header Notes Collection

1 Peso 1959, Cuba

in Krause book Number: 90a
Years of issue: 1959
Edition: --
Signatures: Presidente del Banco: Felipe Pazos Roque, Ministro de Hazienda: Rufo Lopez Fresquet
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1959
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 132 х 57
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

1 Peso 1959




1 Peso 1959

Text throughout the field of banknote: "Banco Nacional de Cuba".

José Julián Martí PérezThe engraving on banknote is made after this photo of José Martí.

José Julián Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853 - May 19, 1895) is a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature. In his short life he was a poet, an essayist, a journalist, a revolutionary philosopher, a translator, a professor, a publisher, and a political theorist. He was also a part of the Cuban Freemasons. Through his writings and political activity, he became a symbol for Cuba's bid for independence against Spain in the XIX century, and is referred to as the "Apostle of Cuban Independence". He also wrote about the threat of United States expansionism into Cuba. From adolescence, he dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual independence for all Spanish Americans; his death was used as a cry for Cuban independence from Spain by both the Cuban revolutionaries and those Cubans previously reluctant to start a revolt.

On the left side is the red seal of Cuban National Bank (the coat of arms of Cuba, on background is the five-pointed star).

Now that I found out about the plot in the center:

On the 26 of November 1893, Jose Marti was invited by the Club Ignacio Agramonte, an organization founded by Cuban immigrants in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, to a celebration to collect funding for the cause of Cuban independence. The speech took place at midnight from 25 to 26 of November at the "Liceo Cubano". Between others, there were Francisco Maria Gonzalez and Eduardo H. Gato, from Key West. The topic of the speech "For Cuba and to Cuba" ("Por Cuba y para Cuba") sparked the famous incident between Enrique Collazo and José Martí.

There he gave a lecture known as "Con Todos, y para el Bien de Todos" ("with all and for the good of all"), which was reprinted in Spanish language newspapers and periodicals across the United States. The following night, another lecture, "Los Pinos Nuevos", was given by Martí in another Tampa gathering in honor of the medical students killed in Cuba in 1871.

According to experts in Cuban art in Florida, USA - Zeida Comesañas Sardiñas and Roberto Ramos, the engraving on banknote shows Marti as "an angel bearing the grace of God". There is a view, that one of the white stripes of the Cuban flag, over the head of Jose Marti, covers his head so, that it seems as white aura, as well as on inherent images of angels.

To the left of Marti depicted the Statue of Liberty, as a symbol of freedom throughout the world.

José Julián Martí PérezFor the prototype of engraving was taken a painting by Cuban artist Antonio Sanchez Araujo, finished in 1922, showing one of Marti's lectures.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in words on left side.


1 Peso 1959

The coat of arms is centered.


The Cuban Coat of Arms is the official heraldic symbol of Cuba. It consists of a shield, in front of a Fasces crowned by the Phrygian Cap, all supported by an oak branch on one side and a laurel wreath on the other. The coat of arms was created by Miguel Teurbe Tolón and was adopted on April 24, 1906.

The shield is divided into three parts:

In the chief, a key charging a blue sea between two rocks, symbolizing Cuba’s geographical position between Florida and the Yucatán Peninsula. A bright rising sun in the background symbolizes the rising of the new republic. A key is a symbol of Cuba as Cuba is the key to the Americas. On the left are the stripes of the flag of Cuba but turned so as they are bendwise. On the right is a common Cuban landscape, Royal Palm tree, a symbol of Cuba with mountains in the background.

The shield is supported by an oak branch on one side and a laurel wreath on the other. The oak branch symbolizes the strength of the nation; and the laurel wreath: honor and glory. These symbols were meant to represent the rights of man: Equality, Liberty and Fraternity.

A Phrygian Cap (Gorro Frigio) or liberty cap is located at the top, as a crown symbolizing liberty, with a sole star on it standing for independence.

sugarOn left side - Machetero (cutter of sugarcane). As a result of Soviet mechanization the number of Machetero decreased from 350 000 to 60 000 people. But due to the shortage of fuel and technology since 1991 their quantity has been increasing again.

sugarOn right side - the view at sugar mill, inside.

More about sugar industry in Cuba you can read here.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in words on right and left sides.