The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London & China
Ceylon Branch - 185x - Kandy

After receiving its Royal Charter on 1857 September 15 The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London & China it issued notes within months at its initial branches, Colombo & Kandy in Ceylon. This note was printed in 185x with an Engraving with Brittania by Batho & Co London before being replaced in 1864 by Perkins Bacon & Co London Royal Arms.

Denomination: 5 Shillings
Note Color: Black
HandStamp Color: Blue
English : Five Shillings
Size : 175 x 130 mm
Date : 18__
Status : Specimen
Pick-lk Unlisted
Denomination: 10 Shillings
Note Color: Black
HandStamp Color: Unknown
English : Ten Shillings
Size : 225 x 130 mm
Date : 18__
Status : Specimen
Pick-lk Unlisted

Front: On a decorated rectangular wide border centered on top CEYLON BRANCH, and circular in square designs in four corners and a shell at bottom middle. Within border on top Center, below words THE CHARTERED, Helmeted Britannia(Queen Boudica) seated facing forward, Spear pointed up in right hand Shield with Union Jack in her left hand with crown on top, Anchor, two packages and steam boat with sails down with mountain behind to right. Sailing Ship, package, bale, sleeping lion, Caduceus and coconut palm on right. Small Batho & Co London below. On either side numeric 5 SHILLINGS in decorate above No ##### . Below KANDY on left, and ____ 18__ on right.
MERCANTILE BANK OF INDIA, LONDON & CHINA Promises to pay bearer on demand at its Branch at KANDY in the Currency of the Island FIVE SHILLINGS Value recd
Below By Order of the Directors above in one line Entd _____ ACCTt ______ MANAGER
Value as large word FIVE in background in light Blue.
Back: Blank ?
WaterMark: Need to Findout

Art design has lot in common with the Ceylon Government Treasury Notes of 1850.
This Currency Specimen does not have value in vernacular languages Sinhala and Thamil, which has almost always been shown on all Currency issues since 1785. However the older note issued before Charter has the Sinhala and Thamil so maybe just these specimen lacks Sinhala and Thamil and not the issued notes.
Words THE CHARTERED seems to have been just added to 5 Shilling design, although properly incorporated to name in 10 Shillings design. After charter the notes were signed by By Order of the Court of Directors and that modification has not been done on these specimens.

According to Joe Cribb the 5 Shilling Note for Kandy Branch was printed on 1858 January 18th, but there is no evidence that it was issued into circulation.

Reverse image was not found online, probably blank.
If known please confirm/contribute. Thanks.

Text and 5 Shilling image from
Money in the Bank, by Joe Cribb, An Illustrated Introduction to the Money Collection of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Spink & Son Ltd., London, 1987. p 185. Scanned Image at about 66 dpi
The 10 Shilling image is from book History of Coins and Currency in Sri Lanka G. P. S. H. de Silva 2001 Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The book references the set of copies displayed at CBSL Currency Museum which were probably obtained many years ago from HSBC Archive.
These Images printed reduced in size have about 24 dpi resolution
Notes are displayed at 50 dpi.

Please contact kavan @ if I have made errors in encoding the Thamil in Unicode.