Ship Images on Chinese Banknotes

by John MacFarlane 2012

Chinese Banknote

Front: Image of the Chinese Maritime Customs House in Shanghai, China. Back: Port scene images: steam ships; steam train, horse carriage, barrels. Issuer: The Bank of Communications. Printer: American Bank Note Company, New York.

The Bank of Communications Limited was founded in 1908. It emerged as one of the first few major national and banknote-issuing banks in the early days of the Republic of China. It was chartered as "the Bank for developing the country's industries". In order to expand business into the overseas arena, the Bank opened its first Hong Kong Branch on 27 November 1934. After the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, the Bank of Communications, like the Bank of China, was effectively split into two operations, part of it relocating to Taiwan with the Kuomintang government. The mainland operation is the current Bank of Communications.

Following the State Council's decision to restructure the Bank in 1986, the Bank was then restructured and re-commenced operations on 1 April 1987. Since then, its Head Office has been relocated from Beijing to Shanghai.In 2012 it is one of the largest banks in China. The Bank is among the top five leading commercial banks in China and has an extensive network of over 2,800 branches covering over 80 major cities.

Many collectors of banknotes have long admired the quality of the artwork, engraving and security printing in the world's currency. Maritime themes are recurring, and some collectors concentrate on notes with marine scenes.

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