Saturday, August 3, 2013

PORTRAIT NOTES OF KING GEORGE V - Transition of printing of notes from Bank of England Press to Nasik Press


PORTRAIT NOTES OF KING GEORGE V
Transition of printing of notes from Bank of England Press to Nasik Press.
- Rezwan Razack

The Government of India proposed to change the design and form of the Uniface notes that
were currently in use. It was decided to make them more convenient to handle and to
increase security features against forgery. The Government decided in 1914 to design notes
of an entirely new pattern. The most prominent feature was to have a two-sided note with
a clear window left unprinted on both sides, through which a distinctive watermark could
be seen. These were to be made different from the existing Uniface notes in circulation. The
process of preparing patterns of new notes commenced. But before the decision could be
implemented, the World War I broke out and the idea was dropped.

Type 14.3 – Handmade Essay

Work on patterns of 10 Rupees note of an entirely new design began after the end of World
War I in 1918. This design was entrused to S. G. Bospious and Sir John Simpson, who
created different patterns. The approved newly designed notes of 10 Rupees were issued in
May 1923 signed by A. C. McWatters. They were printed in England at the Bank of
England Press. They were multicoloured with bluish-green being the prominent colour.
They were printed on both sides with the portrait of King George V on the obverse.

Type 14.31 – Pattern

Type 14.32– Pattern

The acceptance met in the circulation of the 10 Rupees notes encouraged The Government
of India to change the design of notes of other denominations. The new design notes of 5
Rupees were issued in October 1925. In February 1926 the new design notes of 100
Rupees were issued. These were the only three denominations that were printed in England
by the Bank of England Press.

The serial numbers on the 10 Rupees notes were numbered on the upper left and the lower
right. The Currency Office opined that the nearness of the serial number to the left edge
would cause it to be torn away. It may also become obliterated by use or by pinning and
stitching of the notes, which was the practice at that time. When a note would get divided
into two halves in transit, as was also the practice, it would be difficult for them to
determine whether it was rightly matched or mismatched, especially in case of the bottom
right serial number, which was necessary for the audit purpose.

In July 1923, H. Denning, the Controller of Currency, moved the Government to modify the
form of the notes. He suggested that the serial numbers should be printed in the upper right
and lower left corners, to obviate the two difficulties. The notes in the changed form were
printed in England and issued only in October 1925 signed by H. Denning.

In 1924, the Government of India arranged for an experimental Press to test the
practicability of Security Printing in India. The Government subsequently decided to
terminate the contract with the Bank of England for the printing of the currency notes from
January 1, 1928. Arrangements were made for the establishment of the Government
Security Press in India and Nasik was the selected location for the Security Press. The
Currency Note Press Nasik was inaugurated on April 14, 1928.

The Security Press at Nasik printed 5 Rupees notes with minor changes of the same pattern
that the Bank of England was printing since 1925. These notes were released from Kanpur
circle on October 9, 1928. The Nasik Press also printed notes with minor changes of
denominations 10 Rupees and 100 Rupees of the same pattern of the notes printed in
England and were released in Madras in February 1928.

5 Rupees:
The 5 Rupees notes that were printed at the Nasik Press were very similar to the ones that
were printed at the Bank of England Press, but with minor changes.
Watermark: The watermark was changed. The wavy lines in the watermark were
eliminated, as this type of wavy lines in the watermark was the property of the Bank of
England by an Act of Parliament.

Description: The colour of the note was also marginally changed. The notes that were
printed at the Bank of England Press had three colours – brown, green and orange in the
denomination panel equally divided. The floral motif below the denomination panel is in a
single orange colour. The notes printed at the Nasik Press also have the same colours.
However, the proportion of colour sharing in the denomination panel is different. The
orange colour is toned down, with green colour being more prominent and beside orange
colour on the right. The floral motif below the watermark is lighter orange colour with
green colour on the right edge. On the reverse of the note, the circular decorative vertical
panel on the left is of a different pattern.

The serial numbers and prefix was a continuation from the series printed in England.
The printing transition occurred in prefix ‘K’. These notes were signed by H. Denning.

Type 3.4.1A - Printed at Bank of England Press

Watermark Variety A used on notes Printed at Bank of England Press

Type 3.4.1B - Printed at Nasik Press

Watermark Variety B used on notes Printed at Nasik Press

Denomination Panels
Printed at Bank of England Press 


Printed at Nasik Press



Floral Motifs

Printed at Bank of England Press 


Printed at Nasik Press

5 Rupees – Reverse – Panel on left side of the note


Printed at Bank of England Press 

Printed at Nasik Press

Type No. Signature Prefix Watermark Printed in
3.4.1A H. Denning H, J, K (part) Variety A England
3.4.1B H. Denning K (part), L Variety B Nasik
3.4.2 J. B. Taylor L, M, N Variety B Nasik

10 Rupees:
Minor changes were also carried out in the 10 Rupees notes printed in Nasik from the notes
printed in England.

Watermark: The watermark was changed from the enclosed star to a radiating star. GOVT.
OF INDIA was added beside the enlarged GRI. The randomly spaced lines across the wavy
border were deleted and the wavy lines were reduced from five to four in the watermark.

Description: The colour of the note was also marginally changed. The notes that were
printed at the Bank of England Press were predominantly bluish green. The notes printed at
the Nasik Press are green in colour, with the bluish tint eliminated.

The serial numbers and prefix was a continuation from the series printed in England.
The printing transition occurred in prefix ‘C’, where the serial number appears on top right
and lower left.

Type 3.6.2 - Printed at Bank of England Press


Watermark Variety A used on notes Printed at Bank of England Press

Type 3.6A.1 - Printed at Nasik Press

Watermark Variety B used on notes Printed at Nasik Press


A few 10 Rupees notes that came back to the currency office in November 1923 showed
that the green ink was easily removable by some chemical treatment. Also due to prolonged
exposure to light, the green printing on the back changed colour and the note became
bluish. This problem necessitated the experiment with the green ink and its printing. The
notes of Rupees 10 of an entirely new pattern in dark blue colour, different from those
printed in England were printed at Nasik and issued in July 1930.


Type 3.7 - Printed at Nasik Press

100 Rupees:

The subtle changes were also carried out in notes of 100 Rupees.
Watermark: The watermark got changed and the wavy lines in the border were totally
eliminated in the notes printed at Nasik.

Description: The colour of the note remained the same. The notes that were printed at the
Bank of England Press had purple colour in the serial number panel and the circle of issue
was in black coloured fonts. The notes printed at the Nasik Press have a changed pattern in
the serial number panel and the colour in the serial number panel is green. The pattern
beside it in the lower edge is also slightly altered. The circle of issue is in green coloured
fonts, in different style and its placement also varied in different circles from those printed
in England.

The serial numbers and prefix was a continuation from the series printed in England.
The split occurred in prefix ‘S’. These notes are signed by H. Denning. Subsequently, the
font size of the Circle of Issue increased from small to big.



Type 3.10.1E - Printed at Bank of England Press

Watermark Variety A used on notes Printed at Bank of England Press

Type 3.10.1E - Printed at Bank of Nasik Press

Watermark Variety B used on notes Printed at Nasik Press

Serial Number Panel
Printed at Bank of England Press 
Printed at Nasik Press

Circle of Issue – Font Colours
Printed at Bank of England Press 


Printed at Nasik Press
The high denominational notes of Rupees 500, 1,000 and 10,000 continued to be printed
by the Bank of England as Uniface notes until 1930. The Nasik Press undertook the printing
of the notes of Rupees 50, 1,000 and 10,000 from the year 1931-32. The notes of all the
denominations, having the portrait of King George V were withdrawn from currency with
effect from the end of June 1941.

The type numbers referred to in this article are from The Revised Standard Reference Guide
to Indian Paper Money by Kishore Jhunjhunwalla and Rezwan Razack.
Email: indiancurrencymuseum@gmail.com
Website: www.indianbanknotes.com
Blog: www.indianbanknote.blogspot.com

7 comments:

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