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Offline chinnotes

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The Frontier Bank
« on: July 24, 2016, 01:49:58 PM »
The Frontier Bank
After the death of Yuan Shikai the new prime minister Duàn Qíruì (段祺瑞) told one Xú Shùzhēng (徐樹錚), an important member of the so-called Anhui clique, to establish a new bank in Kùlún  (庫倫). Kulun is now called Ulan Bator, capital of Outer Mongolia. The bank was founded in 1919, and from the beginning the bank had the right to issue banknotes.

Already one year later, in 1920, the headquarters of the bank were moved to Beijing. And the then finance minister Lǐ Sīhào (李思浩), became the president of the bank.

In the same year the war between the provinces Zhili and Anhui broke out, Anhui lost, Duan had to flee to Tianjin, Xú Shùzhēng disappeared and was wanted by the police. Banking transactions nearly came to a standstill. But  a member of the victorious Zhili clique, one Cáo Kūnjiāng (曹錕將) invested a lot of money in the bank and became owner of most of the shares of the bank.  And the bank began to recover.

In 1924, in the so—called 2nd Zhili-Fengtian war, warlord Zhāng Xuéliáng (張學良) of the Fengtian group defeated the Zhili group. Zhang thought the bank could be a good medium for financing his military interests. His son, Zhāng Xuéliáng (張學良) took the bank over.
Zhāng Xuéliáng (張學良) reorganized the bank completely, the headquarters moved to Tianjin and opened April 10, 1925. There were branches in  Běijīng, ( 北京 ), Chǎngchūn, ( 長春 ),  Fèngtiān ( 奉天 also called MUKDEN), Hā'ěrbīn ( 哈爾濱 ), Hēihé ( 黑河 ),   Shànghǎi  ( 上海 ), and Zhāngjiākǒu ( 張家口 , also known as KALGAN).

At the end of June the headquarters of the bank moved again, this time to Fengtian (=Mukden, now Shenyang). The main reason was that the delivery of banknotes from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Beijing was no longer safe. A train full with banknotes had been robbed on its way from Beijing to Tianjin. – the new headquarters opened formally July 1, 1926.  From 1926 until 1931 business was very good.

But after the so-called Mukden-incident (Sept.18, 1931) the Japanese erected Manchukuo. The Central Bank of Manchukuo ( 滿洲中央銀行 ) was founded by the Japanese, all branches of the Frontier banks in Manchukuo were incorporated into the new Japanese Puppet Bank. The Japanese installed Yán Zépǔ  (阎泽溥) as president of the Frontier Bank branches taken over by them.

Zhāng Xuéliáng –he had taken over the position of his father who in the meantime had been killed, but after the Mukden incident had to flee to Tianjin- tried to continue the branch in Tianjin as an independent bank, this time as a private shareholder company. But soon the „New Frontier Bank“ had not enough money.

August 1, 1936 Zhāng Xuéliáng was forced to move the headquarters to Shànghǎi  . After the so-called Xi’an incident (April 1937) Zhang was put under house arrest (if this is the right English expression). in Fenghua (奉化), Zhejiang  Province. He agreed to liquidate the bank which finally closed down in Oct. 1937.

To be continued

Erwin

Offline chinnotes

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2016, 02:49:42 PM »
To understand the notes of the Frontier Bank it is important to read the signatures and seals. Here I try to show you the 6 different signatures so far known to me. There may be more, as of notes with place name Shandong and Jinan I saw only the front of the notes, but the signatures are one the back...
By the way it took me a long time to find out the Chinese characters for the names on the notes. But I got help from a Chinese forum where I posted the signatures as found on the notes and asked who may be behind these names.
To be continued
Erwin

Offline chinnotes

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 06:55:30 PM »
The first series of notes is dated MG 8 = 1919.
Denominations: 1, 5, 10 Yuan. All notes were printed by Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Place names 北京 / PEKING, 天津/ TIENTSIN and  張家口 / KALGAN (in Russian, Chinese Zhangjiakou). Peking notes show a „P“, Kalgan notes show either “K” or „U“, TIENTSIN notes have “T”. . All three notes show a camel caravan on front. Back without frame.
These notes show no signatures, but two seals: 總理之章  =  zǒnglǐ zhī zhāng (seal oft he general Manager) and  經理之章  =  jīnglǐ zhī zhāng (seal oft he Manager).

The note pictured is in the collection of P.Mösselberger, Italy. These notes are extremely rare. The SCWPM knows only 1 Yuan Kalgan.

To be continued

Erwin

Offline chinnotes

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 05:18:31 AM »
A few months later – the headquarters were still in Kulun = Ulan Bator- 1 and 2 Jiao notes were issued. They are dated MG 9 = 1920 and are from the same printing firm. Front w/o any vignette, back w/o frame. Only notes with Zhāngjiākǒu ( 張家口 / KALGAN in Russian) and letter „U“ are known. In the center we find 國幣 (guóbì) = national currency. Seals as described in previous series. These Jiao notes are rather scarce, especially the 2 Jiao notes.
To be continued
Erwin



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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 09:27:49 AM »
And here the rather rare 2-Jiao-note MG 9 = 1920.
Same style as 1 Jiao.
To be continued
Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 05:34:06 AM »
The next series of yuan notes is dated MG 10 = 1921. The notes originally had the normal seals (總理之章  (zǒnglǐ zhī zhāng) and 經理之章   (jīnglǐ zhī zhāng) = seal of the General Manager and seal of the Manager. These notes are known with 天津 / TIENTSIN and show the signatures #1 and #2 on back (please compare the chart above).
But when Zhang Zuolin became “owner” of the bank, he saw that people were very skeptical with the notes of this bank (as well as of other banks). So he decided to overprint the notes with a kind of seal: 天良 (tiānliáng) = conscience, and his name “Chiang”. Also the serial numbers were changed, that is, a new number was printed on the notes, in order to show that “his” notes were quite different from the old notes, that “his” notes were trustworthy, and that he would fulfil his promise that these new notes could be changed to silver at any time.
The picture of such a note shows a note in the collection of the Shanghai Museum. The late 吴筹中 gave me the permission to use the picture.
1, 5, and 10 yuan notes were issued, but in collection so far we find only the 1 yuan note.
To be continued
Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 11:13:00 AM »
The next step was to replace the left seal  經理之章   (jīnglǐ zhī zhāng) = seal of the Manager by the new word 天良 (tiānliáng) = conscience. So the notes were no longer overprinted, but directly printed with the new
seal at left.  Such notes are known with  哈爾濱 / HARBIN and bear signatures 3 + 4 (see chart above). 1, 5, and 10 Yuan.

To be continued

Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 04:23:41 PM »
1, 5, and 10 Yuan notes of 1921 all show a camel caravan, but each denomination shows a different one.  The back of the notes dated MG 10 = 1921 differs from the series dated MG 8 very much, there is a white frame around the note, and at center we find the Beida Pagoda in Beijing. While the Yuan notes with MG 8 show the printing firm only in Chinese, the notes with MG 10 show the printer’s English name on back. Unlike the first series (MG 8) there are no controll letters.

To be continued

Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 02:44:21 AM »
Now we come to the Jiao notes dated MG 14 = 1925. Contrary to the Yuan notes with this date all Jiao notes were still printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Peking.

There exist three different types:  notes with
京津通用 / PEKING AND TIENTSIN CURRENCY; notes with 奉天  / MUKDEN; notes with 天津 / TIENTSIN.

The Jiao notes with 京津通用 / PEKING AND TIENTSIN CURRENCY show on front workers in a rice field, a small pagoda in the background. 
They have two seals on front 總理之章  (zǒnglǐ zhī zhāng)  = seal of the General Manager at right,  天良 (tiānliáng) = conscience at left. The two characters 京津 mean 北京 (PEKING) and  天津 (TIANJIN) respectively. On back we find signature combination 3 + 4 (see above chart). 1 and 2 Jiao notes were issued.

To be continued

Erwin

Offline chinnotes

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2016, 03:25:50 AM »
And here is the 2 Jiao note of the same series....

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2016, 06:38:45 AM »
Now the 2nd type of Jiao notes MG 14 = 1925: with place name 奉天 / MUKDEN. "Fengtian" was the Chinese name, "Mukden" is the Manchurian name, and now this place is called Shenyang (瀋陽, simplified 沈阳) and the capital of Liaoning Province.
As you can see from the scans the notes have no seals on front. Otherwise they have the same design as the previous Jiao notes.

To be continued

Erwin


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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2016, 10:58:36 AM »
And here the 2 Jiao with 奉天  / MUKDEN. This is a very scarce note.

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2016, 12:36:18 PM »
While the 1st and 2nd type of Jiao notes dated MG 14 = 1925 show a similar design, the 3rd type with 天津/ TIENTSIN is very different. The front shows the premises of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, from a bird's-eye view. Seals no. 4邊業銀行 (biānyè yínháng) at r., 總裁之章 (zǒngcái zhī zhāng) at l. All notes bear control number {2}. Back with one signature only, namely sig.6 (see chart above).

The question is, why are there 2 types of Jiao notes dated MG 14 = 1925 which could be used in Tianjin (1st. and 3rd type)? The solution to this problem is quite simple: the notes of the 3rd type, although bearing the old date MG 14 = 1925 were only used (in Tianjin) after the Mukden incident in 1931, after Zhang Xueliang had fled to Tianjin and reopened the (new) Frontier Bank. One year later yuan notes were issued here (see the last series of the Frontier Bank notes, to be described at the end of this article).
These Yuan notes had similar characteristics, namely only signature sig. 6, same seals, and similar control numbers with “{}”, plus 天津 / TIENTSIN. No other notes ever issued by the Frontier Bank show these characteristics. As for Chinese notes it is not rare that they have an “old” date and were issued years later.
Illustration courtesy Wu Chouzhong

To be continued

Erwin

Offline chinnotes

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2016, 02:08:56 PM »
Sorry, above picture "courtesy J.Shafer, Lyn Knight Auctions". I originally wanted to upload a scan I had got from Wu Chouzhong, but erroneously uploaded the above note...It's to late to change the pictures, the word "modify" has unfortunately already disappeared.
Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2016, 09:12:20 PM »
Sorry, above picture "courtesy J.Shafer, Lyn Knight Auctions". I originally wanted to upload a scan I had got from Wu Chouzhong, but erroneously uploaded the above note...It's to late to change the pictures, the word "modify" has unfortunately already disappeared.
Erwin

I don't think there is a problem as long as you have put in the above correction that I am referencing here. If you really want to be exact you can click "Quote" at the top right hand corner of the post in question and add the correction statement. Thanks for all the information you are placing here.
KeepOnTrying and Never Give Up!
That lion is also after you!

Offline chinnotes

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2016, 04:55:54 AM »
Yuan notes dated MG 14 = 1925. All Yuan notes with this date were printed by American Bank Note Co. 1 Yuan notes show on front the so-called Imperial palace Dazheng Hall (故宮大政殿 ) in Shenyang. The 5 Yuan notes show the so-called Qingdongling Watchtower (清東陵角樓 ). The 10 Yuan notes show a canal scene.

We can distinguish several types (series, if you want).
Notes with 天津 / TIENTSIN. We know 1 Yuan (brown), 5 Yuan (red). These notes are very rare, I know of only 1 single 1-Yuan-note (A104275A) and 1 single 5 yuan note (T20820A), from Chinese books. Of the 10 Yuan note I have never seen one. All notes bear signatures 6 (at right) and 5 (at left). No picture available here.

To be continued

Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2016, 12:18:09 PM »
Notes with 奉天 / MUKDEN. Same colors and signatures as notes with Tianjin.
1 Yuan has two varieties:
Front green, serials A……B, signatures 3+4
Front brownish, serials M……A or M……B, signatures 5+6

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2016, 01:42:11 PM »
Also the 5 Yuan notes MG 14 = 1925 with 奉天 / MUKDEN come in two versions:
1) green, signatures 3+4, serials A......A, w/o control letter,with a 3rd rubber stamped signature
2) orange red, signatures 5+6, serials M......A, control letter M (for Mukden)

to be continued

Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 12:14:41 PM »
Of 10 Yuan MG 14 = 1925, place name 奉天 / MUKDEN only one type exist. Front and back green, serials M……A and M……B, signatures 5+6, control letter M (for Mukden).

to be continued

Erwin

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2016, 12:05:53 PM »
Notes with 哈爾濱 / HARBIN. These notes show the signature combination 3 + 4. Most (but not all!) notes show a red square seal: 監理管印 ) = seal of the supervisor.  This seal was applied by the Japanese after taking over the Harbin branch of the Frontier Bank.

1 Yuan MG 14 = 1925. Green, serials A……C.

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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2016, 01:40:38 PM »
Die 5-Yuan-note of this series is also green. Serial no. known are A……C and A……D, more suffixes are possible (only a few notes were seen by me).
Here a note with the seal of the (Japanese) supervisor plus control character 哈 ("ha" for Haerbin).


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Re: The Frontier Bank
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2016, 03:08:08 AM »
Here I can show two 10 yuan pieces, one without, one with rubber stamp of the supervisor plus control character 哈. Serial numbers A......A, A......B, A......C, A......D.
To be continued