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The Bank of Upper Canada, $5, 1861

By Library and Archives Canada | Monday, March 29, 2004

The note illustrated, dated "1 Jan'y 1861," belongs to the last issue of The Bank of Upper Canada. It reflects the technical advances in security printing of the time, and its design is rich in symbolism.

The note was printed with the green Canada Printing Tint, which was patented in 1857. The numeral "V" and the word "FIVE" protectors were left white instead of being overprinted on the note.

In the central vignette are two allegorical female figures symbolizing Upper and Lower Canada, which united in 1841. The figure on the left, wearing a wreath, depicts the agricultural resources of Upper Canada, while the figure on the right, adorned with a turreted crown (representing Quebec City) and carrying the caduceus (a symbol of trade and commerce) symbolizes Lower Canada. The lion reflects the British nature of Upper Canada, and the unicorn, the "auld alliance" between France and Scotland. The lower left and right seals depict the arms of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. The top seal, surmounted by a crown, shows the badge of The Order of the Garter, a clear reference to the monarchy. Below the whole allegory is a plinth carrying the words "VICT...TTANNIARM RE DEF"-Victoria, Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith. At the lower right is a portrait of Albert, Prince of Wales. The note forms part of the National Currency Collection, Bank of Canada.

Five Dollars, 1861
Five Dollars, 1861

This article represents a portion of the the article titled Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada

Source : Library and Archives Canada

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