German East Africa - Interim Bank Notes
issued in the field by von Lettow-Vorbeck

Dar-es-Salaam only - issued 1st July 1917 (One and Five Rupee Notes)

Five Rupee

Field Notes - common reverse

One Rupee

Extremely rare Five (Uncirculated) and One (VF) Rupee, issued 1st July 1917:

These very rare notes were issued by von Lettow Vorbeck well after the fall of Tabora and Dar-es-Salaam (August 1916) to the British under General Smuts. (Dar-es-Salaam - throwback from Arabic slave trading days - stands for "haven of peace").

Image right: Dar-es-Salaam harbour as recorded by the German map makers in the 1800s.

The paper used in the five rupee note, as seen above, came from the special wrapping protecting the ammunition that was used by the guns on the Konigsberg. The strong threaded fabric was then used for the notes. One side is always shiny and smooth, the other side carrying the threaded gauze. The printing was done by way of a stamp - each piece of paper being individually stamped as the soldiers on the run had no printing press.

All thesenotes were individually signed by the officials Stelling and Kirst - an enormous task!

The very basic design of the note and the choice of paper reflect the primitive bush conditions under which they were created - obviously in the field like the boers Te Velde bank notes..

In fact the notes were created while Vorbeck was being pursued on the southern boundary of German East Africa by the British under the command of Smuts.

Despite the fact that Dar-es-Salaam and Tabora had fallen to the British the note above (see right panel) still carries the name "Daressalam" (as spelt by the Germans)

Grading Guide for bank notes - Definitions of terms

Value in 2005: The 1917 Interim Bank Notes are very rare - valued at over US$100 in EF. Rarely seen on auction.

[Brief history of German East Africa] [1915 Interim Bank Notes] [The 20 Heller "gun metal" coin struck in 1916]
[1916 15 Rupee "Tabora Pound" Gold Coin] [1917 Interim Bank Notes - struck in the field]

[von Lettow-Vorbeck an extraordinary soldier] [Vorbeck's Despairing Post Card]

[Rare German East Africa Siege Coins, Notes and Collectables] [Web Site Text Site Map]
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