Pick: #11E , The Banknote Book: B104P , Other: LK121/LK122/LK123
French administration. Benin (Dahomey). French West Africa. Bank of West Africa. 1902-1924 Issues. 100 francs Type 1920 "Porto-Novo". Work by Henry Bellery-Desfontaines and engraving by Ernest and Frédéric Florian. The back was designed and engraved by artist Georges Duval (1847-1919). Printer: Bank of France, Paris. Dimensions: 204 x 120 mm. Watermark: lion's head in a crescent. Front and back: multicolored print, mainly pale green and orange-red. On the front: the overall composition is of the “Art Nouveau” type. The background of the note is characterized by a sunset, the rays of which diffuse in pale green to the edge of the frame illustrated with geometric shapes and multiple decorations. In the center at the top border in an octagonal medallion, a rooster and the word "GALLIA (France in Latin)". Below, the issuing institute "BANK OF THE WEST AFRICA" and the value in letters are printed in orange-red. The value "100" is repeated in the corners. At the bottom of the vignette in the foreground, two elephant heads face each other. In the background, local objects (including a drum, a mortar, a pestle and a jug) are placed at the foot of a palm tree on the left and an unidentified tree on the right. In the distance, a merchant ship moves away towards the future. The city of issue “Porto-Novo” is met in red-orange and in overprint by black stamp on the emissions of “Grand-Bassam” and “Dakar”. The value in words and the words "Payable in cash, on sight, to the bearer" are printed in orange-red in the center. The series and the banknote number are printed in black in cartridges placed at the top and bottom of the note. Three signatures printed in black with The president, The Administrator-Director and with or without The Cashier frame the city and the date of issue printed in orange-red above the watermark. On the back: monochrome color printing in gray. This color changes depending on the city of issue. A rich graphic composition frames three white cartridges in which the official labels are translated into Arabic and Wolof languages. The note strangely does not include article 139 of the Penal Code! The specimen is known dated "3-1-1903", numbered "0.0-000", not watermarked, with "SPECIMEN" perforation horizontally upside down and bearing the signatures of E. Maurel / H. Nouvion but without the signature of the Cashier.