Pick: #13E , The Banknote Book: B105P , Other: #LK140/#LK141
French administration. Benin (Dahomey). French West Africa. Bank of West Africa. 1902-1924 Issues. 500 francs Type 1921 "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: 237 x 140 mm. Watermark: lion's head in a crescent. Front and back: multicolored print, mainly yellow and blue. 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 yellow 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 "BANQUE DE L'AFRIQUE OCCIDENTALE" and the letter value are printed in blue. The value "500" 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 shown in blue. A “Duala” overprint with black stamp also exists on this “Porto-Novo” issue. The value in words and the words "Payable in cash, at sight, bearer" are printed in blue in the center. The series and the banknote number are printed in black in cartridges arranged at the top and bottom. Two signatures printed in black with The president, The Administrator-Director and with or without The Cashier frame the place and date of issue printed in blue 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. No article 139 of the Penal Code! A specimen is known from a private collection dated “10-4-1924”, numbered “0.0-000”, watermarked, perforated “SPECIMEN” horizontally with the signatures of P. Boyer / H. Nouvion. A complete proof is known dated "3-1-1903", numbered "0.0-000", not watermarked and not perforated with the signatures of E. Maurel / H. Nouvion and The Cashier (unsigned). Another identical prrof is known but dated "15-11-1902". A last identical prrof is known dated "10-11-1921" with the signatures J. Boyer / H. Nouvion.