When the Czechoslovak Republic was created on October 28, 1918, the young state did not yet have the technical capacity to manufacture its own currency in order to replace all the Austro-Hungarian banknotes which then circulated on its territory. A first provisional issue was put into circulation in March 1919 from notes issued by the Austro-Hungarian bank on which postage stamps were pasted (1). The denominations are 10, 20, 50, 100 and 1,000 kronen Type 1919 (Ref. Pick: 1, 2, 2A, 3, 4 and 5). But this provisional issue is the victim of a large counterfeit due to many banknotes with false stamps. The series disappeared completely at the beginning of the summer of 1919 and was quickly replaced by the first official series of banknotes denominated in Czechoslovak koruna. The new issue, better known under the name of “Státovky I” includes 9 banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 korun. All the banknotes are dated April 15, 1919 (15. Dubna 1919) and some denominations including the 10, 20, 100 and 500 korun are made by Alfons Mucha, one of the founders of Art Nouveau. This new korun currency was initially intended to remain temporary ... but will last until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on December 31, 1992.
The 1,000 korun Type 1919
The banknote which interests us more particularly today is one of the rarest of the series with the 500 korun Type 1919 (Ref. Pick: # 12 or TBB: # B113) and especially the 5,000 korun Type 1919 (Ref. Pick : # 14 or TBB: # B115) listed in 36 copies. The 1,000 korun Type 1919 (Ref. Pick: # 13 or TBB: # B114) was designed by Alonzo Earl Foringer (2) and engraved by Robert Savage.
Above: front and back of the copy in VF+ grade sold for € 3,200 at Katz in 2019 (lot # 61).
Czechoslovakia. Czech republic. 1919 “Státovky I” Issue. Date: 15. DUBNA 1919. Dimensions: 193 x 102 mm. Watermark: Woman's head. Material: Paper with fibers. No security thread. Printer: American Bank Note Company (ABNC), New-York, USA. Front and back: Polychrome printing predominantly blue, purple and green on the front and black and orange on the back. Description of the front: Frame made up of guilloche patterns with the value "1000" in the corners. Safety background in green-blue gradient composed of two rosettes superimposed on the left with the value "1000" in the center. Serial letter in blue (A to E). 7-digit red numbering. On the right, an allegorical figure observing a terrestrial globe. Texts in Czech. Signature of the Minister of Finance, Alois Rašín. Description of the back: Predominantly black and orange printing. Frame composed of guilloche patterns with the value "1000" in the corners and in repetition on the frame. On the left, two allegorical figures of Agriculture wearing a crown of wheat, one holding a sickle in his hand and the other a sheaf of wheat inspired by the painting "The Reapers" by George Frederick Cumming Smillie. On the right, a rosette with several times the value "1000". In the center, the texts in Czech, German, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak. Date of entry into service: December 12, 1919. Expiry date: June 30, 1937.
Specimen, invalid and proof
The specimen (Ref. Pick: # 13s1 or TBB: # B114as) meets perforated “NEPLATNÉ (INVALID)” or “SPECIMEN”. The banknotes observed have between two and four vertical and / or horizontal perforations. Some copies may also have two cancellation holes.
Some banknotes (Serie D 0347383, or Serie E 0252509 and E 0270615) have a “SPECIMEN” perforation vertically on the left, a “NEPLATNÉ” perforation horizontally and 2 cancellation holes. A single copy of the Series A 0942874 is known for the moment with only a horizontal "SPECIMEN" perforation.
In 1988, the American Bank Note Company reissued from their archives, a brown single-sided proof (Ref. Pick: # 13s2 or TBB: # B114b) specially intended for collectors (see below). Market value: € 30 to € 50.
To date, we have listed 16 copies for the issued note and 8 perforated “SPECIMEN” and / or “NEPLATNÉ (INVALID)” copies on issued notes. The only copy known in the PMG Population report is graded PMG35. See the inventory in detail in the table below:
|P-13a||Stack's Bowers||-||B||0009180||PMG35||Copy sold $ 15,600 with 3 another notes in 2018 (lot #30103)|
|P-13a||ebay||$2,715||B||0521596||VG||sold on ebay in 2021 (3)|
|P-13a||World Paper Money||D||0587336||-||WPM copy|
|P-13a||Bank Note Museum||-||E||0196635||-||-|
|P-13a||Spink||£500||E||0324845||VG||Unsold in 2016, Auction # 16015|
|P-13s||numismatika Baron||-||A||0942874||-||Horizontal "SPECIMEN" perforated|
|P-13s||realbanknotes.com||-||D||0144802||-||Perforated 2 x "NEPLATNÉ"|
|P-13s||Christoph Gärtner||€750||D||0347383||F||Perforated "SPECIMEN" in vertical on the left, "NEPLATNÉ" in horizontal and two cancellation holes|
|P-13s||cgb.fr||€440||D||0980690||aUNC||4 x "NEPLATNÉ" perforated and 2 cancellation holes|
|P-13s||aukro||€2,684||E||0249373||UNC||3 perforations "NEPLATNÉ" in vertical and No 69 in margin on the back|
|P-13s||numismatika-ostrava.cz||-||E||0249374||F||3 perforations "NEPLATNÉ" in vertical and No 02 in the margin on the back|
|P-13s||Seznam Zprávy||-||E||0252509||-||Perforated "SPECIMEN" in vertical on the left, "NEPLATNÉ" in horizontal and two cancellation holes|
|P-13s||numismatika Baron||-||E||0270615||-||Perforated "SPECIMEN" in vertical on the left, "NEPLATNÉ" in horizontal and two cancellation holes|
(1) These stamps showed the amount of a tax paid in Czech crowns, half of which was credited as a non-transferable government bond bearing an annual interest of one percent payable at a later date.
(2) Alonzo Earl Foringer (1878-1943) was an American artist. In addition to designing and painting many famous murals in his country, he collaborated as a designer of banknotes for American, Canadian and European banks including the ABNC (American Bank Note Company).
(3) The banknote sold on ebay is the second copy found for the moment for the B series. The sale ended on January 10, 2021 at 7:13 PM!
- "1919, la naissance de la couronne tchécoslovaque" by Pierre Meignan on Radio Prague International, February 13, 2019 about the exhibition entitled "100 years of history of the Czechoslovak crown" which took place in the imperial stables of Prague Castle from February 1 to April 28 2019.
- "The Banknote Book: Czechoslovakia" by Owen W. Linzmeyer (page 7).
- "Czechoslovakia" Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, 1368-1960, 12th Edition (page 421).
- "Czechoslovakia", wikipedia.
- Papírová platidla, bankovky.