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1 Pound 1941, Egypt

in Krause book Number: 22c
Years of issue: 27.02.1941
Signatures: Governor of the National Bank of Egypt: Sir (Charles) Norman Nixon (third type of signature)
Serie: National Bank of Egypt
Specimen of: 23.04.1930
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 160 x 86
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.

1 Pound 1941



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On the foreground is Great Sphinx of Giza.

The Great Sphinx of Giza (Arabic: أبو الهول‎ Abū al-Haul, English: The Terrifying One; literally: Father of Dread), commonly referred to as the Sphinx, is a limestone statue of a reclining or couchant sphinx (a mythical creature with a lion's body and a human head) that stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.

It is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 meters (241 ft.) long, 19.3 meters (63 ft.) wide, and 20.22 m. (66.34 ft.) high. It is the oldest known monumental sculpture, and is commonly believed to have been built by ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom during the reign of the Pharaoh Khafra (c. 2558-2532 BC).

The Great Sphinx is one of the world's largest and oldest statues but basic facts about it are still subject to debate, such as when it was built, by whom, and for what purpose. These questions have resulted in the popular idea of the "Riddle of the Sphinx", alluding to the original Greek legend of the Riddle of the Sphinx.


1 Pound 1941


Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the XVIII dynasty (ruled c. 1332-1323 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom or sometimes the New Empire Period. He has since his discovery been colloquially referred to as King Tut. His original name, Tutankhaten, means "Living Image of Aten", while Tutankhamun means "Living Image of Amun". In hieroglyphs, the name Tutankhamun was typically written Amen-tut-ankh, because of a scribal custom that placed a divine name at the beginning of a phrase to show appropriate reverence. He is possibly also the Nibhurrereya of the Amarna letters, and likely the 18th dynasty king Rathotis who, according to Manetho, an ancient historian, had reigned for nine years - a figure that conforms with Flavius Josephus's version of Manetho's Epitome.

The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon of Tutankhamun's nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage. It sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamun's mask, now in the Egyptian Museum, remains the popular symbol. Exhibits of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world. In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that he was the son of Akhenaten (mummy KV55). His mother was Akhenaten's sister and wife (mummy KV35YL), whose name is unknown but whose remains are positively identified as "The Younger Lady" mummy found in KV35. The "mysterious" deaths of a few of those who excavated Tutankhamun's tomb has been popularly attributed to the curse of the pharaohs.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners, in numeral and words centered.


1 Pound 1941

Regarding depicted minaret there are 2 versions, of which, to me personally, more like the first, proposed by user "Тероморфный абишай" from Russian Federation. There is also a second version, indicated by the "Egyptian banknotes" catalogue, which is less similar to the truth, as I think. Both versions, please, read below.

Version number 1 (huge thanks for help with determination of minaret on reverse of 1 Pound 1943 Egypt to user Тероморфный абишай. By click on his nickname you could see the whole investigation for the truth of the image on banknote (in Russian language):

On banknote depicted Khanqah al-Nasir Faraj ibn Barquq, in Cairo, Egypt - to be more exact, its Northern minaret.

The engraving on banknote was probably made after the image of the khanaka, taken from the its courtyard, where you can also see the Howz (a small water pool, that is present on the banknote, in the foreground, at the bottom).

And now about this Khanqah:

Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq This tomb is one of the major monuments of Cairo and one of the three outstanding structures of the Northern Cemetery. The impetus for the development of the Northern Cemetery was initiated by the desire of Sultan Barquq, the first of the Circassian or Burgi Mamluks (1382-99), to be buried in the desert next to the tombs of venerated Sufi shaykhs, and not in his state monument in Bayn al-Qasrayn. The complex built for him by his son Faraj, at the foot of the Muqattam range, was in reality the first attempt to urbanize the desert. Originally, the complex was planned as the center of a large residential area that was to include, in addition to the main funerary endowment with its kitchens and living units, subsidiary establishments such as baths, bakeries, grain mills, rooms for travelers, alleys, and a marketplace. The complex of Sultan Faraj was built between 1398 and 1411.

Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq The khanqah is unique in its inclusion of twin minarets, twin carved masonry domes covering the two burial chambers, and twin sabil-kuttabs, all organized in bilaterally symmetrical fashion. However, the plan, which comprises a hypostyle scheme deploying arcades on piers and an open central courtyard with adjoining arcades, is that of a congregational mosque.

Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq Unlike madrasas, which adopted the extroverted four-iwan plan with the students' cells looking onto the streets and which expanded their role to include Friday prayers, khanqah architecture generally adopted an introverted scheme to ensure the necessary seclusion for the Sufis. However, many of the living units of the khanqah of Faraj have their windows facing outward toward the desert and structures of the dead, which would serve as objects for contemplation.

At the main entrance, visitors can orient themselves with a sign showing the plan of the building, put up by the Egyptian Antiquities Organization as part of their restoration efforts. From the vestibule into the corridor that leads to the courtyard, one steps over an ancient pharaonic slab. The shafts that pierce the ceiling of the long corridor offer both illumination and air circulation. The cooler evening air would force out the warm air and create, by convection, a natural cooling system. From the courtyard, stairs in the northwest corner lead to the upper floors - a complex of rooms, passageways, and cubicles that one both passes on the way up and looks down upon from the roof. In these deserted chambers the dervishes once studied, chanted, and slept. On the second floor, one can sit in the porch of the kuttab over the front entrance. One can climb both minarets, from which there is a splendid view not only of the necropolis but of the surrounding areas. To the north is Heliopolis; to the west, the modern city of Cairo behind the medieval nucleus of al-Qahira; and to the south, the complexes of Barsbay, Qaytbay, and the Citadel.

Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq Khanqah_al-Nasir_Faraj_ibn_Barquq The two chevron-carved stone domes are the earliest and largest in Cairo. Instead of being simply stepped, their exterior transitional zones have undulating stone moldings. This decorative feature, which was introduced for the first time at the transitional zone between the square base and the octagonal shaft of the minaret of Bashtak (1336), makes its first appearance here on the base of a dome. Like the circular second story of the minaret of Assanbugha, which also has undulating moldings between its triangular base and hexagonal first story, the circular second story of the minarets of Faraj is carved with an interlacing design. The circular second story of the minarets is set directly above the square first story without the standard transitional octagonal shaft.

To the north of Barquq's mausoleum is the tomb of his father Anas, whom he had brought from Circassia and given a position. The building was joined to the mausoleum by an arcade, now in ruins.

Faraj was described by the fifteenth-century historian al-Maqrizi as "the most tragic king of Egypt." Faraj took the throne at the age of ten, and was twenty-three when he was deposed and killed in Damascus. His reign was one of continual strife among the amirs and as such was also a history of their rivalries. (

Version number 2:

As saying specialized catalog by Magdy Hanafy Encyclopedia and catalogue of Egyptian money, on banknote is the Mosque of al-Mansour Seif el-Dine Qalawun in Complex of Sultan al-Mansur Qalawun (Mausoleum, Madrasa and Hospital). The complex is located on al-Muizz li-Din Allah Street (Bayn al-Qasrayn) in an area that was formerly part of the Western Fatimid Palace, Cairo, Egypt.

In the foreground, in front of a minaret, allegedly shows a Howz (centrally positioned symmetrical axis pool).

Unfortunately, so far, my search for old images, at least roughly similar to the image on the banknote, are failed.

The note shows also a minaret without a superstructure on top - this kind of image of the mosque I also have not found.

A little about Sultan al-Mansur Qalawun:

Qalāwūn aṣ-Ṣāliḥī (Arabic: قلاوون الصالحي‎‎, c. 1222 - November 10, 1290) was the seventh Bahri Mamluk sultan; he ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1290.

Qalawun was a Kipchak who became a mamluk (slave soldier) in the 1240s after being sold to a member of Sultan al-Kamil's household. Qalawun was known as al-Alfī ("the Thousander") because as-Salih Ayyub bought him for a thousand dinars of gold.

Qalawun initially barely spoke Arabic, but he rose in power and influence and became an emir under Sultan Baibars, whose son, al-Said Barakah, was married to Qalawun's daughter. Baibars died in 1277 and was succeeded by Barakah. In early 1279, as Barakah and Qalawun invaded the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, there was a revolt in Egypt that forced Barakah to abdicate upon his return home. He was succeeded by his brother Solamish, but it was Qalawun, acting as atabeg, who was the true holder of power. Because Solamish was only seven years old, Qalawun argued that Egypt needed an adult ruler, and Solamish was sent into exile in Constantinople in late 1279. As a result, Qalawun took the title al-Malik al-Manṣūr.

The governor of Damascus, Sungur, did not agree with Qalawun's ascent to power and declared himself sultan. Sungur's claim of leadership, however, was repelled in 1280, when Qalawun defeated him in battle. In 1281, Qalawun and Sungur reconciled as a matter of convenience when Abaqa Khan, head of the Ilkhanate, invaded Syria. Qalawun and Sungur, working together, successfully repelled Abaqa's attack at the Second Battle of Homs.

Barakah, Solamish, and their brother Khadir were exiled to al-Karak, the former Crusader castle. Barakah died there in 1280 (it was rumored that Qalawun had him poisoned), and Khadir gained control of the castle, until 1286 when Qalawun took it over directly.

And now a little about the Mosque in Complex of Sultan al-Mansur Qalawun:

Sultan Qala'unAl-Muizz - lively Eastern Street, is located in the heart of Islamic Cairo. It is named in honor of the first Fatimid caliph, one of the founder of Cairo.

This long street connects the southern gate of Bab Zuweila and the northern gate of Bab al-Nasr and Bab al-Futuh (they were built in 1087 by Prince Badr El Gamal). If you start the movement on the street from south to north, you can see the many mosques, most of which can be considered the main mosques of Cairo, such as Al-Muayada Mosque, Al-Akmar, al-Guri, the mosque of Sultan Kalauna, Caliph Hakim Mosque, elegant Madras Sultan Al-Ashraf Barsbaya and other buildings built in different historical periods.

The complex of Sultan Qalawun is considered to mark the beginning of a phase, that pointed to a new architectural design known as a "complex" that typically included more than one architectural component, and which served a number of functions. This complex is composed of a mausoleum, a madrasa and a hospital (maristan).

The Architect was Amir Alam al-Din al-Shuja'i, who was an expert in architecture and engineering, supervised construction. He mobilized the workforce and forbade them to work in any other place in order to accelerate completion of the building.

The principle façade of this complex overlooks the street and extends 67 meters in length, towering to 20 meters in height. It is made of stone and comprises vertical arched recesses borne by marble pillars within which are windows decorated with interlaced geometric shapes. The façade also carries an inscription band carved into the stone, in thuluth script, which includes the name of the builder, his titles and the date of construction.

The floor plan of the mausoleum is a square, the sides of which measure 35 m, approximately, in the midst of which are four great granite pillars with gilded capitals, and four brick piers panelled in fine marble and inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The piers and pillars bear arches whose soffits are ornamented with stucco decoration. The piers, pillars and their arches demarcate an octagonal surface in the middle of which is the tomb of al-Mansur Qalawun and his son, al-Nasir Muhammad (who ruled three times: AH 693–4 / AD 1294–5; AH 698–708 / AD 1299–1309; AH 709–41 / AD 1309–40). The octagonal area is roofed by a great dome with an octagonal drum. This area and its dome, is to an extent reminiscent of the Dome of the Rock at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem (built AH 72 / AD 692). The walls of the mausoleum are characterised by marble revetment inlaid with delicate mother-of-pearl considered to be some of the finest decorative marble seen in Islamic architecture in Egypt. The mausoleum has a mihrab, which is decorated with marble and mother-of-pearl and considered to be one of the largest, as well as most splendid, mihrabs amongst Islamic monuments in Egypt.

Sultan Qala'un Sultan Qala'un Sultan Qala'unThe madrasa consisted of a central open courtyard surrounded by four iwans: the two large iwans are the qibla iwan (southeastern) and the iwan facing it. The two small iwans are on each of the sides. Nothing remains of the madrasa except the qibla iwan, distinguished by its unique façade. The qibla iwan overlooks the courtyard by means of three arches, the biggest of which is in the middle. In the madrasa the four Sunni schools of Islamic religious jurisprudence (fiqh), as well as medicine were taught; practical medicine was taught at the maristan.

The maristan was one of the reasons that the complex was built, since it is mentioned that while Qalawun was in the Sham region (Bilad al-Sham was the traditional Arab name for the region that today contains Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine), he became ill with what could have been fatal sickness. The doctors treated him with medicines brought from the Nur al-Din Mahmud Maristan in Damascus, which cured him. When he was recovered Qalawun visited the hospital and was greatly impressed with it. He made a vow to God that he would build a similar hospital in Cairo. Qalawun chose to build the maristan on the site of the hall that belonged orginally to Sitt al-Mulk, a daughter of the Fatimid Caliph, al-Aziz bi Allah, but which later became a possession of Mu'anisa Khatun, a daughter of al-Malik al-‘Adil al-Ayyubi. The hall was situated at the end of the complex and consisted of four iwans.

When it was operational the maristan provided doctors of all specializations, nurses and the necessary furnishings, instruments and medicines. Little remains of the hospital today but for a few ruined parts, such as a section of the eastern iwan consisting of a marble fountain and a shadirwan (wall fountain), which once had fine marble decoration that resembled that in al-Aziz Palace (Zisa) in Palermo, Sicily, the construction of which was completed between AH 561 and 570 / AD 1166 and 1175.

The complex contains a minaret, that was restored in AH 703 / AD 1303 by Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ibn Qalawun, following an earthquake in AH 702 / AD 1302. The minaret bears an inscription giving the date of renovation. The minaret is composed of three stories: the first and second stories are square in form, while the third storey is circular, consisting of decoration composed of interwoven arches. Some contemporary historical sources mention a great resemblance between the decorations seen here and the ornamentation of the architecture of al-Andalus, such as that seen in the Giralda, "the Tower" (originally a minaret but greatly altered; built in AH 578 / AD 1184) in Seville, Spain.

This building was dated based on an inscription band along the length of the façade, which includes the name of the sponsor and the date of construction. It is also based on a foundational text that is carved on the lintel of the principle entrance to the building, which bears the name of the builder and the date when building commenced (AH 683 / AD 1284) and the date of its completion (AH 684 / AD 1285). (

Denominations in numerals are in all corners and on left side.


In my description I used the materials from following pages: by Tulipe Noire by Tulipe Noire