Front: On a decorated rectangular wide border centered on top CEYLON BRANCH.
on bottom, පවඬ් Denomination in Sinhala on left
and Denomination பவுண்ட் in Thamil on Right.
Within border on top Center, below arced legend
INCORPORATED BY ROYAL CHARTER crowned British Royal Coat of
arms within belt with legend HONO SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
(French motto of the order of Garter translates to "Shame be to him
who thinks evil of it")
supported by lion on left and unicorn on right. Lion standing left on
crown. Below in scroll DIEU ET MON DROIT (The French motto of
the Monarch of the United Kingdom, translates to God and My Right.)
On either side numeric Denomination in decorate, with රුපියල් Denomination in Sinhala above on left and Denomination ரூபாய் in Thamil on right.
Below centered No ##### COLOMBO ____ 18__ No ##### .
Within shaded rectangle THE CHARTERED MERCANTILE BANK OF INDIA, LONDON & CHINA Promises to pay bearer on demand at its Branch in COLOMBO in the Currency of the Island DENOMINATION POUNDS value received
Below By Order of the Court of Directors above in one line Entd _____ ACCOUNTt ______ MANAGER
In small text within border in lower left corner PERKINS BACON & Co, LONDON
The value in words DENOMINATION on five interlocking circles Hand stamped in color.
Back: Ornate Spirographic designs with Numeric Value within on either side.
WaterMark: Need to Findout
The Sinhala script has been written obscenely for Rupees Fifty රුපියල් පනහයි (as sic පකහයි) and for Rupees One Hundred රුපියල් එකසියයි (as sic වකයිපයි) These Errors in Sinhala Text corrected when it commenced note issue in Rupees, after monetary reform in 1869. Note also however that The Asiatic Banking Corporation notes and The Oriental Bank Corporation notes of the 1860's had the Sinhala and Thamil Text written correctly.
Note also the Thamil பவுண்ட் denomination in 5£ note
அஞ்த(Añta) rather than ஐந்து (Aintu)
Same in notes issued in Kandy.
It has been underlined in this specimen, maybe for correction.
The Thamil is also reversed ஐந்நூறு ரூபாய் in highest 50£ note, as is the order used for all subsequent post decimal notes issued.
Text and Images from Auction listings mostly from the 2011 Spink Auction of 19th Century Ceylon Notes. It listed Uniface Specimen Proofs on card of Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London and China, Ceylon Branch, Colombo Shillings and Pounds. 10s, 1, 5 and 10. Auction Images at about 67 dpi
Images of back of note most often not printed in Auction listings
are 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
Reverse image was not found online. If available please contribute. Thanks.
Notes are displayed at 50 dpi.
Please contact kavan @ gmail.com if I have made errors in encoding the Thamil in Unicode.