By Rob Huisman

Recently I was informed by Nico van Horn, archivist of KITLV (the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) about the existence of an extremely rare handwritten VOC bank note of 100 rijksdaalders dating from 1809 and issued in Ambon. He also send me a scan and the following description: 

“This piece of paper is literally of great value. After 1795 no regular shipping was possible between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies due to an English naval blockade, resulting in a severe deficiency in coins and coin materials. The Dutch authorities therefore resorted to issuing paper money. In 1808 Governor General H.W. Daendels decided that an additional three hundred thousand guilders needed to be printed in Ambon. These notes varied in value from 1 to 1,000 silver rijksdaalders. They were widely used in the Moluccas, but could also be exchanged for real money in Batavia. It is conspicuous that this piece of paper mentions the Dutch East India Company, even though the VOC had been nationalized in 1799. The most notable detail however is that only the one hundred rijksdaaldersnote exists as a written currency; the remainder of the issue was printed. An extremely rare piece of paper, which is mentioned in the paper currency catalogue of Mevius, but of which no image has been printed as yet.”  

In order to study this unique note I subsequently requested a high resolution scan, which I received promptly. It is really a great privilege to be able to see this note in great detail and share it through this website. This note has never been published in the past, is stored safely in the KITLV archives and is not available for public viewing. 

Please note that the copyright of this scan is with KITLV and any use of this scan is only allowed after having obtained permission from KITLV. The bank note is stored in their archive number D H 963 (inventory 21).

I would like to take this opportunity to thank mr. Nico van Horn for contacting me and sharing this information.