A banknote cut in half!
The 100 francs Type 1920 (1) was issued by the State Bank of Morocco between 1919 to 1926. It is a work of the French artist Henri Bellery Desfontaines and the engraving was executed by Ernest Florian. Dimensions: 178 x 103 mm. The note seems to be cut in two by a palm tree enthroned in the center of the general composition. The mention “State Bank of Morocco” is printed on three lines in a cartouche and framed by two watermarks, one with a lion's head on a crescent on the left and the other with a Cherifian star on the right. Front and back printing is predominantly red and gold. An ornamental frame surrounds the sticker with the numerical value "100" printed in the corners. Creation date, numbering and alphabet are printed in black. In the center, the value in letters and numbers and the words "PAYABLES A VUE AU PORTEUR (PAYABLE AT SIGHT TO BEARER)" are repeated twice in dark blue and are separated by the palm tree. At the bottom, there is a distant view of a bay with a coastal town and a boat arriving at the port. The article of law in French is repeated twice at the bottom of the cut in two red cartridges. In the lower margin, we find the names of the artist and the engraver in golden letters. The back is composed of a frame decorated with Arabic motifs on a background of repeating motifs. All texts are in Arabic. 3 signatures (see variants below). The banknote is identical to the 20 Rials Type Type 1910.
There are three variants of signatures with, from left to right, the High Commissioner of the Cherifian Government, the Officer of the State Bank of Morocco and the Chairman of the Board of the State Bank of Morocco:
Variant 1 : Omar Ben Mohamed El Mokri / George-Hippolyte Gaurand / Stéphane Adolphe Dervillé.
Variant 2 : Omar Ben Mohamed El Mokri / Paul Rengnet / Stéphane Adolphe Dervillé.
Variant 3 : Omar Ben Mohamed El Mokri / Paul Rengnet / Jules Cambon.
Two types of specimen
A first specimen is known watermarked with double perforation "SPECIMEN" in vertical, dated 00-00-00 and numbered 0.00 - 000. A few rare notes are known. We only found 5 copies and all are between AU and UNC grades. Very rare.
A second specimen with large margins is known watermarked but not perforated, dated 1-8-25 and numbered 0.000 - 000. Only 1 copy seen for sale at Heritage auctions!
13 theoretical dates ... of issue
The note is supposed to have 13 different issue dates (2) but only 3 dates were found: 1-2-21, 1-8-25 and 1-4-26. This is the opportunity to take stock of the rarity of these dates and the number of known banknotes. The Numizon currently lists 45 copies to date.
Our summary for the 100 francs Type 1920 is therefore as follows:
|Variant||Inventory||smallest number||largest number||Issued notes (3)|
|1-2-21||14||X.8-528||X.91-353||2 295 000|
|1-4-26||20||S.142-739||C.191-823||1 505 000|
For full inventory details, see the table below:
|K.88||629||1-2-21||PMG 35 Choice VF EPQ|
|K.146||430||1-4-26||PCGS 12 Fine|
|J.159||505||1-4-26||PMG 20 VF EPQ|
|Y.168||581||1-4-26||PMG 15 Choice Fine NET|
|A.187||094||1-4-26||PMG 30 VF EPQ|
Only 8 banknotes are graded in my PMG Population Report. The first note on the list numbered X.8-528 (4) and dated 1-2-21, seems to totally call into question the real existence of the first 5 dates from 16-12-19 to December 1920! As indicated in the Numizon card, the year 1925 is the rarest to find. All banknotes in the inventory are classified in grades between Poor and VF+. Apart from the specimens, the issued note is currently not found in good quality. During a sale, a copy in UNC grade would undoubtedly be an exceptional price (5)! So, for any serious collector of Maghreb banknotes and whatever the date, your priority is to collect this banknote as soon as an opportunity presents itself to you ... and with luck, a banknote in good grade!
(1) Known banknote references: Pick: # 14 (SCWPM), MK: # 518 (Muszynski-Kolsky) or TBB: # B213 (The Banknote Book).
(2) The 13 theoretical dates of issue (in bold the 3 known dates): 16-12-19, 19-12-19, 7-3-20, 27-4-20, 00-12-20, 1 -2-21, 24-6-21 and 7-6-22 for the first variant of signatures. 30-4-24 and 1-8-25 for the second variant of signatures. 30-1-26, 1-4-26 and 1-9-26 for the third variant of signatures.
(3) Figures indicated by MM. Muszynski and Kolsky: “Les billets du Maghreb et du Levant", Victor Gadoury Edition, 2002.
(4) This note in G+ grade is currently on sale at cgb.fr for the buy-it-now price of € 420 (lot # p18_1092).
(5) Numizon Indicative quotes (based on the latest sales in archives):
|Variant||UNC+ 67-70||UNC 65-66||aUNC 60-64||AU 50-58||XF+ 45||XF 40||VF+ 30-35||VF 20-25||F+ 15||F 12||VG 8-10||G 4-6|
|1-2-21||-||-||-||-||-||€ 1 600||€ 1 100||€ 650||€ 550||€ 400||€ 340||€ 260|
|1-8-25||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||€ 800||€ 600||€ 480||€ 340||€ 260|
|1-4-26||-||-||-||€ 1 500||€ 1 100||€ 800||€ 550||€ 340||€ 260||€ 200||€ 160||€ 130|
|Specimen||-||€ 3 500||€ 2 900||€ 1 000||€ 800||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Special thanks to: Jean-Luc Aubert and Max Di Francesco for sending photos of 4 banknotes.