header Notes Collection

50 Pfennig 1920, Augustenborg, Germany

Manfred Mehl. Deutsche Serienscheine Number: 54.1
Years of issue: 08.04.1920
Signatures: Petersen, Frank, Thede, Zimmermann
Serie: Notgeld
Specimen of: 08.04.1920
Material: Dirt-resistant cotton paper with Anti Soil Treatment
Size (mm): 90 х 61
Printer: Fleckenskasse, Augustenburg

* 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.

50 Pfennig 1920, Augustenborg



Confirmation, that exactly these people signed on the banknote is here.


50 Pfennig 1920, Augustenborg

Augustenborg (German: Augustenburg) is a town on Als Island in Sønderborg Municipality, Region of Southern Denmark in Denmark. The town lies at the head of Als Fjord. To the east is the Little Belt. Ferry service connects Augustenborg to the island of Funen from the nearby town of Fynshav.

The town grew up around Augustenborg Palace which was established by Ernest Günther, a member of the ducal house of Schleswig-Holstein (its branch of Sønderborg) and a cadet of the royal house of Denmark, in the years after 1651. The palace, and the town consequently, received the name in honor of Ernest's wife Auguste, herself also from a branch of dukes of Schleswig-Holstein.

The palace became the chief seat of their line which used the name Augustenborg as its branch name. Later, a Danish king made the head of that line specifically Duke of Augustenborg. They grew in relative prominence in late XVIII century, and in the XIX century Schleswig-Holstein Question, being the symbols of pro-German nationalistic movement in Schleswig-Holstein. The area was annexed by Prussia in 1864 from Denmark, but was returned in 1920 following a plebiscite.

The Augustenborg male line died out in 1931, upon the death of Albert, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, a grandson of Queen Victoria. Their female-line descendant today holds the throne of Sweden.

At the time of these Notgeld Augustenborg still was a part of Germany, so the denomination indicated in the German pfennig, and the bill itself located on the site in the section "Germany" instead of "Denmark".

In the center are the three ancient oaks in Augustenborg.

Around oaks is an orange band with an inscription in Danish, which roughly translates as: "God created us all a blessed life to do."

With these oaks related an interesting story that I will tell you.

At this place - under three big oak trees - a secret meeting was held in 1674. The three participants, Governor of Norway Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, Chancellor Frederik Ahlefeldt and Court Secretary Konrad Biermann, were all close friends of Duke Ernst Günther of Augustenborg, and they wanted to support him and, at the same time, to oppose the most powerful man in the Danish monarchy, Chancellor Peder Griffenfeld.

The duke felt deeply offended by Chancellor Griffenfeld, who had requested the hand of his daughter Princess Louise Charlotte in marriage, but Griffenfeld abandoned his plans for marriage to the Augustenborg princess in favour of Charlotte Amèlie de la Trèmouille, Princess of Tarent, who belonged to the French nobility and was lady-in-waiting to Christian V’s queen.

But it was not this offense which led to Griffenfeld’s fall two years later. Although he was of middle-class origin, he was a statesman with exceptional abilities. In the first years after the introduction of the absolute monarchy, he worked closely with Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve and Frederik Ahlefeldt. But gradually, as Griffenfeld strengthened his position with the king and the kingdom’s highest office was awarded to him, he came into conflict with the old nobility.

In 1676 he was found guilty of corruption and treason and sentenced to death and confiscation of his property, but he was pardoned at the place of execution and imprisoned for life in Munkholm fort in Trondheim Fjord.

At Als Griffenfeld’s fall was linked to his rejection of the Augustenborg princess, and the tradition of the three oath-oaks thus arose. The story was told from generation to generation, and during a visit to the ducal family at Augustenborg Castle in 1844, Hans Christian Andersen was shown the lantern which the three conspirators had brought with them when they met under the oaks late on that night.

Unfortunately, these oaks did not survive till our days. The last of the three oak trees fell in 1994. Behind the oak trunk you can see where the tree originally stood. The stump is still clearly visible.

Want to see a beautiful big living oak tree which is almost as old as the oath-oak? Follow the path a little further into the forest and take the first road on the right. Then follow the first road to the left. About 400 meters further on is a beautiful oak on the left side of the path. Go right up to the oak and note how big it is.

By the way, under these oaks, Hans Christian Andersen wrote his story "The Little Match Girl" (Den lille Pige med Svovlstikkerne).

On the lower line is stylized tricolor band in the form of sea waves, the colors of the flag of the Duchy of Schleswig.

Denomination are in lower corners.


50 Pfennig 1920, Augustenborg

The stylized coat of arms of Duchy of Schleswig.

Looks like Danish coat of arms, but with only two lions.

On the right side is a vertical bar, labeled "Plebiscit". Its about people's plebiscite, which was held in Schleswig in 1920 by the decision of the Entente.

Also on the strip are the flags of Parties to the Treaty on the status of Schleswig - France, Britain, Norway, and Sweden.

Inscriptions in the center in German and Danish.

Translation: "This coupon will be accepted as payment at par 50 Pfennig by city Augustenborg's cashier before August 1, 1920. Municipal Board."

Denominations are doubled on the right side.


A sign near the place, where three ancient oaks were staying I am near the oak trunk, felled by lightning in 1994. 7 March 2015 View to the left from the oak trunk. 7 March 2015 View to the right from the oak trunk. 7 March 2015

And a little bit of photos from our trip, with my wife, to Augustenborg area at 7 March 2015.

Notgeld (German for "emergency money" or "necessity money") refers to money issued by an institution in a time of economic or political crisis. The issuing institution is usually one without official sanction from the central government. This occurs usually when sufficient state-produced money is not available from the central bank. Most notably, notgeld generally refers to money produced in Germany and Austria during World War I and the Interbellum. Issuing institutions could be a town's savings banks, municipality and private or state-owned firms.

Notgeld was mainly issued in the form of (paper) banknotes. Sometimes other forms were used, as well: coins, leather, silk, linen, postage stamps, aluminium foil, coal, and porcelain; there are also reports of elemental sulfur being used, as well as all sorts of re-used paper and carton material (e.g. playing cards). These pieces made from playing cards are extremely rare and are known as Spielkarten, the German word for "playing card".

Notgeld was a mutually-accepted means of payment in a particular region or locality, but notes could travel widely. Notgeld is different from occupation money that is issued by an occupying army during a war.