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South Africa, Mafeking 10/-, 1900

Price £695

South Africa, Mafeking 10/-, 1900

South Africa, Siege of Mafeking during The Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902, ending with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies; the British fought directly against the Transvaal and the Oranje Vrijstaat, defeating their forces first in open warfare and then in a long and bitter guerrilla campaign), uniface 10-Shillings Banknote, March 1900, serial no 3479, coat of arms and “Mafeking Siege Note” tope centre, “10s” in top corners, “THIS NOTE IS GOOD FOR Ten Shillings (STERLING) DURING THE SIEGE” at centre, images of soldiers manning cannon to either side, “Issued by authority of Col. R. S. S. Baden-Powell, Commanding Frontier Forces” below, signed by Captain Greener, the Chief Paymaster and co-signed by Robert Bradshaw Clarke Urry, the then manager of the Standard Bank, embossed ONE PENNY revenue stamp at centre.

The Siege of Mafeking was the most famous British action in the Second Boer War. It took place at the town now called Mafikeng over a period of 217 days from October 1899 to May 1900 and turned Robert Baden-Powell (who went on to found the Scouts), into a national hero.

Baden-Powell decided that the best way to tie down Boer troops would be through defence rather than attack and he chose to hold the town of Mafeking due to its location. President Kruger of the independent Boer South African Republic declared war on 12 October 1899. 212 people were killed in the defence of the town and three Victoria Crosses were awarded as a result of acts of heroism.

As normal commerce was interrupted and rationing ordered, Powell issued coupons and notes printed in an underground shelter on ordinary writing paper. As the notes were released into circulation, the Army Paymaster collateralized the notes by depositing checks of an equivalent amount into the Mafeking branch of the Standard Bank of South Africa. The ten-shilling note was printed from a woodcut, the vouchers on lined note-paper.

Over £5,228 in notes and coupons were issued, however, little more than £638 were ever redeemed and redemption of the notes ceased in September 1908 (Hern 242; Ineson, Paper Currency of the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, 143).

Minor fold on lower left corner, otherwise extremely fine, scarce this nice.