For sale here is a truly magnificent example of the silk bank note art from Bielefeld toward the end of the hyper inflationary period of 1923.
Clearly this one was put away as a collectors piece from the start as was the case with many of the silk issues from this period.
The history and unique artwork captured on this wonderful example of a silk bank note is a fascinating item to research. More information is available on the history tab of this listing.
On the note obverse we see advertising for the local train works as well as two figures, one with ” God protect the hand workers” and the other with “Art brings grace”. Pictures of sewing machines from the local weaving mill and even tools of the trade from the local book binder are depicted.
On the reverse two memorial pillars or cenotaphs stand behind period soldiers with a count of the dead and wounded from the Franco Prussian war of 1870 and opposite that the casualties from World War I. Around the borders are slogans for old age care and the search and desire of truth and right in law.
Bielefeld SILK 50 Mark 9.4.1922
Germany Emergency Money / Notgeld / Stoffgeld
Catalogue: Grabowski 49c, Grasser/Pick20d
The “Bielefelder Stoffgeld“ or cloth money of Bielefeld, was unique in its own right.
Across Germany emergency money or notgeld was produced by hundreds of different cities and towns. A handful of these places decided that their notes would highlight the unique trades for which their town or city was best known. From an availability standpoint, paper was the obvious choice as it was cheap and plentiful.
Bielefeld was a well known center for the production of linen, velvet and silk. To this end they decided to highlight their trades by printing on woven materials. This was referred to as “Stoffgeld”.or cloth money. Many examples were elaborately embroidered and quickly became collectors pieces, this in turn had the effect that people from outside the region were investing in these special notes and this in turn saw the city bank becoming ever wealthier from outide investment. The borders of the notes were often printed with advertising for local companies and this again was also a revenue source for the bank. Well ahead of their times in terms of advertising smarts.
Other towns followed suit producing notes on the materials that were the main stay trades of their region. Osterwiek am Harz and Poessneck in Thuringia were both towns that produced fine leather goods such as shoes, gloves and bags. They both had major tanneries and as a result they started producing their notes on leather. This form was called “Ledergeld” or leather money and it to became a highly collectible form of emergency money. In the town of Lautawerk the local firm Vereinigte Aluminium-Werke A.G produced a series of notes on aluminum foil and this inspired yet another town, Teningen, to do like wise. The aluminium notes are amongst the most fragile and hence the most valuable of all.
Examples have been found of notes printed on wood and even some industrious businesses made their own in the form of tokens with a good example being a hotel in Passau which made beer tokens from the plywood recovered from matchboxes. These were marked as “Bierpfennige” and could be redeemed against a glass of the amber fluid.