Early note issues were denominated in star pagodas and/or sicca rupees, both currencies of the East India Company. Later issues were primarily in rupees. Early banknotes of India were printed and circulated for specific territories formed by the East India Company, called Presidencies which bear odd denominations.
These 8 Rupees old currency banknotes were printed on handmade white paper for circulation in Bengal Presidency. The year date on these early banknotes of India was absent. Proof versions were printed on paper and card. The same design was also used to issue banknotes of denominations 5, 10, 20, and 50 Sicca Rupees.
The vignette on the top left featured Britannia, while the oval panel Vignette on top right features Ganga. The oval panel vignette in the center on top features mercury handing over money to personified ‘Commerce’, sitting on merchandise. The text ‘Calcutta’ is seen above the vignette in the center; the text ‘Commercial Bank’ in English, Hindi, and Bangla is featured in the vertical panel to the left.
The reverse side features an oval panel to the left featuring denomination in Bangla numerals. The oval panel on the right shows denomination in Persian numerals. The text ‘Commercial Bank’ in Persian; Denomination in Persian, Kaithi, and Bangla are also featured on the reverse side of these old banknotes of India. The watermark shows Ashokan Pillar on the left.