French started having in India after the establishment of the French East India Company. They establish their monopoly in southern Indian politics and trade around 1750-1770s. Eventually, the war with England and political tension due to the French revolution saw the decline in French dominion and influence in the Indian. Hence, the French settlement confinement to the east coast of India and its centre was Pondicherry.
The banknote issued in the colonies was managed by the ‘Banque de l’indochine’ from Paris. Eventually, an agreement between ‘Le Comptoir D’Escompte d’Escomte de’ Paris and ‘Credit Industrial et Commercial’ set a bank to operate the circulation of money in Cochin, china and other French Indian territories.
In 1877, a branch office of this bank was also opened in Pondicherry in the Oriental Bank Building. This branch was responsible for issuing French notes in India. The entire banknote issued by Banque de l’indochine’ from 1876 to World War I, was printed by the Bank of France.
The first ‘one roupie’ or ‘rupee note’ was circulated in 1920 and was signed by two signatories as the Administrators in French colonies. The monetary system compares to Indian circulation was different. The money in French-occupied India was based on the silver coinage, the rupee.
The above-shown note was bought in circulation in 1924 but the date illustrated in the note is 1923. This note also contains two signatories, but their designation is the Director in French India. The later issues of one rupee also depict two signatories. The designation of these signatories was General in the French Indian colonies. The promise text was also printed on the one rupee notes of Indo-French currency.
The vignette of this one rupee note was designed by Charles Walhain. The vignette window of these notes illustrated Marianne. She has been the symbol of France since the French revolution of 1789-99. Marianne is the insignia of the Republic of strong, proud people. During wartime, she is more aggressive women in battle dress.
The Banknote issued by Banque de l’indochine ceased on 1st November 1954, when the Indian currency became legal tender after the incorporation of French colonies into the Independent Union of India.
Image Courtesy: Google Images
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