header Notes Collection

100 Rupees 1907, German East Africa

in Krause book Number: 4
Years of issue: 29.08.1907
Edition: 1 650
Signatures: Direktor und Vorstand der Deutsch-Ostafrikanischen Bank: Herr Johann Julius Warnholtz
Serie: 1905-1912 Emperor Wilhelm II Issue
Specimen of: 15.06.1905
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 160 x 110
Printer: Giesecke und Devrient GmbH, Leipzig

* 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.

100 Rupees 1907




Crossed star (Kreuzstern).


100 Rupees 1907


Text on banknote: "Wer Banknoten nachmacht oder verfälscht oder nachgemachte oder verfälschte sich verschafft und in Verkehr bringt, wird mit Zuchthaus nicht unter zwei Jahren bestraft."

English: "Those who forge bank notes or runs the counterfeit into circulation will be subject to imprisonment for at least two years."


The engraving on the banknote is based on a 1900 portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II in Garde du Corps uniform, with an Eagle Helmet, by artist Ludwig Noster. The portrait is in the New Palace, Potsdam. The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg commemorates the outbreak of the First World War with the Milestones of History exhibition at the site where the declaration of war was actually signed.

Wilhelm II (Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert; 27 January 1859 – 4 June 1941) was the last German Emperor (German: Kaiser) and King of Prussia, reigning from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918. Despite strengthening the German Empire's position as a great power by building a powerful navy, his tactless public statements and erratic foreign policy greatly antagonized the international community and are considered by many to be one of the underlying causes of World War I. When the German war effort collapsed after a series of crushing defeats on the Western Front in 1918, he was forced to abdicate, thereby marking the end of the German Empire and the House of Hohenzollern's 300-year reign in Prussia and 500-year reign in Brandenburg.

Under the portrait are depicted: a sword, a scepter and an orb - as symbols of imperial power, and the Crown of the German Empire.

Many thanks to Reinhard Jansen from Germany for the information about the crown.


In 1871 a design and a model for a new state crown were created to reflect the new German Empire. The model was based upon the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire and was kept in the Hohenzollern museum at Schloss Monbijou in Berlin, until it disappeared during World War II. It has never re-surfaced. No final crown was ever made.


However, the design was used as a heraldic device for the German Kaisers from 1871 until Kaiser Wilhelm's abdication in 1918. The crown was most used as an heraldic symbol, in the German coat of arms and the Emperor's personal standard.

A drawing of the crown is used as an emblem by a German monarchist group called "Tradition und Leben" ("tradition and life").

Crowns for the Empress and Crown Prince were also designed and wooden models made.


100 Rupees 1907

Guilloche rosettes and denominations.


The Rupie was the currency of German East Africa between 1890 and 1916, continuing to circulate in the Tanganyika Territory until 1920.

The Indian rupee was the dominant currency used along the East African coast during the second half of the XIX century where it had marginalized the American gold dollar and the Maria Theresa thaler. The German East Africa Company acquired rights to mint coinage in 1890 and issued rupies which were equivalent to the Indian and Zanzibar rupee. The Company retained its coinage rights even after the takeover of German East Africa by the government later in 1890. In 1904 the German government took over currency matters and established the Ostafrikanische Bank.

The Rupie was initially equivalent to the Indian rupee. Until 1904, it was subdivided into 64 Pesa (equivalent to the Indian pice or paisa). The currency was decimalized on 28 February 1904, with 1 Rupie = 100 Heller. At the same time, a fixed exchange rate of 15 Rupien = 20 German Mark was established.

In 1915 and 1916 in the period of fighting in East Africa during World War I a large series of emergency issues of paper money were issued. 1916 also saw a final issue of coins to pay German led troops, including 15 Rupien coins which contained an equivalent amount of gold from the Sekenke Gold Mine to equal 15 German Marks. Later in 1916 German East Africa was occupied by British and Belgian forces. In Tanganyika, the Rupie circulated alongside the East African rupee (to which it was equal) until 1920, when both were replaced by the East African florin at par. In Burundi and Rwanda, the Belgian Congolese franc replaced the Rupie in 1916.

In 1890, copper 1 Pesa and silver 1 and 2 Rupie coins were introduced, followed the next year by silver ¼ and ½ Rupie and in 1893 by silver 2 Rupien coins. The silver coins were minted to the same standard as the Indian rupee.

As a consequence of decimalization, bronze ½ and 1 Heller were introduced in 1904, followed by bronze 5 Heller and holed, cupro-nickel 10 Heller in 1908. In 1913, holed, cupro-nickel 5 Heller were introduced.

The 1916 issues were minted at Tabora as a wartime emergency coinage. A total of 302,940 brass 5 Heller were issued. In addition, both copper (325,000) and brass (1,307,760) 20 Heller coins were produced, a quantity that allows them to remain readily available for collectors. In addition 16,198 of the gold 15 Rupien mentioned above were produced. While the smaller valued coins were crudely struck, the gold pieces received fine detail.


In 1909, the German East African Bank (Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank) was opened in Dar es-Salaam, which received the right to issue banknotes. In 1915-1917, the bank issued temporary banknotes (German Interims-Banknote), distinguished by a wide variety of types.

In 1905, the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank introduced notes for 5, 10, 50, and 100 Rupien, and 500 Rupien in 1912. Between 1915 and 1917, World War I emergency issue (interim) notes were produced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 200 Rupien.

Colonial German East Africa was cut off from Germany resulting from a wartime blockade. Silver coinage was hoarded for its intrinsic value in commercial transactions, and the colonial government was pressured into creating interim banknotes. Previous issues of banknotes (i.e., 1905 and 1912) were produced by the German printing company Giesecke & Devrient. The colonial government contracted with the printers of Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung, a daily newspaper in Dar es-Salaam, and on 15 March 1915 they produced the first issue of provisional notes (20 rupien), initially printed on linen and later on paper made from jute. Given the wartime supply shortages, the provisional notes were also printed on commercial paper, wrapping paper, and in one very rare instance, wall paper. Initially variations of white, the notes also appeared in a wide variety of colors, including blue-gray, olive brown, reddish brown, golden brown, dark brown, gray brown, shades of blue, and dark green.

The translated text of the notes states: (front) Provisional Banknote. The German East African Bank will pay, without checking a person’s identity, one rupie (etc.) from its offices in the D.O.A. protectorate. and, in both German and Swahili: (reverse) One hundred percent of the face value of this banknote is deposited with the Imperial German East African government. A warning on the lower reverse of the note states that counterfeiting will result in a minimum sentence of two years at hard labor. Treasury records from colonial German East Africa indicate that 8,876,741 interim notes were printed.