header Notes Collection
Top

5 Pounds 1950, South Africa

in Krause book Number: 97a
Years of issue: 01.09.1950
Edition:
Signatures: President Governor: Dr. Michiel Hendrik de Kock (01.07.1945 - 30.06.1962)
Serie: 1948 - 1959 Issue
Specimen of: 03.04.1950
Material: 100% raw cotton
Size (mm): 171 x 96
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.

5 Pounds 1950

Description

Watermark:

watermark

Jan van Riebeeck (or Bartholomeus Vermuyden)

Avers:

5 Pounds 1950

Riebeeck Bartholomeus VermuydenThe 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 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".

Low, centered, are Voortrekkers (Voor-trekkers).

VoortrekkersThe basic motive for engraving on banknote is taken after this colored illustration from Ian D. Colvin's book "South Africa", published by London publisher "Caxton Pub. Co." in 1909. The illustration made by G. S. Smithard and J. S. Skelton.

You can read or download this book here: (Open library).

Voortrekker, Afrikaans: Pioneer, Leading Migrant, or “those, who go ahead”, any of the Boers (Dutch settlers or their descendants), or, as they came to be called in the XX century, Afrikaners, who left the British Cape Colony in Southern Africa after 1834 and migrated into the interior Highveld north of the Orange River. During the next 20 years, they founded new communities in the Southern African interior that evolved into the colony of Natal and the independent Boer states of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (the Transvaal).

The “Voortrekkers” label is used for the Boers who participated in the organized migrations of systematic colonization, commonly referred to as the Great Trek, and as a term it is to be distinguished from “trekboers,” who were Boers who had moved into the interior prior to the mid-1830s but on an individual or temporary basis.

Most Voortrekkers were farming families from the eastern frontier region of the Cape Colony, and their departure is associated with the war against the Xhosa of 1835 (see Cape Frontier Wars), although the relationship is disputed. The Voortrekkers traditionally have been depicted by English historians as economically backward people who left the Cape Colony as a protest against aspects of British rule, especially the ban on holding slaves (implemented after 1834) and British reluctance to take further land from the Xhosa for white settlement. More recently it has been argued that the very power of the British and the easy victory over the Xhosa in 1835, as well as an increase in the settler population, enticed the Voortrekkers into the interior with the prospect .of more land and easy conquests. In this view, the Voortrekker exodus was part of a highly dynamic global movement of European expansion. (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

In lower left corner is a female allegory of Hope.

HopeDepicted woman with an anchor symbolizes hope of Voortrekkers for best and richer future.

Citrus limon

In lower right corner is a lemon tree (Citrus limon) - a hybrid tree of the genus Citrus. Lemon is also the fruit name of this plant.

A little to the left from Lemon tree are two Golden Wildebeest (male - forehead and female - on background).

Golden Wildebeest

Golden Wildebeest naturally occurred along the Limpopo River basin, adjacent to the Tuli-Block of Botswana. Early farmers in the 1920’s, called them “Vos Wildebeest”.

The first Golden Wildebeest Bull was captured by Alec Rough in the early 1990’s on the game farm Swinburne, in the Limpopo Valley. This is the area where the majority of Golden Wildebeest originate from. They formed an integral part of the large migratory herds that once moved freely between South Africa and Botswana.

Golden Wildebeest were first referred to as “Red” or “Yellow” Wildebeest by pioneer breeders. The decision to change the name of these colour variants was as a direct result of false accusations made by Nature Conservation officials that game farmers created these animals by cross-breeding Black and Blue Wildebeest. Wildebeest hybrids (Black and Blue Wildebeest Crossbreds) were also referred to as "Red Wildebeest" by Nature Conservation officials. Due to extensive DNA sampling and research done by Dr Antoinette Kotze, the Yorks could clearly show that no Black Wildebeest genes occurred amongst any of their Wildebeest herds.

Golden Wildebeest

By disproving this accusation, Barry York (founding member of Golden Breeders) decided to distance himself from any further confusion and founded the name “Golden Wildbeest”. This name was soon adopted by all in the wildlife industry. (Waterberg Bushveld Retreat)

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

Revers:

5 Pounds 1950

Dromedaris Sailing ship "Dromedaris" in an ocean. From this ship Jan van Riebeeck have been landed on future Cape colony coast.

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.

Two denominations in words, in English and Afrikaans, are at the top. In numerals are in lower corners.

Comments:

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.