When the Second World War began in Europe, the Bank of Indochina took precautions and ordered for its Saigon branch, a total of 5000000 banknotes to the American Bank Note Company (ABNC) of New York. The objective is to have 100 Piastres Type 1945 (1) in sufficient quantity to cover any eventuality. But the Japanese invade Indochina in September 1940. The impression is then suspended. Between 1943 and 1945, 325250 copies of these 100 Piastres bills were overprinted and used for the territory of New Caledonia (2) (3), then for the territory of Tahiti (4) and finally in 1954, during a last provisional issue for Tahiti ... the one that interests us now!
The 1000 francs on 100 Piastres Type 1954 Tahiti
Description: Issuer: Bank of Indochina. 1954 Provisional Issue for Tahiti. 1000 francs on 100 Piastres Type 1954 (Ref. Kolsky: # 521 or Pick: # 22). Dimensions: 180x76mm. The note is undated. Front and back printing is blue-dominant monochrome. On the front, on the left, is an illustration of one of the two balustrades of the Angkor Thom bridge representing Hindu gods (najas) holding Vasuki, the king of snakes (see photo at the end of the article). Several surcharges are affixed on a banknote of 100 Piastres Type 1945 unfinished (Ref. Pick: # 78): a first overprint "Papeete, Emission 1954" in black at the top right. In the blue box at the center reserved for the value in letters, a surcharge of "MILLE FRANCS" in black. Below, the word "PIASTRES" is overprinted in black by the word "TAHITI" accompanied by two small black rectangles on each side. On the right, the oval pellet is overprinted with the value "1000" in black. At the bottom of the note, two signatures printed in black with The Director General, De la Motte Ango de Flers and The President, Minost. On the back: a group of six Asian peasants with their palms on their shoulders walk in single file along the shore of a lake. Printer: American Bank Note Company (ABNC). Banknote very rare. Rarity index Numizon: ★★★★
We have listed 17 banknotes seen for sale or in private collection (5), 15 issued notes and two specimens on issued note:
Alph. A2/#004 (in AU grade, perforated "SPECIMEN". Private collection with cashier number on the front: 4)
Alph. D2/#158 (in XF/AU grade, private collection: purchase price communicated € 700)
Alph. E2/#423 (in F grade, sold € 180 at cgb.fr, Internet Auction Banknotes November 2018, lot: # 4260414)
Alph. F2/#853 (in VG grade, sold € 183 at cgb.fr, lot: # b16_0401)
Alph. R2/#935 (in F grade sold € 135 at cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 12, lot: # p12_0171
Alph. R2/#951 (Unknown grade, copy in picture in the Pick, edition 1980)
Alph. S2/#368 (in VF+ grade, perforated "SPECIMEN" (6). Sold € 500 at cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 4 of 2004, lot: # p04_0235)
Alph. V2/#465 (in F/VF grade. Private collection)
Alph. X2/#891 (in F grade, sold € 150 at Christoph Gartner, Banknotes Auction # 31 of June 2015, lot: # 31602)
Alph. Y2/# 903 (in F+ grade, sold € 147 at cgb.fr, Paper-Money # 12, lot: # p12_0170)
Alph. Z2/#686 (in VF grade, sold € 427 at cgb.fr, Banknotes # 16, lot: # b16_0403)
Alph. F3/#170 (Unknown grade, copy in picture in "Tahiti and his money")
Alph. I3/#713 (Unknown grade, copy in picture in the Pick)
Alph. N3/#781 (in VG+ grade, sold € 200 at cgb.fr, 2004 Paper Money # 4, lot: # p04_0238)
Alph. P3/#724 (in VG grade, sold € 170 at cgb.fr, Paper Money # 4 of 2004, lot: # p04_0237)
Alph. Q3/#651 (in VF grade, on sale at $ 1,000 on ebay at KSPapermoney, lot # 273818574256)
Alph. T3/#565 (in G grade, sold € 120 at cgb.fr, Paper Money # 4 of 2004, lot: # p04_0236)
(1): Ref. KM: # 183, Pick: # 78 or TBB: # B101.
(2) : Ref. KM: # 428, Pick: # 45 or TBB: # B301a (Noumea without date).
(3) : Ref. KM: # 429, Pick: # 47 or TBB: # B301b (Noumea with date).
(4) : Ref. KM: # 520, Pick: # 18 or TBB: # B316 (Papeete without the mention « 1954 Issue »).
(5) If you have a copy not listed in this list, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
(6): comment of cgb.fr: "specimen by oblique perforation, handwritten inscription on the back and small number "8" manuscript in black ink on the top right of the front. The perforation was highlighted in red ink, probably by the same person who wrote "American Manufacturing 1943" in red ink in the upper margin of the obverse. The specimen being made on a numbered note, the perforation did not provide sufficient assurance that the note would not be commercially available. These specimens are very very rare.
FYI: Bank of Indochina banknotes are not yet referenced in the Numizon catalog.
Photo of the Angkor Thom bridge: