Below specimen Proofs of Pounds Sterling Currency Notes with engraving of Britannia which were prototype for the 1827 issue in Colombo.
Front: Britannia with helmet seated, Shield
with Union Jack on side, Spear in right hand,
To right No ..... COLOMBO in curve ...... 18...
The Bearer is entitled to receive ONE/TWO POUND on demand at the General Treasury in the Currency of the Island.
The 2011 Spink Auction of 19th Century Ceylon Notes listed these Specimen Proofs on card of Pound 1 and Pound 2 with vignettes of seated helmeted Britannia. On the day of this Spink Auction, the anonymous owner of collection cancelled it.
These two Specimens are described by Virginia Hewitt of British Museum in article
there were also attempts to give the Ceylon Treasury notes some local colour. The one pound and two pound notes carried vignettes of Britannia, each with an elephant in the background; the image on the one pound note also included a pagoda and distant palm trees.The Pagoda is the Relic Casket on Caparison Elephant, and the Palm Trees are in fact Coconut palms. Also says that she is
not aware of any surviving issued notes of this series, several unissued examples and proofs indicate what they would have been like. The vignettes on the notes were the work of Silvester, a London engraver who produced notes for many private local banks in towns throughout Britain. Much of the paper money used in her colonies was printed in Britain, and it is perhaps to be expected that the imagery drew heavily on the iconography used on British banknotes.
The British Museum does not have any specimen of this series. She published the vignette by Silvester & Co sc 27 Stand on the Five Pound note from the collection of William L. S. Barrett. She describes vignette as
featuring a graceful female allegorical figure, with little wings symbolising communication in her hair, and holding a caduceus, the winged staff indicating that she is a messenger offering peace, protection and health. Include a large package, suggesting for Ceylon where profit earned through exports was clearly appealing to her colonial masters.
The palm tree appears again on the five pound note, but this time the female allegory is accompanied not by an elephant, but by two camels kneeling quietly while she holds their reins. It is a delightful but surprising scene, not least because the camel is not indigenous to Ceylon. Unfortunately we do not know who chose this design, but we may suspect that these creatures were the engraver's attempt to find what he thought was an appropriate emblem for South Asia.
These are most probably only prototype Specimens of the 1827 notes since
Paper Money for Ceylon Printed in England by V. H. Hewitt, Pages 255-272
Origin, evolution, and circulation of foreign coins in the Indian Ocean.
Proceedings of the numismatic workshop : Colombo, 1994 September 8-10
edited by Osmund Bopearachchi and D. P. M. Weerakkody
Image at ?? dpi displayed at 80% dpi.
Please help if you have specimens of this series or know where
specimens exist, or have any reference information on these elusive
notes. Comments also welcome.
Please contact kavan @ gmail.com if you can Help. Thanks.