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500 Escudos 1959, Portuguese Timor

in Krause book Number: 25
Years of issue: 01.1960
Edition: 2 000
Signatures: O Administrador: Gastão Bessone Basto, O Governador: Francisco José Vieira Machado
Serie: 1959 Issue
Specimen of: 02.01.1959
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 165 x 85
Printer: Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company Limited, New Malden

* 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.

500 Escudos 1959




José Celestino da Silva.


500 Escudos 1959

José Celestino da Silva

General José Celestino da Silva, GOIC, ComNSC (6 January 1849 – 10 February 1911) was a Portuguese Army officer and colonial administrator. Between 1894 and 1908, he was governor of the colony of Portuguese Timor.

Celestino da Silva was born in Vilar de Nantes, Chaves, Portugal, on 6 January 1849. He attended the School of the Army, from which he graduated in 1865 as best in class. In 1869, he was given the rank of ensign. In that capacity, he was assigned to Prince Carlos, later Carlos I of Portugal, and a friendship arose between the two. In 1875, he was promoted to lieutenant, and in 1883 to captain in the 2nd Lancers Regiment.

In 1894, Celestino da Silva was appointed to the rank of Major, and as Governor of Portuguese Timor. Under him, the dominance of Portuguese rule in the colony was consolidated. In three major offensives launched in 1894-95, he carried on wars of pacification against certain kingdoms. He also draw up terms of vassalage with several native petty kings (Liurai), but even so, he had to quell various rebellions. Overall, he conducted more than 20 military actions during his tenure as governor.

From Celestino da Silva's point of view, future wars could only be prevented if the military, civilian officials and the missionaries did a good job. During his tenure, the finta tax, which had been levied in kind, was replaced with a poll tax. Celestino da Silva founded schools in various parts of the colony where the population was taught the basics of agriculture in order to apply them to coffee cultivation for export. He set up regular sea connections with Macau and Australia, and a colonial telephone network several hundred kilometres long. The swamps of Dili were drained, a water supply was established, and in 1906 a modern hospital was built.

However, Celestino da Silva also used his position as governor to enrich himself, both at the expense of the Portuguese state and at the expense of the Timorese inhabitants. He was either involved in, or the owner of, almost all private plantation companies that emerged for the first time in his reign. He also illegally provided these companies with Timorese forced laborers. In 1897, he established the Sociedade Agrícola Pátria e Trabalho (SAPT), which eventually acquired wide-ranging monopolies in the colony, and even after World War II was majority owned by his descendants. Contemporary critics mockingly called him "King of Timor".

In fact, it was José Celestino da Silva who laid the foundations for the functioning of the coffee plantation system in the colony during his fifteen-year tenure as governor of Timor. He also founded madder plantations in Hatolia, Uato Lari and Luke. But if the studies of Church ministers emphasized the role of private capital in the development of the industry, the new governor was of the opinion that the state played a dominant role in all areas of activity — land, labor, and capital. If church studies convinced the need for thorough scientific preparation and experiment, Celestino da Silva moved ahead; if the clergy also considered the standard of living of the peasants engaged in the cultivation of coffee, then Celestino da Silva thought only of the big.

According to Clarence-Smith, Celestino da Silvia believed in the superiority of plantations over small households, and he acknowledged that Ermera, southwest of Dili, had great potential for plantation development. From the very beginning of his long gubernatorial term, Celestino da Silva followed the practice of the Dutch system of compulsory cultures, which provided for state intervention in the living conditions of peasants. This option of forced cultivation of crops provided for certain colonial capitalist practices, peace wars, the alienation of land for European settlements, the forced supply of products, the use of forced labor organized by the military system, and the introduction of more scientific technologies. Despite elements of coercion, as Clarence-Smith noted, coffee exports during this period were more likely to fall than grow. The Portuguese administration lacked experienced personnel and resources to reverse the situation.

Portuguese author Bento da Franca, who wrote in the last decade of the century, describing industry and agriculture in Timor as "primitive estado" (in its infancy). In the absence of the local Portuguese trading bourgeoisie, all trade was concentrated in the hands of the Dutch or Métis adventurers, a large number of Chinese and several Arabs. Due to Timor’s extreme isolation, supplemented by a lack of shipping lines, the market for coffee and sandalwood was limited and was at the full disposal of the Makassarians.

Only after Celestino da Silva's friend King Carlos I was assassinated in 1908 was the governor recalled. As it was feared that Celestino de Silva would not voluntarily vacate his post, his successor, Eduardo Augusto Marques, was accompanied by the Director General of Overseas, Captain Gonçalo Pereira Pimenta de Castro, who would arrest Celestino da Silva in an emergency. However, for health reasons Celestino da Silva had meanwhile appointed Captain Jaime Augusto Viera da Rocha as acting governor, and had traveled with his wife to Australia. After he returned to Dili, he even offered his help to Marques, as Castro's father, General Joaquim Pimenta de Castro, was a friend of his.

On the trip home, Celestino da Silva's ill wife died. Following his return to Portugal, he was appointed as Commander of a Cavalry Regiment in Almeida. In 1910, after the proclamation of the Republic, he was promoted to the rank of General and placed in the reserve. He died on 10 February 1911.

Celestino da Silva was a knight of the Order of Aviz and of the Order of the Tower and Sword. For his achievements on Timor, he was awarded the gold medal for military merit and the gold medal of Queen Amélie. In 1932, he was posthumously appointed Grand Officer of the Order of the Colonial Empire. In the late 1950s, the Banco Nacional Ultramarino decided to issue new Portuguese Timorese escudo banknotes depicting Celestino da Silva's image to replace the previously circulating Portuguese Timorese pataca notes. The new banknotes began circulating in January 1960. ( .rus)

Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada

On the banknote, on Jose Selestino da Silva - Order of the Tower and the Sword (Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada).

The Military Order of the Tower and of the Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit (Portuguese: Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada do Valor, Lealdade e Mérito) is a Portuguese order of knighthood and the pinnacle of the Portuguese honours system. It was created by King Afonso V in The order was originally created by King Afonso V of Portugal in 1459, under the name of the Order of the Sword, inspired by the legend that Arab rule in Africa would end when a Christian prince would besiege the fortress at Fez. Knighthood in the Order of the Sword was given as reward to those who participated in the conquests and battles in Africa. The order fell into disuse after the conquest of Tangiers and Asilah.

The order was revived on 29 November 1808, by Prince Regent John, later John VI of Portugal. It commemorated the safe arrival of the Royal Family in the Portuguese colony of Brazil, after Napoleon had invaded Portugal. Its full title was “the Royal Order of the Tower and Sword”. It was available to both Portuguese and foreigners and for military, political or civilian achievement. Among the intended recipients were subjects of His Britannic Majesty, who had assisted the Royal Family to reach Brazil, but who were ineligible for the other Portuguese orders due to their religion.

In 1832, Peter, Duke of Braganza (who was then Regent for his daughter Queen Maria II), reformed the Order which now became the Ancient and Most Noble Military Order of the Tower and of the Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit.

In 1896, the class of Grand Officer was inserted between Grand Cross and Commander.

On 15 October 1910, after the end of the monarchy, the new Republican government of Portugal abolished all military orders, with the exception of the Order of the Tower and Sword. Despite the fact that the order had not been abolished, on 26 September 1917 the order was revised for the third time. The order had four classes, the highest of which was confined to the President of the Republic of Portugal.

The President is ex officio the Order’s Grand Master and a member of the Order, Grand Cross.

The degree of Grand Collar was added in 1939. The Grand Collar was meant for heads of state with notable military deeds, with Spanish General Franco the only head of state to be awarded the Grand Collar under these terms. The order was reformed in 1962 with the Grand Collar being made exclusively open to former presidents of Portugal, an exception was made in 1973 for Brazilian President Emilio Garrastazu Medici by decree-law.

The Organic Law of the Honorary Orders of 1986 kept the exclusivity of the Grand Collar for former presidents of Portugal. Exceptions to this rule were made in 1993 for Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and in 2000 for King Juan Carlos I of Spain, who were awarded the Grand Collar by special decree-law.

The Law of Honorary Orders of 2011 opened the Grand Collar to foreign heads of state and to those of exceptional achievements while maintaining the automatic appointments of presidents of Portugal at the end of their terms.

The badge of the Order is a five-pointed gilt star, enamelled in white and with one point pointing downwards. The star has a wreath of green enamelled oak leaves between the arms of the star, and is topped by a gilt tower. The obverse central disc bears a sword surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves on a white enamel background, which is in turn surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto "Valor Lealdade e Mérito" (Valour, Loyalty and Merit). The reverse central disc bears the Portuguese coat of arms, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the name "República Portuguesa" (Portuguese Republic).

The star of the Order is a five-pointed faceted star, in gilt for Grand Collar, Grand Cross and Grand Officer, and in silver for Commander, with the obverse of the badge (minus the wreath between the arms of the star-badge) superimposed upon it.

The ribbon of the Order is blue.

The fourragère is solid blue.

The Order of the Tower and Sword, as awarded by the Portuguese government today, comes in six classes:

Grand Collar, which wears the badge of the Order on a special collar (chain), and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;

Grand Cross, which wears the badge of the Order on a collar (chain), or on a sash on the right shoulder, and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;

Grand Officer, which wears the badge of the Order on a necklet, and the star of the Order in gold on the left chest;

Commander, which wears the star of the Order in silver on the left chest;

Officer, which wears the badge of the Order on a ribbon with rosette on the left chest;

Knight or Dame, which wears the badge of the Order on a plain ribbon on the left chest.

Rear Admiral Thomas Western was one of the first to be awarded a Knighthood of the Order of the Tower and Sword. "In 1807 the Admiral (then Captain) Western rescued the Portuguese royal family from Napoleon's advancing ground forces and conveyed them to Brazil. In gratitude the King of Portugal made Thomas Western a Knight Commander in the Portuguese Order of the Tower and Sword." 1459. The order may be bestowed on people or on Portuguese municipalities.

coat portugal

Centered is the coat of arms of Portugal.

The coat of arms of Portugal was officially adopted on 30 June 1911, along with the republican flag of Portugal. It is based on the coat of arms used by the Portuguese Kingdom since the Middle Ages.

The Portuguese coat of arms is the result of almost a millennium of modifications and alterations. Starting with Henry of Burgundy blue cross on a silver shield, successive elements were added or taken, culminating with the complex heraldic design that was officially adopted in 1911 (after the Republican Revolution of 1910). The two stripes bear the colours of the Portuguese flag: red and green.


After the official recognition of the Kingdom of Portugal as an independent country in 1143 (it had been declared in 1139), silver bezants were added to the Burgundian flag, symbolising coins and the right the monarch had to issue currency, as leader of a sovereign state. Eventually, and given the enormous dynamism of medieval heraldry, it is believed that the shield degraded and lost some elements in battle, eventually losing the cross format. This is how King Sancho I inherited the shield from his father, Afonso Henriques, with no cross and the quinas (the five escutcheons with the silver bezants) in its place.

Later, the number of silver bezants in each escutcheon would be reduced from eleven to five by King Sebastian I, and modern explanations interpret them as the five wounds of Jesus Christ, although this is highly improbable.


It was during the reign of Afonso III that the red border with golden castles (not towers, as some sources state) was added. Although the number of castles could vary between eight to twelve, Afonso IV would define them as twelve and Sebastian I would finally fix them as seven. They supposedly represent the Moorish castles conquered by the Kingdom of Portugal during the Reconquista. Their origin is probably Castilian, but unlike Spanish castles, which usually have their gates coloured blue (hence opened), Portuguese castles were always depicted with gold gates (hence closed). As a matter of fact, Afonso III was the second son of King Afonso II of Portugal and thus was not expected to inherit the throne, which was destined to go to his elder brother King Sancho II of Portugal. As a second son, the coat of arms of Afonso III included both the arms of his father and the arms of his mother Urraca of Castile, thus the Castillan red border with golden castillan castles, around the Portuguese shield inherited from his father.

Armillary sphere:

An important element of Portuguese heraldry since the XV century, the armillary sphere was many times used in Portuguese colonial flags, mainly in Brazil. It was a navigation instrument used to calculate distances and represents the importance of Portugal during the Age of Discovery, as well as the vastness of its colonial empire when the First Republic was implemented.

Although it is commonly used as a "republican" element, as opposed to the monarchist crown in the blue/white flag (see Flag of Portugal), some monarchist flags, such as the flag of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, already depicted armillary spheres. The incorporation of the armillary sphere into the 1816 flag of the United Kingdom of Portugal is related to the adoption of the first flag of the Kingdom of Brazil, an armillary sphere on a blue background.

The coat of arms sported different crowns during imperial rule of Portuguese and foreign crowns:

Pre mid-1500s the coat of arms had an open imperial crown,

Crown of the House of Habsburg,

Various crowns of the House of Braganza (1640-1817),

Crown of João VI (1817-1910).


500 Escudos 1959

coat of arms

Centered is The coat of arms of Portugese Timor from 1951 till 1975.

The right field of the coat of arms symbolized Portugal, the left - in fact, East Timor, and the lower, wedged - its status - overseas colony.

logo logo

On left side is the logo of Banco Nacional Ultramarino (Overseas colonial bank).

The symbol of the bank is its identification. With its institutional heraldry, the bank intends to show some of its guidelines and even the motto that guides the company. Banco Nacional Ultramarino, as a century-old organization, embodied in its logo changes the expression of the changes that the bank has undergone. The BNU was created by means of the Law of May 16, 1864, during the reign of Louis I. The description of the emblem appears in the first charter of the bank, approved on August 12: “The seal of the bank will have the emblem of a steamer (vessel), with the inscription at the top of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino, and at the bottom - the motto - colonies, trade, agriculture. " This brief description allowed us to assume that during the development of the bank it adopted various schemes, but obeyed the procedures set forth in the statutory article. In addition, from an ideological point of view, when they chose the image of the ship and the motto - colonies, trade, agriculture, the founder of the bank, Francisco de Oliveira Chamiso, intended to confirm the desire of BNU to stimulate the economy of the then Portuguese overseas. The steamboat, a symbol of navigation, transport and, at that time, the greatest example of maritime innovation, hinted at travel and communication between the colonies and the metropolis, two worlds in which the bank intended to establish itself. BNU printing has become used in various graphic documents published by the bank, both for internal and external use. As an issuer of paper money for former colonies, the seal was also present in issued banknotes. Initially, it had several designs that shared the inscriptions mentioned in the charter, and a steamer in the center. The type of this vessel had several representations. From mixed steam and steam ships, from ships with and without sails to the various number of masts or chimneys that were on the ship.

At the same time, a feature was noted that was confirmed in banknotes published between 1905 and 1912 for Macau. Here, despite what was indicated in the statutory article, which required the presentation of the ship, these banknotes were made with the seal of BNU, on which the ship is depicted. The note contained the mentioned signatures, in which the upper one was in the form of an arc, and the lower one in a three-layer strip. All this discrepancy was corrected by the introduction of a new logo: a steamer was chosen to standardize the bank logo, and now it is included exclusively as a BNU seal. He had two pipes, two masts, and you can see the cabins, the command bridge, connecting cables. The borders of the circle where the seal was located were framed with inscriptions, in accordance with the charters. The sea occupied the lower half of the emblem.

This emblem appeared for many years until the revision of the Portuguese Constitution of 1951 (Law No. 2048 of June 11) changed the administrative name of the colonies to overseas provinces. Since this term was abolished in the lower heading of the BNU seal, the bylaws had to be changed to reflect the new reality. Thus, the change was made on June 1, 1953 and now included Article 1: “() The Bank’s seal has a steamer emblem with the inscription at the top of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino and below - Lisbon, 1864.” Thus, in the lower heading, only the city where the headquarters of the bank is located and the year the bank was founded was indicated. Inscriptions continued to envelop the ship, being separated by two stars. The ship plunged into steam, now with three sails masts lowered, each of which was with its own standard, in addition to the other aft. Between the two masts, a pipe was also shown, from which smoke came out. The sea continued to occupy the lower half of the emblem. This seal was a symbol of BNU during its existence, before the merger with Caixa Geral de Depósitos, in 1994, after the acquisition of BNU Caixa Geral de Depósitos (1988), the symbol underwent a new change. The inscriptions were left, and the ship remained, which switched to the version outlined in profile and in rows of blue lines. This symbol also appears in some BNU Macau branches and in the CGD / BNU branch in Timor-Leste.