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10 Shillings 1959, South Africa

in Krause book Number: 91d
Years of issue: 27.01.1959
Signatures: President Governor: Dr. Michiel Hendrik de Kock (01.07.1945 - 30.06.1962)
Serie: 1948 - 1959 Issue
Specimen of: 12.04.1948
Material: 100% raw cotton
Size (mm): 136 x 77
Printer: Local print, South Africa

* 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.

10 Shillings 1959




Jan van Riebeeck (or Bartholomeus Vermuyden)


10 Shillings 1959

Riebeeck Bartholomeus Vermuyden

The engraving on banknote is made after this portrait by Dirck Craey, 1650. Oil on panel, size 74 × 57. Today is in Amsterdams Rijksmuseum.

There are one interesting story about a mistake, made with this portrait on South African banknotes.

"Chiselled features, flowing locks and a manicured mustache. It’s a face that has been immortalized in South African history books, not to mention the paper currency introduced after the country became a republic in 1961.

But, as it turns out, the portrait, a symbol of national pride during the apartheid era, is not of Jan van Riebeeck, but most likely of a Dutch local who never even set foot in the country.

Jonkheer van Kretschmar, a genealogist, concluded in 1984 that the painting from which the image was borrowed was not of Van Riebeeck, the man who arrived with three ships in Table Bay in 1652.

He stated that the portrait, which was painted by Dirck Craey and is now in the possession of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, was probably of another Dutchman named Bartholomeus Vermuyden.

On Rijksmuseum this painting is labelled as “A Portrait of a Man, presumably Bartholomeus Vermuyden”. Similarly, a painting believed to be of Van Riebeeck’s wife is also a case of mistaken identity.

A few scenarios have been posited in abstracts and articles online, but the most likely answer seems to be that it was a rushed job during the acquisition process.

In what is believed to be an actual portrait of the Dutch settler, also on display at the Rijksmuseum, Van Riebeeck’s appearance is markedly different from the face on South Africa’s old currency. Van Kretschmar’s rewriting of history may be less flattering, but it is at least more accurate.

And given that we’re now not at all sure what Van Riebeeck looked like, who was the model for his statue on the Foreshore, which was donated to the city by the Dutch Jan van Riebeeck Society in 1952, 300 years after Van Riebeeck first set foot at the Cape to start a refreshment station for the Dutch East India Company? (Business Report)

Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck (21 April 1619 - 18 January 1677).

He was a Dutch colonial administrator and founder of Cape Town. In 1651 he volunteered to undertake the command of the initial Dutch settlement in the future South Africa. He landed three ships (Dromedaris, Reijger and Goede Hoop) at the future Cape Town on 6 April 1652 and fortified the site as a way-station for the VOC trade route between the Netherlands and the East Indies. The primary purpose of this way-station was to provide fresh provisions for the VOC fleets sailing between the Dutch Republic and Batavia, as deaths en route were very high. The Walvisch and the Oliphant arrived later in 1652, having had 130 burials at sea.

Van Riebeeck was Commander of the Cape from 1652 to 1662; he was charged with building a fort, with improving the natural anchorage at Table Bay, planting cereals, fruit and vegetables and obtaining livestock from the indigenous Khoi people. In the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town there are a few Wild Almond trees still surviving. The initial fort, named Fort de Goede Hoop (Fort of Good Hope) was made of mud, clay and timber, and had four corners or bastions. This fort was replaced by the Castle of Good Hope, built between 1666 and 1679 after van Riebeeck had left the Cape.

At the top and bottom are the names of the bank in English and Afrikaans.

An inscription: "I promise to pay the bearer on demand at Pretoria, Ek beloof op aanvraag te betaal aan toonder te Pretoria".

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


10 Shillings 1959


The lion, from the adapted, in 1930, version of the coat of arms of South African Union by the English artist George Kruger Gray. On the emblem is present as a crest, depicted in the medieval, heraldic style. The coat of arms was officially adopted in 1932.

"The crown of silver-scarlet burlet is a scarlet lion, walking guard, right front paw holding a bunch of four rods, symbolizing the union of the former English colonies - Cape of Good Hope, Province of Natal, Orange Free State, Transvaal Province."

At one time, the lion caused a lot of criticism, as the lion was displayed on the coat of arms of an African country unlike the real one.

The motto is taken from the former Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (Transvaal) "Eendracht maakt magt" translated into Latin as "Ex Unitate Vires" - "In unity is our strength".

Two denominations in words are in English and Afrikaans.


The government of the Cape of Good Hope issued a 1 pound note in 1835 and a 20 pound note in 1834. Between 1869 and 1872, the ZAR in Transvaal issued notes for 6 pence, 1, 2½, 5 and 10 shillings, 1, 5 and 10 pond. The National Bank of the ZAR issued 1 pond notes between 1892 and 1893. During the Second Boer War, government notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pond.

In 1920, Treasury gold certificate notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 100, 1000 and 10,000 pounds. From 1921, the South African Reserve Bank took over the issuance of paper money, introducing notes for 10 shillings, 1, 5, 20 and 100 pounds. 20 pound notes were last issued in 1933, with 10 pound notes added in 1943.

All banknotes were bilingual in English and Afrikaans. From 1948, two variants of each note were issued, one with English written first and the other with Afrikaans written first.