Compagnie Propriétaire du Cercle International de Vichy


Share of 500F - Lyon 1899

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Bearer share of 500 francs issued in Lyon in 1899.

The circle was founded in 1880 by Jacob Jurietti, a restaurateur from Lyon of Swiss origin. To house the circle of games, he had a magnificent building built by the Lyon architect Henri Despierre, at the corner of Sornin and Wilson streets, on the edge of the Parc des Sources (now Société Générale). The place is a gaming establishment (billiards, baccarat, etc.) but also a ballroom, a library and a restaurant. Very select access was reserved for Vichyssois, with a sponsorship system, and reserved for men. The games being then subject to prefectural authorization, only a small circle had been allowed in Vichy in 1866.

From 1875 to 1881, the Compagnie fermière, which was looking for a way to finance horse racing, had opened a "Cercle des Courses" at the first floor of the thermal establishment. Jurietti, as a shrewd businessman, circumvented the necessary administrative authorizations by reaching an agreement with the Cercle de Vichy, which then became Cercle International. It was the start of a meteoric rise.

For ten years, the Cercle International was one of the best known and most prestigious gaming houses in France, capable in 1900 of providing great prizes for horse racing. But very quickly, this quasi-monopoly ceased and it was possible to play everywhere in Vichy: the Eden-Théâtre where one could play the game of small horses, the Alcazar (rue Clemenceau), the Petit Casino (rue du Marshal Foch), the Kursaal or Jardin de Vichy (rue de Paris) … gaming establishments but also shows.

The Cercle International closed its doors in 1912, replaced by the novelty store Ulysse.

Source: Vichy media library


Data sheet

Rare bonds
Issued before 1900

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