header Notes Collection

5 Dollars 1949, Ethiopia

in Krause book Number: 13b
Years of issue: 1949 - 1952
Signatures: Governor of the State Bank of Ethiopia: Mr. Jack Bennett (in office from from 1949 to 1952)
Serie: 1945 Issue
Specimen of: 23.7.1945
Material: 100% raw cotton
Size (mm): 150 х 78
Printer: Security banknote company, USA

* 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.

5 Dollars 1949




5 Dollars 1949

Haile Selassie I

The engraving on banknote is made in the style of the classic profile of the monarch for coins and stamps, presumably, from one of the few rare photographs of His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, during a visit of US military delegation to Addis Ababa.

On the photo, His Majesty, Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia, strolling in the Palace grounds. These pictures are the first to be taken for publication since His Majesty's return to become a fighting member of the United Nations.

Haile Selassie I (23 July 1892, Ejersa Goro, Ethiopia - 27 August 1975, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), born Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael, was Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins by tradition from King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba.

Faidherbia albidaThe tree Faidherbia albida (Acacia albida Delile) with beehives is centered.

Faidherbia albida (syn. Acacia albida Delile) is a legume native to Africa and the Middle East, formerly widely included in the genus Acacia. It has also been introduced to India and Pakistan. It is the only member of the genus Faidherbia. Common names for it include Apple-ring Acacia, Ana Tree, Balanzan Tree and Winter Thorn.

It is a thorny tree growing up to 6-30 m tall and 2 m in trunk diameter. Its deep-penetrating tap root makes it highly resistant to drought. The bark is grey, and fissured when old. There are 11,000 seeds/kg. Faidherbia albida is not listed as being a threatened species.

It grows in areas with 250-600 mm/yr of rain.

Faiderbia albida is known in the Bambara language as balanzan, and is the official tree of the city of Segou, on the Niger River in central Mali. According to legend, Segou is home to 4,444 balanzan trees, plus one mysterious "missing tree" the location of which cannot be identified.

In Serer and some of the Cangin languages, it is called Saas. Saas figure prominently in the creation myth of the Serer people. According to their creation myth, it is the tree of life and fertility.

The northernmost natural populations are found in relict groves in Israel (in the Shimron nature reserve, near the communal settlement of Timrat). All of the trees in a given grove are genetically identical and seem to have multiplied by vegetative reproduction only, for thousands of years.

Faidherbia albida is important in the Sahel for raising bees, since its flowers provide bee forage at the close of the rainy season, when most other local plants do not.

The seed pods are important for raising livestock, are used as camel fodder in Nigeria, and are relished by elephant, antelope, buffalo, baboons and various browsers and grazers, though strangely ignored by warthog and zebra.

The wood is used for canoes, mortars, and pestles and the bark is pounded in Nigeria and used as a packing material on pack animals.

Around vignette of acacia tree are the its branches with leaves, East African bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) and unidentified flowers.

Apis mellifera scutellataEast African bee (Apis mellifera scutellata). This bee is well adapted to tropical conditions, also referred to as "yellow African", she inhabits the East African Highlands (Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, etc.). In size and body color of this breed bees occupy a middle position between the species A. w. littorea and A. m. monticola, and appearance have much in common with the Egyptian bee. Painting breast-shield, as well as the first two tergites, light yellow, the abdomen is quite thin, relatively short wings. Proboscis is about 6 mm. Bees are very malice that pursue the violator of tranquility just a few hundred meters from the hive. They strong propolising their nests. Usually they congregate in large numbers to form a huge swarm. Prone to migration in the absence of honey yield and gross interference in their lives. Breed typical of savanna of Central Africa. With the rise in the mountains of body size increases the bees, and yellowness in color decreases.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. In words, lower, centered.


5 Dollars 1949

Coat of arms of the Ethiopian Empire centered.

Lesser arms of Ethiopian empire has a crowned Ethiopian imperial crown lion of Judah, of natural color, carrying a golden staff in left paw, with a finial in the form of a cross, and the two, with a gold fringe, gold ribbons on a green grassy foothills.

Ethiopia history as recorded and elaborated in a XIII-century treatise, the "Kebre Negest", asserts descent from a retinue of Israelites who returned with Makeda, the Queen of Sheba from her visit to King Solomon in Jerusalem, by whom she had conceived the Solomonic dynasty's founder Menelik I. As Solomon was of the tribe of Judah, his son Menelik I would continue the line, which according to Ethiopian history was passed directly down from King to King until Emperor Haile Selassie I (ostensibly the 225th king from King David) was deposed in 1974. Both Christian and Jewish Ethiopian history have it that there were also immigrants of the Tribes of Dan and Judah that accompanied Makeda back from her visit to Solomon; hence the Ge'ez motto Mo`a 'Anbessa Ze'imnegede Yihuda ("The Lion of Judah has conquered"), included among the titles of the Emperor throughout the Solomonic Dynasty. It is unknown whether John of Patmos was directly aware of this hereditary title when he penned it into the text of the prophecy.

The Lion of Judah motif figured prominently on the old imperial flag, currency, stamps, etc. and may still be seen gracing the terrace of the capital as a national symbol. After the collapse of the Communist Derg in 1990 and the increase of Western-style political freedoms, a minor political party bearing the name Mo'a Anbessa made its appearance.

In the Rastafari movement "The Lion of Judah" is Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, crowned November 2, 1930 with the titles "KING of Kings, LORD of lords, Conquering Lion of Judah, Elect of God, the Light of the World." Rastas hold that H.I.M. Haile Selassie I is a direct descendant of the Israelite Tribe of Judah through the lineage of King David and Solomon, and that he is also the Lion of Judah mentioned in the Book of Genesis chap. 49 and Revelation 5.5; there is no proof that Haile Selassie I ever denied these claims.

Lion of JudahLion of Judah

The monument to the Lion of Judah is a statue of the Lion of Judah, symbol of Ethiopian Emperors and Ethiopia, and is located in Addis Ababa.

The monument is located in the square of the Addis Ababa railway station in Addis Ababa and marks the end of Winston Churchill Avenue, one of the main arteries of the city. The sculpture of the Lion of Judah, in gilded bronze, is placed on a black granite pedestal decorated with relief portraits of emperors Menelik II, Haile Selassie I, Zewditu, and Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael. The work was made by the French sculptor Georges Gardet in 1930, on the occasion of the coronation of Emperor Hailé Selassié on 2 November 1930.

After the 1974 revolution, the Derg regime thought of removing the monument, symbol of the monarchy, but an association of Arbegnoch veterans claimed that it was a memory of Ethiopian antifascist resistance and a symbol of Ethiopia. Therefore, the regime agreed to leave the monument, which is still in front of the Addis Ababa central station. In 1954, a new monument was commissioned by Emperor Hailè Selassiè from sculptor Maurice Calka.

The monument is found around the National Bank of Ethiopia and the National Theater.

1935: Looted by Fascist Italian force

At the end of the so-called March of the Iron Will (in italian: Marcia della ferrea volontà) (during the Second Italo-Ethiopian War) that led to the occupation of Addis Ababa by the Italian army, the statue was transported to Rome, Italy in 1935 at the end of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War.

On 8 May 1937, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the proclamation of the Italian Empire, the Lion of Judah sculpture was placed just beyond Square of Five hundred to Rome, under the obelisk that remembers of the Battle of Dogali.

The Lion of Judah statue remained in Rome until the 1960s, when it was returned to Ethiopia after the negotiations in Addis Ababa. Emperor Haile Selassie took part in the new inauguration ceremony in military uniform, also recalling the patriotic gesture of Zerai Derres.

Denominations in numerals are in all corners. In words lower centered.


Governor Mr. Jack Bennett was the second American, working in the government of Ethiopia, since the return of Emperor Haile Selassie from exile.

More about whole story you can read here (Peter Symes)