Explanations of terms from the field of provenance research and Proveana's four research contexts.

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Jaluit Company

The Jaluit Company (Jaluit-Gesellschaft) was a colonial trading and plantation company that operated in the Pacific. It was founded on 21 December 1887 as a stock corporation in Hamburg. On 21 January 1888, the company took over the administration of the Marshall Islands, Gilbert Islands and Caroline Islands on behalf of the →German Empire, including the costs, in exchange for the right to occupy lands deemed “unclaimed” and carry out pearl fishing and guano mining. The administration itself was run by the “Imperial Commissariat of Jaluit” (Kaiserliche Kommissariat Jaluit) from 1888 to 1893 and the “Provincial Authority of Jaluit” (Landeshauptmannschaft Jaluit) from 1893 to 1906. The company struck a deal with the inhabitants to grow coconut palms for the production of copra, supplying the necessary equipment, seeds and other items. In addition, the company recruited workers for plantation work and sold plantation land to Europeans. It was also responsible for the shipping routes between the islands and even established a route to Sydney and Hong Kong in 1899 with funding from the German Empire. In 1906, the German Empire terminated the contract and handed over the state functions to →"German New Guinea" on 1 April 1906, where they were bundled in the province of Yap. After that, the Jaluit Company only operated as a business. It eventually ceased operations following the Japanese occupation of Micronesia in 1914. (SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts


  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts

Joh. Ces. Godeffroy & Sohn (Handelshaus)

The members of the Godeffroy family started trading as merchants in the city of Hamburg in the mid-18th century. Confusion often arises because several generations bore the same name and the company name changed slightly over the years: Johan Cesar Godeffroy (1742–1818) founded the business in 1766 (“J.C. Godeffroy” and “J.C. Godeffroy & Co”). In 1808, Johan César Godeffroy (1781-1845) joined the trading company (“J. C. Godeffroy & Sohn”). In 1845, Johan César Godeffroy (1813-1885) took over the management (“Joh. Ces. Godeffroy & Sohn”). His son, Johan Cesar Godeffroy (1838-1912), started running the business in the 1880s. It was removed from the commercial register in 1913.

As early as the 18th century, the company had engaged in trade with the Spanish colonies in South America. Its portfolio was subsequently expanded to include shipbuilding activities, shipping companies and industrial holdings. In the 1850s, its liner shipping routes covered Australia, North and South America, and later even Oceania. From 1857, the company focused its activities on the South Pacific, first by setting up trading posts and purchasing coconut plantations in Tahiti and Samoa (1865), and then by extending its trading empire to the Caroline Islands, Tonga, Futuna, Wallis, the New Hebrides, the Marshall Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago and New Pomerania (now New Britain). From 1861 to 1885, the company ran its own museum known as →„Museum Godeffroy“. By the end of 1879, however, it had to stop making payments and seek a settlement with its creditors due to a lack of liquidity. This process took over 30 years.(SF)

  • Cultural goods and collections from colonial contexts