100433 | FRANCE & EGYPT. Suez Canal silver Medal.
100433 | FRANCE & EGYPT. Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez silver Medal. Dated 1869. The Opening of the Suez Canal (42mm, 47.98 g, 12h). By O. Roty.
L'EPARGNE FRANÇAISE PRÉPARE LA PAIX DV MONDE, Progress, holding branch and torch, seated right on bundled package; overflowing cornucopia below; to right, Industry standing left; implements of manufacture to outer right; outline of canal in background / COMPAGNIE VNIVERSELLE DV CANAL MARITIME DE SVEZ / AU CENTRE LE / 17 NOVEMBRE / 1869 / LE CANAL MARITIME / A ETE OUVERT / A LA / GRANDE NAVIGATION in seven lines. Edge: «cornucopia» ARGENT.
Divo 606; Peltzer 2409. Mint State. Charming matte surfaces with an attractive old cabinet tone; a few lightly scattered hairlines.
Formed in 1868, the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez was held primarily by French private investors, with some capital coming from Egypt as well. Shortly after its opening, the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, İsmail Paşa, faced severe debt in his realm, and was forced to sell his shares of the company to the British government. For the next 80 years, the French and British held all of the shares of the canal company, and the British used this foothold to increase their influence in Egypt. In 1956, however, European control of the canal zone came to an end, as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the canal and restricted Israeli usage. The Suez was also a key issue in the Arab–Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, before finally returning to regular usage under Egyptian control. The original compagnie eventually became defunct following its merger with Lyonnaise des Eaux, which resulted in the formation of Suez S.A.