Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Banknote issues preceding the Irish Government issues. Joint Stock Banks. Private Banks.
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Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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The Provincial Bank of Ireland issued an attractive series of blue multi-branch notes from 1903-1919. Blue notes are known for the £1, £3, £5, £10 and £20 denominations. No issued examples of the £50 and £100 notes are known but these may have been black and white in colour.

Notes of this series are scarce with issued non-cancelled, cut-cancelled and proof notes available to collectors. Examples of each type are attached for the £1 notes. In general, notes of this series appear to have been signed by branch managers although other officials in the bank branches sometimes signed them.
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Provincial Bank 1 Pound 2nd Nov 1903 John Alton.jpg
Provincial Bank 1 Pound 2nd Nov 1903 John Alton.jpg (165.7 KiB) Viewed 16149 times
Provincial Bank 1 Pound 2nd Nov 1903 C. Fitzgerald.jpg
Provincial Bank 1 Pound 2nd Nov 1903 C. Fitzgerald.jpg (118.21 KiB) Viewed 16150 times
Provincial Bank 1 Pound  Proof 2nd Nov. 1903.jpg
Provincial Bank 1 Pound Proof 2nd Nov. 1903.jpg (153.39 KiB) Viewed 16151 times
Last edited by DOC on 03 Aug 2018 23:51, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Post by DOC »

Provincial Bank £3 Blue notes are very rare even in cut cancelled form. One of the few known examples is attached.
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Provincial Bank  3 Pounds 3rd Oct. 1905.jpg
Provincial Bank 3 Pounds 3rd Oct. 1905.jpg (130.7 KiB) Viewed 16157 times
Last edited by DOC on 03 Aug 2018 23:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Post by Mac »

The blue £3 and £20 notes are both very rare, likely with low printages.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Post by DOC »

Yes, the £3 and £20 denominations are very rare. I have only seen one example of a £20, a nice issued non-cancelled note with signature W.H.Baker. If anyone knows of any other examples even in cut-cancelled or proof form, it would be interesting to hear about their details.
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Provincial Bank 20 Pounds 20th Oct.1904 W.H.Baker.jpg
Provincial Bank 20 Pounds 20th Oct.1904 W.H.Baker.jpg (136.06 KiB) Viewed 16156 times
Last edited by DOC on 03 Aug 2018 23:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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The Provincial Bank appears to have been a bit uncertain as to how to approach prefixing on the blue notes. When the £1 notes were introduced they started out with prefix A/5, illustrated, continuing from the earlier all-black series. Then the serial numbers were reset to start again at 1, and continuing with single letter prefixes starting at A.
Notes without prefix, and letters A to G all appeared on banknotes dated 2 November 1903. Thereafter most dates used one prefix only, which was how the bank's £1 notes had previously been issued.

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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Interesting observation. It seems that The Provincial Bank considered the blue notes to be just a continuation of the black and white series. The £5 notes started with prefix F which was a continuation from the last black and white notes. However, there appears to have been a change of mind with the adoption of a new sequence in 1904. Examples attached.

I wonder what prompted the change of mind? One possibility is that a colour change was regarded as significant by users of the notes and the bank reacted to this.
Attachments
Provincial Bank 5 Pounds 5th Mar 1903.jpg
Provincial Bank 5 Pounds 5th Mar 1903.jpg (33.82 KiB) Viewed 16154 times
Provincial Bank 5 Pounds 5th Feb 1904 H.J. Chambers.jpg
Provincial Bank 5 Pounds 5th Feb 1904 H.J. Chambers.jpg (86.86 KiB) Viewed 16155 times
Last edited by DOC on 03 Aug 2018 23:47, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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I guess they might have decided to restart numbers on all the denominations once they did so on the £1 notes. It kinda fits datewise.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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The blue £10 denomination is seldom offered. Black & white proofs and issued non-cancelled notes are known. Examples attached. An example issued in 1919 has also been recorded.
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Provincial Bank 10 Pounds Proof 10th June 1904.jpg
Provincial Bank 10 Pounds Proof 10th June 1904.jpg (111.76 KiB) Viewed 16152 times
Provincial Bank 10 Pounds 10th Oct.1918 J.J.Mitchell.jpg
Provincial Bank 10 Pounds 10th Oct.1918 J.J.Mitchell.jpg (122.19 KiB) Viewed 16153 times
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Prior to 1922, Provincial Bank of Ireland notes were hand signed, usually by branch managers. Here is an interesting example where the bank manager, Samuel F. Anderson has signed notes from different series in slightly different format. The large size 1914 £1 is signed as ‘Samuel F. Anderson’ while the smaller 1921 £1 note is signed as ‘S.F. Anderson’. He was manager of the Kilkeel branch when these notes were signed.
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Provincial Bank 1 Pound 1st July 1921 S.F. Anderson.jpg
Provincial Bank 1 Pound 1st July 1921 S.F. Anderson.jpg (36.31 KiB) Viewed 6588 times
Provincial Bank 1 Pound 1st October 1914 Samuel F. Anderson.jpg
Provincial Bank 1 Pound 1st October 1914 Samuel F. Anderson.jpg (213.01 KiB) Viewed 6588 times
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Post by Mac »

A nice pair of notes to see. He may have been signing more notes in 1921, and had to be faster at it!
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Here is an unusual example of a blue coloured Provincial Bank of Ireland £1 specimen note. Specimen notes from this era are generally observed in black and white format.
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Provincial Bank of Ireland 1 Pound Specimen 1st April 1903.jpg
Provincial Bank of Ireland 1 Pound Specimen 1st April 1903.jpg (142.26 KiB) Viewed 6168 times
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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It also shows the watermark very well, something you can only really see clearly on a high grade note!
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Here is an enigmatic Provincial Bank of Ireland £50 specimen which recently appeared at auction. It suggests that the higher denomination £50 and £100 notes of the 10th Issue were also blue in colour with tan underprint, similar to the lower denominations. The lack of branches and the 25th November 1920 date, suggests that this design was under consideration for issue in the 1920’s.
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Provincial Bank of Ireland 50 Pounds Specimen 25th November 1920.jpg
Provincial Bank of Ireland 50 Pounds Specimen 25th November 1920.jpg (215.27 KiB) Viewed 5829 times
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Post by Mac »

This is a very interesting note to see turning up.
It was in a recent Spink auction along with a few late date multibranch cancelled Provincial notes, including a 1906 £3 note.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Yes, there were some very interesting specimens in that auction. The 1919 £20 Provincial Bank specimen is most likely the last date printed by the bank for multi-branch notes of this denomination and suggests that this ‘Specimen’ with serial numbers was retained for archival purposes.
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Provincial Bank of Ireland 20 Pounds Specimen 20th November 1919.jpg
Provincial Bank of Ireland 20 Pounds Specimen 20th November 1919.jpg (184.01 KiB) Viewed 5647 times
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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The 1906 £3 note was a date previously recorded (3 Sept 1906), but the date on the £20 note above was previously unknown.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Here are interesting examples of Provincial Bank of Ireland £1 blue notes issued on the 1st May 1909. Both are signed by the same person, John Kidd, who was manager of the Cavan Branch at the time. One of the notes is issued with a serial number while the other is unnumbered and presumably unissued. This suggests that the notes were signed before numbering. The unissued note may have been rejected due to print quality or retained by the bank as a specimen. The latter explanation is unlikely as the note is not marked as a specimen.
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Provincial Bank of Ireland 1 Pound Unissued 1st May 1909 John Kidd.jpg
Provincial Bank of Ireland 1 Pound Unissued 1st May 1909 John Kidd.jpg (104.03 KiB) Viewed 2367 times
Provincial Bank of Ireland 1 Pound 1st May 1909 John Kidd.jpg
Provincial Bank of Ireland 1 Pound 1st May 1909 John Kidd.jpg (154.35 KiB) Viewed 2367 times
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

Post by Mac »

the printing quality of the top note is quite poor - could it possibly be a contemporary forgery, though it looks a bit too precise to be one? A well-known example, it also has had the margins cut away at some stage.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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Mac wrote: 03 Apr 2024 16:08 the printing quality of the top note is quite poor - could it possibly be a contemporary forgery, though it looks a bit too precise to be one? A well-known example, it also has had the margins cut away at some stage.
The lack of serial numbers suggests that the top note is not a forgery. The print quality is poor, so perhaps it was weeded out as part of a quality control process.
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Re: Provincial Bank of Ireland Blue Notes 1903-1919

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DOC wrote: 14 Apr 2024 11:40 The print quality is poor, so perhaps it was weeded out as part of a quality control process.
Indeed. Generally, the print quality on these blue £1 notes is a bit lacking and patchy in places.
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