The Oriental Bank Corporation
1881-1884 - Newera Ellia

Currency Notes in Rupees issued from 1881 to 1884 by The Oriental Bank Corporation for Newera Ellia, with an engraving of Royal Crest and printed by Bradbury Wilkinson & Co, London.

Denomination: 5 Rupees
Shade Color: Red
Value Color: Pink
English : Five Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල්පහයි
Thamil : ஐந்துரூபாய்
Size : 174 x 135 mm
Date : 1st January 1881
Status : Signed
Pick-lk S168
Denomination: 10 Rupees
Shade Color: Brown
Value Color: Orange
English : Ten Rupees
Sinhala : රුපියල්දහයයි
Thamil : பத்துரூபாய்
Size : 202 x 127 mm
Date : 1st January 1881
Status : Specimen
Pick-lk Unlisted

Front: Decorative vertical panels on either side with Numeric value on top and bottom Guilloche with engraving in central ellipse. Repeated Microprinting of value as Numeric and in English. Panel on left has Crowned Empress Victoria seated on throne with a seven arced shell behind. A scroll in her left hand and chalis(?) in her right hand. Standing lion on either and Sailing boat on left, Coconut palm and building on right. A basket of fruit at her feet. The panel on right Bust of Mercury with caduceus. In centered Decorative horizontal panels NEWERA ELLIA on top and and CEYLON at bottom. Within panels on top Center, arced name THE ORIENTAL BANK CORPORATION with legend INCORPORATED BY ROYAL CHARTER below. Crowned British Royal Coat of arms within oblate 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 rampant lion crowned facing forward on left and unicorn chained with garter on right. Lion standing left on crown. Below DIEU - ET MON - DROIT in scroll. (The French motto of the Monarch of the United Kingdom, translates to "God and My Right".)
On either side Denomination රුපියල් in Sinhala on left and Denomination ரூபாய் in Thamil on right, with Serial No below. Within color shaded rectangle
Promise to pay the Bearer on demand at their Branch here or at their Bank in Colombo DENOMINATION RUPEES , Value received
Below NEWERA ELLIA with date as day month year. At center huge value in words RUPEES outlined in another Color, and taller than shaded region overlays it, Branch and date, as well as lower part of coart of arms. Below By Order of the Court of Directors
below on right ______ AGENT
below which on left ENTD _____ ACCOUNTT.
At bottom centered just below horizontal decorate in small script
Back: On a elaborate decorate of full back of currency Notes the value in Rupees Numerically and in all three languages, English repeated many times in small and micro text and once prominently in Sinhala and Thamil. Two identical Medallic busts face each in middle. Detailed design of back of each denomination is different from each other in color and detail.
Denomination Rs 5 Rs 10
Color Vertical bandsBlue-Red-BlueRed-Blue-Red
Pair of Busts Lady with hatGent with helmet
Sinhala Text Center Upper left middle
Thamil Text Center lower right middle
Large Numeric value 8 7

Watermark: ORIENTAL BANK in arc down above CORPORATION in line below Lighter than paper.

The Rs 5 note is 14% less wide, and the vertical panel on left has been made narrower. Only part of the engraving of Mercury is shown.

Text and Images from Spink Auction listings Rs 5 and Rs 10. Auction Images at about 67 dpi

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