By Aris Maragoudakis – Currency Specialist, Stack’s Bowers ……
Our August Official Auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money features an exceptional and rare hand-drawn artist proposal. This marvelous Artist Essay exudes everything collectible about Indian paper money, from guilloché borders, and calligraphic writing, to striking lifelike vignettes. This piece is hand drawn and painted on thick Waterlow & Sons card stock. At the bottom right, on the matted card stock, a desirable embossed, circular Waterlow & Sons Specimen seal is stamped.
This rarity features the five languages of Kannada, Marathi, Urdu, Telugu and English signifying the denomination. This initial design is likely unique as it is not the same as the issued version, P-S267, which features the Hyderabad seals at the top corners of the note instead of on each side of the vignette of The Charminar under the star and crescent moon at center.
The most striking difference between this artist’s proposed design and the issued note is the absence of The Charminar. This monument and mosque in Hyderabad, Teleganda was constructed on the bank of the Musi River in 1591. The name “Charminar” translates to “Four Towers”, a fitting name considering the structure’s extravagant minarets. The architectural marvel also features four giant archways.
As one of the most visited and recognizable structures in India, it’s widely accepted that the monument was to be at the city’s center and commemorate the eradication of the plague. There are many other theories, and explanations as to why it was built, ranging from celebrating the Second Islamic Millennium to a tale where Qutb Shah constructed the Charminar because it was where he first saw his Queen. Many established historians have stated that this is false, even though in some circles the story is still shared today.
When all is said and done, it can be argued that this version of the 1,000 Rupees design is more desirable visually than the actual issued note. Even though the issued notes are extremely rare, they lack the beauty and cultural significance presented by this unique piece.
The note will be offered in the live session of our World Paper Money auction in August at the Anaheim Convention Center. We are currently accepting consignments for the rest of our 2016 auction season. If you are interested in consigning or if you have a currency related question please call 1-800-458-4646 or email Currency Specialist Aris Maragoudakis at firstname.lastname@example.org or Director of Currency Peter Treglia at email@example.com.