header Notes Collection

25 Rubles 1918, Russia

in Krause book Number: S104
Years of issue: 07.05.1918 - 08.1918
Edition: 2 451 000
Signatures: И.о. Управляющего: В. Тихонов, Комиссар: Дмитриев, Кассир: Н. Ермолов
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 30.01.1918
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 165 х 105
Printer: "Товарищество Р.Голике и А.Вильборг", Петроград, Звенигородская, д. 11

* 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.

25 Rubles 1918




25 Rubles 1918

In the newspaper "Petrogradskoe echo", in March 1918, the following report was published:

"Provincial Bons.

Along the way, the same printers make booms for certain regions and cities of Russia. The "artisanal" production of coupons by the province itself gave rise only to a total distrust of the population towards this money: their appearance was so ludicrous and unimportant. Even Odessa and Kiev experienced this. Taught by the bitter experience of the city, they began to turn to the wealth of the capital's printing equipment for help. One of the first was Arkhangelsk. Local branch of the state. the bank ordered the Petrograd printing presses for the Arkhangelsk gubernia bonuses of 3, 5, 10 and 25 ruble denomination - with the accompanying request: if possible, make the forgery more difficult. This order is being fulfilled and will soon be completed. "

This refers to private enterprises in Petrograd, where concurrently with the execution of this order, work was intensively carried out on the production of bonds for the Union of Joint-Stock Commercial Banks.

The Moscow researcher Yu.A. Artemyev found preserved archival materials, where it is stated that the authorized representative of the Arkhangelsk branch of the People's Bank, inspector of the small loan Dmitry Alexandrovich Miller, the production of new banknotes was ordered to the "Partnership R. Holicke and A. Wilborg. Printing, lithography, zincography, phototyping, heliography, bookbinding, located in Petrograd at Zvenigorodskaya, 11.

This printing house - "Golike and Vildborg" - mentions the author of the sketches of bank notes. Checks were printed on the drawings of Sergei Vasilyevich Chekhonin (1878-1936) - a famous painter and graphic artist, a student of I.E. Repin, a member of the World of Art, a recognized master of portrait miniatures, book and magazine graphics. In 1917 Chekhonin became one of the most prominent employees of the Department of Fine Arts under the People's Commissariat for Education. In these years, the artist worked with incredible intensity: posters, slogans, painting porcelain, the first samples of Soviet arms, seals, banknotes, a multi-faced book and, especially, magazine graphics, the design of mass festivities. His individual style becomes widely popular. The creative manner also changes - chamber art becomes large-scale, publicistic. "His classicism became hot, fighting, courageous," A. Efros wrote. "Chekhonin was buzzing in his empyrean uniforms, like the fighting pipes."

Printed from his sketches on dense white paper without watermarks, all the Arkhangelsk checks were made in the same style. The color scheme of checks retained, basically, traditional colors for Russian currency: green for signs of 3 rubles, blue and red for 5 and 10 rubles, and checks for 25 rubles - with a gray-blue front and lilac turnover. The money in the 3, 5 and 10 rubles - the same empire frames and vignettes with the figures of par value. The front side is decorated with a delicate floral ornament with an antique Greek helmet and speaker beams, interwoven ribbons. In the weaving of floral patterns, an important feature of Chekhonin's manner emerges. His flowers, leaves, grasses are easily recognized, they have their own, "Chekhonin" appearance. Characteristic combination of clear fine strokes with wide monophonic patches, with halftone planes created by hatching or dotted lines. On the 25-ruble check is an original drawing depicting a polar bear and walrus among the ice floes and hummocks against the background of the northern lights. Due to the pronounced northern symbolism of the checks, the name "morzhovka" (from Russian Morzh - Walrus) was used in everyday life. In the center of the composition in a lush wreath - the figures are nominal. Chekhonin, more active than other artists working on decorative hand-drawn fonts, boldly loaded them with ornaments, practiced the characteristic manner of calligraphically sophisticated drawing. The field of wide, as if spread out figures has a complex development.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners and centered. In words - centered.


25 Rubles 1918


On the back of all the coupons there is a frame with a designation of dignity and a richly decorated vignette with the emblem of the city of Arkhangelsk - "in the golden field of the shield the flying Archangel who is armed with a fiery sword and shield and amazes the defeated devil."

In accordance with the text printed on the booms: "The bearer of this check has to receive from the cash office of the Arkhangelsk Branch of the State Bank or one of the treasuries of the Arkhangelsk Gubernia ... rubles."

On the reverse, the conditions for the circulation of coupons are indicated: "Temporarily issued by the Arkhangelsk branch of the State Bank and within the Arkhangelsk province is mandatory for circulation on a par with credit cards. Forgery is pursued by law."

Denominations in numerals are in top corners.


Despite the huge increase in the number of banknotes in Russia during the World War, and especially after the revolution, the country experienced a financial hunger in the second half of 1917. In many localities, there was an acute shortage of bank notes. These phenomena were explained by the general increase in the price level and the resulting increase in the number of large cash flows, as well as by the hoarding of some cash by some of the population. Under the influence of fear of confiscation in banks, the thesaurus penetrated into the twist, where funds were usually on current accounts.

In the autumn of 1917 the matter of supplying the country with money signs was greatly complicated. The stocks of credit cards in the State Bank were gradually depleted, which was facilitated by a two-week break in the work of the Expedition for the preparation of state securities on the days of the revolution, and the development of new credit cards by the Expedition began to lag behind the growing demand for banknotes.

In September 1917, the Ministry of Finance began to receive information from the provincial branches and offices of the State Bank that they lacked a sufficient number of small-value credit cards. The exchange of a 100-ruble note often represented insurmountable difficulties, and when making small calculations in shops, getting a change expressed in pennies was often impossible.

Among the measures aimed at remedying the situation, the State Bank has taken steps to the widest possible expansion of monetary surrogates.

Uniform crisis affected the north of Russia in no less degree than other regions. In January 1918, the Arkhangelsk branch of the State Bank announced that "in view of the expiration of the stocks of credit cards from 500 rubles and less, the State Bank Department will receive payments only from 1,000-ruble denominated credit cards (whose stock is very limited) before receiving credit tickets from Petrograd. . ".

On January 6, 1918, representatives of the revolutionary committee, the finance commission, the food board, the zemstvo, the state chamber, cooperatives and other organizations gathered in the city hall. "The financial situation of Arkhangelsk is such that even if you declare your republic ..." - was announced at a joint meeting of the executive committee of public organizations. Seriously, of course, no one considered such an extreme measure, but the crisis required urgent measures: "The financial question is very acute. Money is enough for only 1/2 month. The main concern is the payment to the workers of their labor. It may be necessary to issue special coupons in order to replace them with money. "

A few days later, at a joint meeting, it was finally decided to issue local money surrogates. The report of the meeting said: "... everyone comes to the conclusion about the need to issue local banknotes on the draft proposed by the Office. Arch. Otd. The state. Bank. On January 10, a meeting was convened to resolve this issue, at which the issue was subjected to in-depth discussion. The need to issue banknotes for all is obvious ... According to the proposed draft, it is proposed to issue signs here, not as money (in the text) signs, but in the form of receipts from the State Bank, which the holder can exchange in the bank for credit cards as soon as the last will be received ... "

New coupons are supposed to be produced at a cost of 5 to 25 rubles, not higher, since it is in the small signs that a particularly strong need is felt. In view of the fact that the separation of state. the bank does not have the right to make a huge expenditure on printing, it will be done by order and with the knowledge of the revolutionary committee.

At present, the commission is busy with the question of finding paper, and if the necessary amount of paper is not here, then it will have to be ordered in Petrograd. "

For detailed development of the issue, a special commission was set up in the Arkhangelsk branch of the State Bank. The draft commission on the issuance of checks of the Arkhangelsk State Security Committee with dignity of 3, 5, 10 and 25 rubles was approved by local authorities on January 30, 1918, and on February 25 it was sanctioned by the State Bank, which released funds for the production of banknotes.

Various sources indicated that the checks were printed in the local printing house of Arkhangelsk. Since 1925, after publication in the magazine "Soviet Collector", a similar point of view was established among the collectors. However, this established view is erroneous, to which many confirmations have been found.

The year of issue is not indicated on the banknotes, the three-digit number with the letter is repeated twice and the signatures of the officials of the State Bank branch are indicated:

Deputy of the Governor of the Bank: V. Tikhonov

Commissioner: Dmitriev

Cashier: N. Ermolov

When the checks were numbered, a simplified system was used, which was used for state credit cards since 1915, when due to the disappearance of a full-weight silver coin and the crisis, an increased demand for ruble-denominated credit cards began to appear. The essence of the new numbering system was that the three-digit number on the ticket denoted the serial number of the series, and not the bill itself.

Archival data on the numbering system used for the checks of the Arkhangelsk OGB, unfortunately, did not survive. However, based on statistical data collected over several years, it is possible to make some assumptions. To designate the series, the letters of the Russian alphabet were used as on the national credit cards - 28 letters, except for the letters I, Ж, Ш, Щ, Ы, Ю. One letter apparently appeared to have a hundred series (from A 001 to A 100, B 001 and beyond). With the same number of the series, in all likelihood, 1000 checks were printed. Quite unusual was a copy of a check worth 5 rubles, for the numbering of which two letters were used. This variant of the check refers, most likely, to the period when the numbering system was only being processed.

By the spring of 1918, the cash crisis in Arkhangelsk was becoming more acute. On March 16 at a meeting of the provincial executive committee of the Soviets, the commissioner of the State Bank, Dmitriev, said that the bank could really only have two million rubles and could not meet many requirements. The daily need for money is about a million rubles. In April, the chairman of the executive committee reported to the Council of People's Commissars that there were no bank notes in the province, and 100,000 workers had to be paid urgently. In response to these reports, the Council of People's Commissars was able to allocate only 20 of the required 62 million rubles. In anticipation of the funds promised from Petrograd to all commercial and industrial enterprises of Arkhangelsk, it was strongly recommended that all their free cash be transferred to current accounts in the State Bank branch as soon as possible.

The financial section of the Arkhangelsk Gubernia Executive Committee announced the issue, along with credit cards, of the bonds of the "Loan of Freedom" worth up to 100 rubles. These bills were supposed to have a stamp "Arkhangelsk Branch of the State Bank" and one of three signatures: the bank manager Tikhonov, the commissioner Dmitriev and the commissioner Smirnov. Individuals who had bonds of no more than 100 rubles were offered to present them for sale at a subscription price (85 rubles per 100) to the State Bank's Branch. Bonds should have coupons, starting with the current one.

However, later an announcement was published with the signatures of the commissar of finance Medvedkov and pom. The bank manager V. Tikhonov, where it was said that on the basis of the explanation of the State Bank, in order to cancel the order issued earlier by the Financial Section, no stamps on the bonds of the "Loan of Freedom" are required.

At the end of March, the following announcements appeared in Arkhangelsk newspapers:

"Due to a lack of circulation of credit cards and to provide citizens of the Arkhangelsk Gubernia. the possibility to have a known number of banknotes for their calculations, the Arkhangelsk Branch of the State Bank, in accordance with the permission of its Board in Petrograd, issues special banknotes (checks) worth 3 rubles, 5 rubles, 10 rubles in the next few days. and 25 rubles. These banknotes (checks) are intended for circulation within the Arkhangelsk Gubernia. and are obligatory for reception by all governmental and public cash offices, as well as private individuals and institutions at the price indicated on them, i.е. on a par with credit cards of appropriate merit.

The indicated banknotes (checks) will be exchanged at the Arkhangelsk Branch of the State Bank and at the treasuries of the Arkhangelsk Gubernia for credit cards unhindered, as soon as the State Bank of Petrograd has enough of it to exchange credit tickets.

In view of the fact that the issued signs (checks) are intended for circulation only in the Arkhangelsk province, persons traveling outside its borders can make transfers due to them on money signs (checks) to the place of their new residence by making the checks they have in their Branch of the State Bank, Treasury, Post Office and Savings Bank. In addition, some of the banknotes (checks) to such persons can be exchanged for credit tickets from a special exchange fund specially formed for this purpose in the State Bank's Department.

However, less than a quarter of the banknotes were issued for circulation - only 26.660.000 rubles.

Note. Concerning the assumption of issued banknotes (checks) in circulation within the Vologda region. has an intercourse with the Vologda and Veliky Ustyug divisions of the State Bank.

Provincial Commissar for Finance: Medvedkov

Deputy of the Governor of the State Bank: Tikhonov

Secretary: R. Rodionov».

Samples of printed banknotes were sent to the Arkhangelsk Branch of the State Bank (and by that time of the "People's" Bank) and to nine treasuries attributed to it, including: Aleksandrovskoe, Arkhangelskoe, Onega, Pinezhskoe, Ust-Tselemskoye, Kholmogorskoe and Shenkurskoye. Received them and "branch offices" of Narbank in Arkhangelsk - former private banks: 1st (former Russian for Foreign Trade Bank), 2nd (former International Bank), 3rd (former Siberian Commercial Bank), 4 (former United Bank), 5th (former Moscow Bank). Handling The samples of new banknotes followed the same pattern as government credit cards, whose security measures were set out in the circular order of the State Bank No. 22 of March 8, 1901.

On both sides of the bank samples, a typographic overlay "OBRAZETS" (8 mm high, 92 mm long) printed diagonally in black (3 rubles), red (25 rubles) or dark green (10 rubles) was printed.

In total, it was printed and prepared for the release of Arkhangelsk checks in the amount of 120.807.000 rubles.

Appeared in circulation on May 7, 1918, new banknotes were well received by the population and went on par with the then circulating tsarist and the money of the Provisional Government. A lot of this contributed to this trustworthy appearance of new signs.

Information on the number of checks exchanged for other banknotes and withdrawn from circulation after their cancellation, is not preserved, but there are data that they were seized at least 75% of the total number issued; while, among the seized 80% - completely worn out.

For some strange reason, checks in bills of 5 rubles in circulation were not issued. The surviving specimens were obtained in the 1920s from the Gosbank branch by official or otherwise as a waste paper, the sheets of which were used by the provincial finance department in 1922-1923. on the cover of tables and all sorts of wrappers. Quite a lot of preserved and various defective and non-preprinted forms of different denominations from among those not released into circulation. Often these are almost finished signs without texts and signatures.

Soon after the circulation of new banknotes followed the decision of the Food Department of the Arkhangelsk Provincial Executive Committee of May 24, 1918. From this document, one can draw some conclusions about the purchasing power of the then Arkhangelsk money. In the binding order, the limiting prices for food products were introduced. In particular, the cost of milk was set at 1 rub. 15 kopecks per bottle, sour cream - 3 rubles per pound, oils - 4 rubles, eggs - 4 rubles per ten. The cost of fish was set at 1.80 - 2 rubles, depending on the variety, potatoes - 14 rubles. 35 cents per pood, sausages - 6 rubles per pound. For exceeding the maximum prices, there was a fine of up to 3,000 rubles or imprisonment for up to 3 months and confiscation of the goods. "

From May to August 1918 the checks of the Arkhangelsk branch of the State Bank went like the money of the Soviet North.

For more details on the continuation of the history of the ruble of the Northern Region and the registration of registration stamps, please, read here in Russian - Олег Парамонов (Москва). Нумизматика и фалеристика №2, 1999 г..