This is a truly stunning uncirculated bank fresh example of the 500 Mark bank note issued by the City bank of Bielefeld in Germany in 1923.
The colours are beautifully rich and vibrant and the cartoon art work is an extraordinary insight into the financial times the people were then facing as the Mark lost its value and the economy crumbled.
This note is without the official round stamp that was so common on these notes making it all the more rare. It truly is a remarkably beautiful bank note and rock solid investment.
For more information on the translation of the panels on this note please see the History tab.
1923 Bielefeld Silk Banknote / Stoffgeld / Notgeld
Value: 500 Mark
Catalogue: Grabowski 76 b
Material: White silk
The central illustration is the figure of a woman carrying bags of money, exposing her breasts, while men stare on with lust. Beneath is the text: “Dich lieben wir börse, vielmehr als die verse“, which means “We love the stock exchange, rather than the verse”.
The verse in question is indicated below the figure in small letters and is a quotation from the Holy Bible from Matthew 23:17, which says: “You blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?”
The left illustration is an impoverished looking man, and around the illustration are references to two verses of the Holy Bible: Jeremiah 2:16 “Also, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head”, and Job 16:11
“God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked”. The right illustration is a figure representing President Woodrow Wilson, holding a “dollar sack”. Above it says “Frieden vorschlag” or Peace Proposal and below “Wilson 1918”.
The central illustration is of a hoard of naked people trampling over the now impoverished Germany and Austria whilst dancing around a statue of the fattened golden calf. Above the calf is the figure of a person clutching a bag whilst spilling forth money from of his pockets which are floating to the ground.
The left illustration is a naked figure passing by a sack of Dollars under a cloudy sky. Around the figure it says ‘The dollar rises’, dollar 4.2 mark 1914, 118,000 Mark 1923.
The right illustration is a naked figure beside a sack of Pounds, under a sunny sky. Around the figure it says: ‘The egg rises afterwards. An egg, 5 pfennig 1914, 1500 Mark 1923’
The words at the top of the back say: “Wenn die menschen aller sorten tanzen um die goldnen kalber, halte sest, du hast am ende doch vom leben nur dich selber“, which roughly translated means: “If people of all kinds dance to the golden calf, stop, you have at the end of your life only yourself.” this section of text is direct reference to a passage from the Holy Bible within the book of Exodus.
Biblical references abound throughout many of the Bielefeld notes that were produced in this era.