header Notes Collection

10 Pounds Sterling 2017, Kingdom of Great Britain

in Banknotes Book Number: B137a
Years of issue: 06.03.2019
Signatures: Chief Financial Officer: Thomas McAreavey
Serie: Northern Ireland
Specimen of: 31.05.2017
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 132 х 69
Printer: Unknown printer

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

10 Pounds Sterling 2017




In transparent window is the head of Medusa Gorgoneion.

10 Pounds 1942 10 Pounds 1942Centered and multiplied on top are the heads of Medusa (Gorgoneion). In Ancient Greece, the Gorgoneion (Greek: Γοργόνειον) was a special apotropaic amulet showing the Gorgon head, used most famously by the Olympian deities Athena and Zeus: both are said to have worn the Gorgoneion as a protective pendant (remedy for the evil eye).

In Greek mythology Medusa (Μέδουσα "guardian, protectress") was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as a winged human female with a hideous face and living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazers on her face would turn to stone. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus (Fabulae Preface) makes Medusa the daughter of Gorgon and Ceto. According to Hesiod and Aeschylus, she lived and died on an island named Sarpedon, somewhere near Cisthene. The 2nd-century BCE novelist Dionysios Skytobrachion puts her somewhere in Libya, where Herodotus had said the Berbers originated her myth, as part of their religion.

Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.

The photos are taken from Antonia Hart's Blog.


10 Pounds Sterling 2017

10 Pounds 1942

The Hibernia (on left side) - female personification of Ireland.

Hibernia as a national personification representing Ireland appeared in numerous cartoon and drawings, especially in the nineteenth century.

As depicted in frequent cartoons in Punch, a magazine outspokenly hostile to Irish nationalism, Hibernia was shown as "Britannia's younger sister". She is an attractive, vulnerable girl. She is threatened by manifestations of Irish nationalism such as the Fenians or the Irish National Land League, often depicted as brutish, ape-like monsters. Unable to defend herself, Hibernia is depicted turning to the strong, armoured Britannia for defence. John Tenniel, now mainly remembered as the illustrator of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, produced a number of such depictions of Hibernia.

At times nationalist publications (such as the Land League and Parnell's United Ireland newspaper) did use the image of Hibernia. However, possibly because of the pro-union publications' adoption of the "helpless" image of Hibernia, nationalist publications would later use Erin and Kathleen Ni Houlihan, as personifications of Irish nationhood. Although Irish Nationalists did continue to use the terms "Hibernia" and "Hibernian" in other contexts, such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians. A statue, derived from an original by Edward Smyth and depicting a more confident Hibernia (with harp and spear), stands in the central position of three atop the General Post Office in Dublin.

coat of arms

On top are 6 coats of arms of 6 counties of Northern Ireland.

The first, from left side is the coat of arms of Tyron county.

The coat wears the red hand of Ulster, indicating that the county is part of Ulster and Northern Ireland. The 'fleur-de-lis' at the top of the crest is indicative of the county's connection to the British royal family.

The inescutcheon featured a red, open hand, with the fingers pointing upwards, the thumb held parallel to the fingers, and the palm facing forward. This is known as the "red hand of Ulster" (Irish: Lámh Dhearg Uladh), which is usually shown as a

The hand is either derived from the O'Neill dynasty, once the most prominent Irish clan in Ulster, or the Dextra Dei of early Christian iconography. The Red Hand is rooted in Gaelic culture and, although its origin and meaning is unknown, it is believed to date back to pagan times.

The Red Hand is first documented in surviving records in the XIII-century, where it was used by the Hiberno-Norman de Burgh earls of Ulster. It was Walter de Burgh who became first Earl of Ulster in 1243 who combined the de Burgh cross with the Red Hand to create a flag that represented the Earldom of Ulster and later became the modern Flag of Ulster.

It was afterwards adopted by the O'Neills (Uí Néill) when they assumed the ancient kingship of Ulster (Ulaid), inventing the title Rex Ultonie (king of Ulster) for themselves in 1317 and then claiming it unopposed from 1345 onwards. An early Irish heraldic use in Ireland of the open right hand can be seen in the seal of Aodh Reamhar Ó Néill, king of the Irish of Ulster, 1344-1364.

An early 15th-century poem by Mael Ó hÚigínn is named Lámh dhearg Éireann í Eachach, the first line of which is a variation of the title: "Lamh dhearg Éiriond Ibh Eathoch", translated as "The Úí Eachach are the "red hand" of Ireland". The Uí Eachach were one of the Cruthin tribes (known as the Dál nAraidi after 773) that made up the ancient kingdom of Ulaid.

The Red Hand symbol is believed to have been used by the O'Neills during its Nine Years' War (1594-1603) against English rule in Ireland, and the war cry lámh dearg Éireann abú! ("the Red Hand of Ireland forever") was also associated with them. An English writer of the time noted "The Ancient Red Hand of Ulster, the bloody Red Hand, a terrible cognizance! And in allusion to that terrible cognizance- the battle cry of Lamh dearg abu!"

The Order of Baronets was instituted by letters patent dated 10 May 1612, which state that "the Baronets and their descendants shall and may bear, either in a canton in their coat of arms, or in an inescutcheon, at their election, the arms of Ulster, that is, in a field argent, a hand gules, or a bloody hand." The oldest baronets used a dexter (right) hand just like the O'Neills, however it later became a sinister (left) hand.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Antrim county, Northern Ireland.

Explanatory description of the emblem is not found yet.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Down county, Northern Ireland.

Explanatory description of the emblem is not found yet.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Londonderry county, Northern Ireland.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Armagh county, Northern Ireland.

coat of arms

The coat of arms of Fermanagh county, Northern Ireland.

The fortification is Enniskillen Castle which was originally built by the Maguire family in the XVII century. The blue and white wavy lines represent Upper and Lower Lough Erne respectively, as well as the many other lakes found in Fermanagh, which have given rise to the other nickname: “Lakeland County.” This is emphasised by motto “Feor Magh Eanagh” which in Irish means “Country of the Lakes.” The green slopes symbolise the fields and forests and combined with white are the county colours. The flag flying over the castle is St. Patrick’s Saltire. (

In transparent window is the head of Medusa Gorgoneion (please, see watermarks description), nearby is Flax flower with denomination 10, inside.

Línum usitatíssimum flower Línum usitatíssimum

In the background of banknote is made, painted by gold foil, the image of a flower. I wrote to the Bank of Ireland about this flower. Thank so much to Alison, from Contact Us Unit for help.

On banknote is Flax flower.

Flax is the emblem of Northern Ireland and displayed by the Northern Ireland Assembly. In a coronet, it appeared on the reverse of the British one-pound coin to represent Northern Ireland on coins minted in 1986, 1991, and 2014. Flax also represents Northern Ireland on the badge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and on various logos associated with it.

Flax (Linum usitatissimum), also known as common flax or linseed, is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is a food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. The textiles made from flax are known in the Western countries as linen, and traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. The oil is known as linseed oil. In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. The plant species is known only as a cultivated plant, and appears to have been domesticated just once from the wild species Linum bienne, called pale flax.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners, in words - centered.


10 Pounds Sterling 2017

Old Bushmills Distillery Old Bushmills Distillery

The Old Bushmills Distillery is a distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. As of December 2014, it was in the process of transitioning from ownership by Diageo plc to Jose Cuervo. All of the whiskey bottled under the Bushmills whiskey brand is produced at the Bushmills Distillery and uses water drawn from Saint Columb's Rill, which is a tributary of the River Bush. The distillery is a popular tourist attraction, with around 120,000 visitors per year.

The company that originally built the distillery was formed in 1784, although the date 1608 is printed on the label of the brand - referring to an earlier date when a royal licence was granted to a local landowner to distil whiskey in the area. After various periods of closure in its subsequent history, the distillery has been in continuous operation since it was rebuilt after a fire in 1885.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners, in words - at the bottom.


The Bank of Ireland (Irish: Banc na hÉireann) is a commercial bank operation in Ireland and one of the traditional "Big Four" Irish banks.

Historically the premier banking organisation in Ireland, the Bank occupies a unique position in Irish banking history. At the core of the modern-day group is the old Bank of Ireland, the ancient institution established by Royal Charter in 1783.

Although the Bank of Ireland is not a central bank, it does have Sterling note-issuing rights in the United Kingdom. While the Bank has its headquarters in Dublin, it also has operations in Northern Ireland, where it retains the legal right (dating from before the partition of Ireland) to print its own banknotes. These are pound sterling notes and equal in value to Bank of England notes.