Sunday, February 14, 2010

When the money was gone

Below are some examples of notgeld (emergency money), issued c.1918-1922 by a number of German cities and other public and private entities for use as scrip due to a shortage of metal coinage. Unlike the paper money that was churned out in great quantities during the hyperinflation of a few years later, these serienscheine were issued in small denominations, and many of them are quite appealing. In my opinion all currency should have turnips or cows on it.

I don't know what the three-legged object on the back of the one below might be; it looks like a cross between a jug and a kiwi.

The following notes, issued by an private company, KVG Braunschweig, feature the buses the company operated (and still does).

I don't know what story is being alluded too on the reverse of the note above, but the following one depicts, if I'm not mistaken, the Brocken or Brocksberg in the Harz Mountains, which by legend is the gathering place of witches for their annual Walpurgisnacht convocation. A lot more fun than old George and Abe, though between the satanism and the loose clothing of some of the witches I don't envision anything like this catching on here.

The note below is from Greiffenburg -- now Gryfów Śląski in Polish Silesia -- hence the griffins.

The last one's a ringer: the hyperinflationary notgeld designed by the artists Kahn and Selesnick for their Eisbergfreistadt project.

Iliazd has an extensive online gallery of notegeld.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

those are all so beautiful and intriguing - especially the ones with the witches