Treasury Central Notes 1943-1945
The "Central Treasury" is an issuing institute established in London in 1941 with the financial support of the Bank of England. The management of this Central Fund of Free France is entrusted to André Diethelm. The purpose of this monetary institute is twofold: to supply the French Forces with banknotes in the liberated territories and to replace the official Banque de France notes still in circulation. The design of the notes is entrusted to Edmond Dulac who is inspired by a portrait of the resistant Léa Rixen, to make a Marianne whose bust profile is taken as a central motif on the notes of 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 francs. The 100 francs Marianne Type 1943 (Pick: #105) is the first note to be brought by the troops during the reconquest of Corsica in the autumn of 1943. Two other notes, the 1000 francs Phenix Type 1943 (Pick: #108) and the 5000 francs Freedom Type 1943 (Pick: #110) are printed but are not issued. The banknotes are printed in London by "Bradbury, Wilkinson and Co Ltd". In June 1945, three new so-called "English manufacturing" notes were issued exclusively for metropolitan France: the 500 francs Marianne Type 1945 (Pick: #106), the only copy not to include the mention "Central Treasury", the 1000 francs Marianne Type 1945 (Pick: #107) and the 5000 francs Marianne Type 1945 (Pick: #109). The notes, which have no signatures, must be used for the compulsory exchange of all the Bank of France denominations issued under the Vichy regime, as well as the largely counterfeited "American impressions". But manufactured in urgency, grossly and without watermark by the English printer Thomas De La Rue & Cie for the 500 francs and the 1000 francs, the banknotes are also the object of counterfeits on a large scale and are thus quickly withdrawn from the circulation the July 31, 1946.