World Banknotes A-J
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INDIA, The Henry Archer Collection of designs for Indian and Hyderabad banknotes, 1928 - 1952, consisting of Reserve Bank of India, George VI, black and white, uniface photographs of proofs (14) for, one, two, two rupees eight annas, five, ten, one hundred (two types), and one thousand rupees, plus various vignettes and photos of George VI, animals, dhows, the Ashoka Column, hand drawn sketches and memos (31); Hyderabad, uniface black and white photographs of proofs (12) for one, five, ten, and one hundred rupees, plus photos of vignettes, memos (5), also black and white photographs of the pages from the inauguration ceremony brochure for the opening of the currency note press in 1928 (6). Most photos of proofs show signs of being removed from a book or album, several small repairs, nearly all the other vignettes, photos and other items show no faults, mostly very fine - extremely fine. (68)
Ex William L.S. Barrett in 1985 (the second portion of the Archer Archive which was sold in two auctions in the UK, the first portion went from Barrett to the British Museum in 1984).
Henry Archer was a designer, artist and engraver at India's Currency Note Press (CNP) Nasik (Road) from 1928 to 1952. During this period he prepared preliminary sketches, essays, proofs and final designs for many of India's (and Hyderabad's) banknotes up to independence.
The collection contains sixty-eight items. Forty-five from The Reserve Bank of India, seventeen from Hyderabad and six items relating to the Currency Note Press. The Reserve Bank of India section contains fourteen George VI, black and white uniface photographs of proofs, from one rupee to one thousand rupees. The Hyderabad section contains twelve black and white uniface photographs of proofs from one rupee to one hundred rupees. The collection also contains several hand drawn preliminary sketches, handwritten memos, eight actual size and enlarged photographic portraits of George VI and thirteen design vignettes from various notes, of animals, dhows and the Ashoka Column.
The highlights include proposed front and back designs for a George VI two rupees eight annas and a one hundred rupees, with facing portrait of George VI and two elephants in the central vignette on the back (see Jhun. type 10.2, page 169 and type 10.3, page 170). The Hyderabad notes include front and back designs for a one rupee with signature of Mehdi Yar Jung (Jhun.2.1 - previously only reported), the back of the large size five rupees type which was never issued (Jhun.7.1R) plus a number of partly finished ten and one hundred rupees.
The earliest item in the collection is a large hand drawn preliminary pencil sketch of the front and back of a design for a one? rupee with considerable additional information regarding size, number of sheets and number of notes. Both one rupee and two rupees eight annas are mentioned. Also a preliminary sketch for a one rupee made in 1935 (both signed by Archer at a later date). The latest are two different enlarged copies of the stylised Ashoka Pillar (Column) used for the Republic issues.
The following fourteen items are all Reserve Bank of India, George VI, black and white uniface photographs of printed proofs:
1-2 Two Rupees, portrait of George VI, facing left, J.B. Taylor signature. CNP Specimen logo at left. Front and back as final design for issued note (P.17a; Jhun.2.1).
3-4 Two rupees eight annas, portrait of George VI, facing left, CNP Specimen logo at left and J.B. Taylor signature. Eleven lines of Indian script on back. Proposed design, never issued (P.-; Jhun.10.2).
5-6 Five rupees, portrait of George VI facing, C.D. Deshmukh signature, front and back as final design for issued note (P.23; Jhun.4).
7 Ten rupees, back only with sailing dhow in centre as final design for issued note (P.24; Jhun.6.1R).
8-9 One hundred rupees, portrait of George VI facing left, CNP Specimen logo at left, J.B. Taylor signature, Calcutta top centre. Back with tiger in centre. Front and back as final design for issued note.
10-11 One hundred rupees, George VI facing portrait, C.D. Deshmukh signature. Back, two elephants in centre. These proposed designs were not issued (P.-; Jhun.10.3O, 10.3R) although a similar back design of the two elephants was used at a later stage on a Republic one hundred rupees (P.41; Jhun.7.1). The basic front design was also used with some changes (portrait of George VI replaced by Ashoka Pillar), some different titles and signature.
12 One thousand rupees, back with view of mountains. Back as final design for issued note (P.21; Jhun.8.1BR).
13-14 One rupee, George VI, front and back uniface hand coloured essays, C.E. Jones signature. S. No. N/99 000000. Proposed colours have been hand written in the top and bottom margins on the front. The watermark of the King has been outlined by a series of dots - see (Jhun.10.1O, 10.1R) for a similar piece.
Other items include a large pencil sketch of the proposed layout for the George V 1935 rupee? or two rupees eight annas. The sketch shows front and back of a rough design S. No. Y/20 000000, surrounded by other small geometric designs and information relating to size (3-7/8" x 2-1/8") numbers to be printed (Rs.1/-, Rs.2/8), paper (numbers per sheet; numbers of sheets), numbers to be printed daily. Signed by Archer lower right at a later date. Both designs show two circles (left and right for the King's portrait and the watermark) with a crowned GRI cypher in the centre and serial number below on one design.
Another pencil sketch (265mm x 200mm) by Archer shows Two Indian Buck. The title to this sketch is 'Back of Rs 5'. At a later date, Archer has added the words 'In 1936/7 I made this pencil sketch at the London Zoo. When designing the Rs.5 in India I put these Indian Buck on the reverse, signed by Archer lower right. There is also a black and white photograph of the completed vignette. See (P.23; Jhun.4.2R) for the final design on the five rupees.
One of the memos addressed to the engraver(s) Archer and H.W. Barr, dated 10/9/34 is entitled 'Note Designs for Reserve Bank'. It stated 'Although not definitely settled that Reserve Bank will have their notes printed here, it is highly probable that they will, and that the C.N.P. will remain a Govt. of India concern acting in a close liaison with the bank. It is unlikely that the bank will employ an outsider to design their notes and we must therefore be prepared to produce designs at short notice.....' The memo goes on to state that the King's head would appear on the notes and that they should provide preliminary designs for 5, 10, 100, 1000 and 10,000 rupees during the next six months.
As an artist, engraver and designer, Archer was also involved in designing notes for Hyderabad, Ceylon, Nepal, Gulf Rupees, (Indian charity notes), probably Pakistan, Burma and the first post independence Indian issues.
Archer was involved in designing the Hyderabad notes produced at Nasik. The collection contains twelve black and white uniface photographs of proofs as follows:
1-2 One rupee, uniface front and back. With signature of Mehdi Yar Jung (1939). Type as (P.S271; Jhun.2.1). A note written by Archer at a later date states 'I made a memo then that the (this) Re1 (one rupee) was not issued, thus making this note extremely rare'. Jhunjhunwalla states that it has been reported but not confirmed (page 294).
3 Five rupees (small size), front design (no under print) with signature of Fakhr Yar Jung (1936-1938 and 1940-41) with CNP Specimen logo top right.
4 Five rupees, front design (under print). These two notes make up the final front design as (PS.273; Jhun.6.1).
5 Five rupees (large size), back type with design of five one rupee coins but no under print (similar to Jhun.7.1R).
6 Ten rupees, front design (no under print or tint) signature of Fakhr Yar Jung (1936-1938 and 1940-41) with CNP Specimen logo top right.
7 Ten rupees, front design (under print). These two notes make up the final front design as (P.S274; Jhun.9.1AO).
8 Ten rupees, front design, signature of Liaquat Jung (1945-1947), with CNP Specimen logo top right.
9 Ten rupees, back design. These two notes make up the final design as (P.S274; Jhun 9.4).
10 One hundred rupees, front design (no under print), signature of Fakhr Yar Jung (1936-1938 and 1940-1941) with CNP Specimen logo to right.
11 One hundred rupees, front design (under print).
12 One hundred rupees, back design. These three notes (10, 11, 12) make up the final designs as (P.S275; Jhun.11.1).
Also in the Hyderabad collection is a hand written memo asking Archer to 'Pl(ease) come over and see me in CNP (Currency Note Printing) Office re Hyderabad notes. 11.15am', initialled (and dated) ??/6/36. Another memo (reduced photograph) states 'Please bring up to my S.P.I. office the proof of the Rs.10/- (ten rupees) Hyderabad note'. Initialled 4/6/5 (4-6-1935). On a black and white photograph of the Hyderabad coat of arms, Archer has written (later in life) 'Stylised coat of arms by (signed T.I. Archer)'.
In his old age, Archer wrote on small pieces of paper, additional descriptions and information about some of the items in the collection. These have been kept with the collection. A small photograph of a drawing (self portrait?) of a smiling Archer is included in the collection. He has added the words '1928-1952/T.I. Archer/Designer'in three lines. Jhunjhunwalla refers to him as Henry Archer (page 168) although many of the memos etc appear to have the initials 'T.I. Archer'. The collection also contains a set of three charity notes (Kadi) with the portrait of Gandhi at right. All are signed 'Mr T.I. Archer' at lower left.
There are also black and white photographs of the cover and the next two pages of the special 'Inauguration Ceremony' brochure for the opening of the currency press on 14th April 1928. Also photographs of the special ten rupees specimen note that was included in the brochure.
Refering to the starting of the note printing press by Sir Nath Mitra, Archer states the banknote sheets 'were cut and given to guests - about 200 sheets'. On the photograph of the ten rupee he has written 'existing design from de la Rues from London 1928' There is also a photo (damaged) of Sir George Willis, the former Master, India Security Press.
Some of the uniface banknote proof designs have the word 'top' written in pencil on the back. Most of them show signs on the back of being removed from a book or photo album. The front of the two rupees has three letters written in blue crayon? and a small hole has been repaired. The front of the 100 rupees has a vertical tear on the right margin which has also been repaired on the back with tape. The front top left corner of the one rupee is missing due to its removal from a book. The back has been repaired with tape on the left margin. Most of the Hyderabad photos of proofs also show signs on the back of being removed from a book or album.
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INDIA, The Henry Archer Collection of designs for Indian and Hyderabad banknotes, 1928 - 1952, ...