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Series A 1835 < Series B 1870 < Series C 1918 - Date listings > Series D 1921

National Bank Limited Series C

National Bank Modern Small Size Multibranch General Issue

National Bank, the first bank to introduce small sized £5 and £10 notes

National Bank of Ireland 5 Pounds 1919

The First World War brought about increased economic activity in Ireland and with it increased money supply, mainly in the form of One Pound notes. After decades of very little change, Irish banks, following the lead of the Bank of Ireland, began to modernise and alter the designs of their banknotes during the transition of Irish currency from older designs, initially by reducing the size of £1 notes.

The National Bank was unusual in that it adopted small size banknotes for all of its denominations, with the issue of £1 notes dated 1 November 1918; £5 notes, 5 November 1919; and £10 notes dated 2 February 1920.

The National Bank of Ireland carried out a smooth transition process in the modernisation of its banknote issues between 1918 and 1921, adopting a small size format for all denominations on the same occasion, unlike some other banks which continued to issue large size banknotes after 1921.

Although the National was one of the larger banks, its old notes are today among the scarcest. This is likely because most of its branches ended up within the borders of the Irish Free State, and thus almost all of its note issues were allocated to that State, making their withdrawal more intensive. A lot of the note issues of the National Bank in this era are rare.

There are two varieties of Series C banknotes, those printed uniface, Type A; and those printed on both sides, Type B, which occurs only on the last date recorded of the £1 note, 1 April 1920. This note is the first banknote of the National Bank to be printed on both sides. It is an interesting halfway point between the older uniface designs and more secure modern designs printed on both sides. There are also three variations of the notes by the number of bank branches listed on them.

The notes were similar in size to the small size multibranch £1 notes of Bank of Ireland, and those of the Provincial Bank of Ireland.

Series C. 1918-1920. Multibranch General Issue. Two Types by Design

Uniface except for £1 notes dated 1.4.20. Head Office DUBLIN. All branches of the bank listed in seven lines in the centre of each banknote. The banknote design is generally similar to that of Series B Type F, and the serial numbers continue from Series B notes.

Watermark: THE NATIONAL BANK LIMITED in large letters in the centre of each note, illustrated below. Printed area 145 x 85 mm, on paper 153 x 90 mm in size.

Two Types: Type A, printed uniface; Type B, printed on both sides. One signature variation, R. C. Wilson.

Type A
Ireland, National Bank 1 Pound 1919National Bank of Ireland 5 Pounds 1919National Bank of Ireland 10 Pounds 1920

Type B
National Bank of Ireland One Pound 1920

National Bank Series C 1918-1920, 11 Dates

An image of every date of each of the three denominations of Series C banknotes is in the National Bank Series C 1918-1920 Date Listings section. £1 Notes, 8 dates; £5 Notes, 2 dates; £10 Notes, 1 date.

Watermark on National Bank notes 1918

The watermark on all three denominations is visible in the enhanced illustration below of a 1919 One Pound note.

Watermark on small size National Bank notes 1918-1920, £1, £5, £10.
Watermark used on all denominations of small size banknotes of the National Bank, 1918-1920

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