Generalization of color banknotes (1919-1938)

It took almost 20 years for the Bank of France to launch the issuance of a second polychrome note. Indeed, since the introduction of the 100 francs Luc-Olivier Merson Type 1906, the generalization of polychrome banknotes was slowed down in part by the First World War. In 1927, the Bank of France published a 50 francs project commissioned in 1905 by the painter Luc-Olivier Merson. The development of this note has many twists and turns, including an interruption due to the war and the death of the first engraver Romagnol in 1918! The 50 francs Type 1927 Luc-Olivier Merson (pick: #77 and #80) is finally put into circulation in January 1928. In the aftermath, the Bank of France issues a banknote of 1000 francs Type 1927 Cérès et Mercure (Pick: #79 and #90) intended to quickly replace the bill of 1000 francs Blue and Pink Type 1889, the latter having been the subject of an important counterfeit in 1920. During the year 1934, the 50 francs Luc-Olivier Merson Type 1927 is also replaced by the 50 francs Type 1933 Cérès (Pick: #81 and #85) whose allegorical style evokes the grandeur of France and the rise of national feeling of pre-war. In 1938, the international crisis took hold, the franc was devalued by 25% in May and the stock of notes is down significantly. On September 26, 1938, the Bank of France decided to put into circulation the 5000 francs Type 1934 Victoire (Pick #82, #91 and #97). This is the first note to be printed with a new so-called "soft-printing" technique, an intaglio printing process, which offers the Bank of France the opportunity to modernize its printing and security processes. But the issue of the 5000 francs Victory is not enough and September 28, 1938, probably also for fear of lack of liquidity, the 5000 Flameng Type 1918 is finally put into circulation! Despite all these efforts, bank withdrawals accelerate and force the Bank of France to urgently design a "circumstance" cut to the original face value and the appearance closer to a check than a ticket of bank. But the curious green note of 3000 francs Type 1938 "not issued"(Pick: #104) does not offer all the necessary security guarantees and is not issued. Simultaneously, the 300 francs Type 1938 Cérès(Pick: #87), another atypical note of "circumstance" and without date, is launched in manufacturing. It will be kept in reserve ... until it is put into circulation at the obligatory banknotes exchange of the June 1945.
 

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