The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London & China
Ceylon Branch - 1870-1884 - Colombo

Pursuant to monetary reform in 1869 Currency Notes of The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London & China, Ceylon Branch in Colombo were issued in Rupees from 1870, with the same engraving of Royal Crest and printed by Perkin Bacon & Co, London. The bank lost it's charter to issue Currency in 1888.

Denomination: 5 Rupees
Note Color: Brown
HandStamp Color: Green
English : Five
Sinhala : රුපියල් පහයි
Thamil : ஐந்து ரூபாய்
Size : 175 x 108 mm
Date : 1 Jan 1877
Status : Canceled
Pick-lk S121
Denomination: 10 Rupees
Note Color:
HandStamp Color:
English : Ten
Sinhala : රුපියල් දහයයි
Thamil : பத்து ரூபாய்
Size : 175 x 108 mm
Date : 1 Jan 1870
Status : Proof on Card
Pick-lk S122
Denomination: 50 Rupees
Note Color:
HandStamp Color:
English : Fifty
Sinhala : රුපියල් පනහයි
Thamil : ஐம்பது ரூபாய்
Size : 175 x 108 mm
Date : 1 Jan 1870
Status : Proof
Pick-lk S123
Denomination: 100 Rupees
Note Color:
HandStamp Color
English : One Hundred
Sinhala : රුපියල් සියයයි
Thamil : நூறு ரூபாய்
Size : 175 x 108 mm
Date : 1 Jan 1870
Status : Proof on Card
Pick-lk S124
Denomination: 500 Rupees
Note Color: Black
HandStamp Color: Dark Blue
English : Five Hundred
Sinhala : රුපියල් පන්සියයයි
Thamil : ஐந்நூறு ரூபாய்
Size : 175 x 108 mm
Date : 1 Jan 1870
Status : Specimen
Pick S124
Denomination: 1000 Rupees
Note Color:
HandStamp Color:
English : One Thousand
Sinhala : රුපියල් දාහයි
Thamil : ஆயிரவ் ரூபாய்
Size : 175 x 108 mm
Date : 1 Jan 1870
Status : Proof
Pick-lk S124

Front: On a decorated rectangular wide border centered on top CEYLON BRANCH. on bottom, රුපියල් Denomination in Sinhala on left and Denomination ஆயிரவ் 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 and RUPEES below, with රුපියල් Denomination in Sinhala above on left and Denomination ஆயிரவ் in Thamil on right. Below centered No ##### COLOMBO 1st JanY 1870 No ##### .
Within shaded rectangle THE CHARTERED MERCANTILE BANK OF INDIA, LONDON & CHINA Promise to pay bearer on demand here DENOMINATION RUPEES 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 circle/ellipses background Hand stamped in color.
Back: Ornate Spirographic design with Numeric Value within on either side.
WaterMark: Need to Findout

The Rs 5 denomination has a slightly different design to the others. 1) In front on upper left and right, instead of the Numeric Denomination in decorate and RUPEES below, there is FIVE RUPEES within decorate. 2) At back Spirographic design with Numeric 5 within, at four corners and FIVE RUPEES within large decorate at center.

Denomintion 1870 1873 1877 1880
Rs 5 1 Jan 1 Jan
Rs 10 1 Jan
Rs 50 1 Jan
Rs 100 1 Jan
Rs 500 1 Jan
Rs 1000 1 Jan

I thank Claire Twinn, Global Functions Archives Manager, HSBC Holdings PLC, London for sending me in 2017 November, the 200 dpi scan of the Specimen Rs 500 note from the HSBC Collection. Reproduced with the permission of HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC Archives)

Other 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 Rupees 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, and 1000.

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.
Auction Images at about 67 dpi and HSBC Archive image at 200;dpi displayed at 50 dpi. Text from Auction catalog

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