 978-3937729-20-6
Thanks in advance and best regards,

Claus Gossler

Posté par Claus Gossler, jeudi 14 décembre 2006 à 12:50
contact :







présentation éditoriale de l'ouvrage de Claus Gossler


Die Société commerciale de l'Océanie (1876–1914)
Aufstieg und Untergang der Hamburger Godeffroys in Ost-Polynesien

[978-3-937729-20-6] - 44,9 Euros

Als sich der geschäftsführende Partner von Johann Cesar VI Godeffroy, der schon als „Südseekönig“ bekannt war, 1875 aus dem Management der gemeinsamen Firma in Tahiti verabschiedete, wurde die in diesem Buch dargestellte Hamburger Aktiengesellschaft mit französischem Namen gegründet. Ziel dieses Unternehmens war es, das in Ost-Polynesien bestehende Handelsgeschäft weiterzuführen und unter Einsatz zusätzlichen Kapitals weiter auszubauen.
Die weitgehend erhaltene Korrespondenz zwischen den Geschäftsführern in der Südsee, mit dem Hamburger Aufsichtsrat und dem Generalagenten der Firma machte es möglich, nicht nur das betriebswirtschaftliche Handeln des Unternehmens bis zur Enteignung zu Beginn des Ersten Weltkrieges präzise zu analysieren. Sie erlaubte es auch, ein getreues Bild der wirtschaftlichen, politischen und sozialen Verhältnisse auf den Gesellschaftsinseln zu zeichnen. Dabei stehen die Aktivitäten des Unternehmens in einer Zeit großen politischen Umbruchs – charakterisiert durch den Wettbewerb zwischen Frankreich und England um einzelne Inselgruppen – im Vordergrund. Das äußerst zurückhaltende Engagement, welches das siegreiche Frankreich dieser Inselgruppe gegenüber an den Tag legte, wird dabei kritisch unter die Lupe genommen.







Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum

Deutsches Schiffahrtsarchiv


Claus Gossler
Die Société Commerciale de l'Océanie (SCO)
Die Flotte einer Hamburger Handelsfirma in der östlichen Südsee (1876-1914)
Deutsches Schiffahrtsarchiv (DSA) 27, 2004, S. 93-110
Article printed in German, with English and French summaries, 3 ill.


The Société Commerciale de l’Océanie (SCO). The Fleet of a Hamburg Trading Company in the Eastern South Seas (1876-1914)
Until its expropriation at the beginning of World War I, the Société commerciale de l’Océanie (SCO), founded in 1876 as a German joint-stock company in Hamburg, engaged in intensive trading with the islands of Eastern Polynesia. This involved the import of manufactured goods and foodstuffs from Europe, the United States and New Zealand, and the export of local products such as copra, cotton, mother-of-pearl shells, vanilla and several other articles. On the most important islands, manufactories and trading posts were in charge of the sale of food and manufactured goods and the purchase of export products. The SCO's zone of economic influence extended to almost all the inhabited islands of Eastern Polynesia. Since a regular shipping route developed only slowly, and floating sales stores and product collection-points were required in addition to the fixed trading posts, the company operated the largest schooner fleet in the large region consisting of around one hundred widely scattered islands. The trading company also experimented with the construction and use of gasoline schooners, invested in a Lübeck-built wooden steamer, and tried its luck as a sailing-ship company on the routes between San Francisco, Valparaiso and Papeete. The essay examines the reasons for the company to have a fleet of its own – a major investment at that time – and also the size, variety and use of such a fleet.

© 2005, Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven

Author's address :

Claus Gossler · Eichenweg 10 B · D-21465 Wentorf · Germany




The social and economic fall of the salmon/brander clan of tahiti

Author : Gossler, Claus

Source : Journal of Pacific History, Volume 40, Number 2, September 2005, pp. 193-212(20)





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