British Ceylon
Colombo - Pounds Sterling - 1850-1855

Ceylon Government Treasury Pounds Sterling Currency Notes (unsigned remainder) with engraving of Britannia by Perkins Bacon & Petch of London around 1850. The were recalled by a minute of Governor Sir Henry Ward on 1855 december 28th, effective 1856 January 1st.
Denomination: £ 1
English : One Pound
Sinhala : පවඬ්එකයි
Thamil : ஒருபவுன்
Size : 227x130 mm
Date : 18(50)
Status : Remainder
KM-lk# 3
Denomination: £ 2
English : Two Pounds
Sinhala : පවඬ්දෙකයි
Thamil : இரண்டுபவுன்
Size : 216x130 mm
Date : 18(50)
Status : Remainder
KM-lk# 4
Denomination: £ 5
English : Five Pounds
Sinhala : පවඬ්පහයි
Thamil : ஐந்துபவுன்
Size : 225x129 mm
Date : 18(50)
Status : Remainder
KM-lk# 5

Front: Upper Middle Helmeted Britannia seated facing forward, Shield with Union Jack and Spear angled left under her right hand, on left Sailing Ship and two small catamarans and lion sleeping right, behind three coconut palms, on right Elephant standing right, two packages and steam boat with sails down.
Above CEYLON in arc and large numeric value in cartouch on either side. Sinhala ලංකවෙආන්ඩුවෙකස්බ්‍රිප්පුව above cartouch on left and Thamil இலங்கைஅரசாட்சீயின்கஷ்நொட்டு (Ilaṅkai aracāṭkiyiṉ Kasnottu) above cartouch on Right.
To left No #### _______ 18 , To right _______ 18 No ####
The Bearer hereof is entitled to receive on demand VALUE POUNDS at the GENERAL TREASURY in the Currency of the Island at COLOMBO
Value in Sinhala පවඬ් denomination above and Thamil denomination பவுன் below value in English. On left Numeric Value in cartouch with value in Sinhala පවඬ් denomination above and Thamil denomination பவுன் below.
To right Exd & Entd Unsigned
In bottom (left, right and center on £1, £2 £5) just inside border in small script Perkins Bacon & Petch, London. Patent Hardened Steel Plate. This is
All within ornamental designs within and alone rectangular border.
Back: Blank
WaterMark: CEYLON in downward arc above and VALUE POUNDS in an upward arc below. Faintly visible in images posted above.

Note that all of "dot"s above the Thamil characters which were missing from the crudely printed Thamil Text of older currency notes are now present.

The same vignette was use in all three denominations.
There are however differences in the ornamental design. The numeric value £1 is in a Circle, 2 in an ellipse and 5 in a diamond. Text value ONE POUND in lower left, but just TWO and FIVE in other denominations. Name of Bank above Cartouch straight in £1 £2, but arced downwards in £5.

See extract on production contained in surviving records of the firm held at the Royal Philatelic Society (RPS), London. A significant number of unsigned remainders were discovered and are available in the numismtic market.

Set of these Notes with serial numbers 37089, 11589 and 1081 sold for £4000+20% at Spink Auction Lot 1298 in 2017 September, which is about Rs1 Million price asked for in Sri Lanka.
with serial Numbers 37087, 11584, 1084 did not sell with an estimate of £2500 at Spink Auction Lot 200 in 2012 October.
with serial Numbers 370??, 115??, 1099 sold for £2000+20% at Spink Auction Lot 69 in 2007 June.

Text from

Image from at 300 dpi displayed at 50 dpi. I thank Late Mr Tuan Sallay for this set.

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