Norway Paper Money - Jorgan thǿr Mǿhlen 1695 Issues

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Norway King Christian V

King: Christian V
19.2.1670 - 3.9.1699

Jorgen Thor Mohlen

Jorgan Thør Mǿhlen
Director of Commerce  1691-?

Printer: Unknown
Paper: Dutch - hand made
Watermark: Amsterdam Coat of Arms

Jorgan thǿr Mǿhlen 10.6.1695 Issues
P.UNL Unfinished Note, Authorization 22.6.1695
P.A1, NP.A1  10 Rixdaler Croner
No.145 & No.229
No.145 & No.229
P.A2, NP.A2  20 Rixdaler Croner
No.255 & No.206
No.255 & No.206
P.A3, NP.A3  25 Rixdaler Croner
No.206 & No.285
No.206 & No.285
P.A4, NP.A4  50 Rixdaler Croner
No.258 & No.163
No.258 & No.163
P.A4, NP.A4  50 Rixdaler Croner

No. 50

No. 50
P.A5, NP.A5  100 Rixdaler Croner
PLATE NOTE Andersen, 1893 (1)


We gratefully acknowledge numismatist Walt Jellum who provided banknote images and background information about these interesting early issues.

Jorgen thør Mǿhlen banknotes were the first issues of Norway/Denmark in 1695 and are among the earliest European banknotes issued. They are only preceded by the Johan Palmstruch issues of Sweden in 1661 (below). The Bank of Scotland also issuing it's first banknotes in 1695 although no examples are known to have survived.

Mǿhlen emigCLICK TO ENLARGE Sweden P.A1  10 Dlaer 1666rated from Germany to Bergen where he became the largest businessman in Norway with extensive import and export operations. He owned his own ships and traded in Europe, Africa as well as the Danish West Indies.

Mǿhlen was the King's senior advisor for industry & commerce and was appointed Director of Commerce in 1691. He sought financial help from the Danish King as he was unable to maintain adequate cash flow because of some difficult circumstances - Norway, Germany and other countries as well as pirates had seized his ships with their cargo. Mǿhlen's paper money was issued in order to finance new purchases for export. In return for large loans Mǿhlen made to the Treasury, he was given the Kings authorization to issue his notes on 22.6.1695. They were legal tender from the Åna-Sira valley (Flekkefjord) and north up the coast. Mǿhlen also hoped the King could negotiate with other countries for the return of his ships and cargos.

A total of 100,000 Rixdaler Croner were produced. All notes had the Kings monogram on the top center and heavy lacquer seals, a time consuming process, but one which was to act as an anti-counterfeiting device. The tallon or right hand section of the note was torn from theCLICK TO ENLARGE - Jorgen Thor Mohlen main portion of the note for security purposes, then it was required to be matched in order to be redeemed. The left half of the notes were put in circulation with the right half kept in the Danish archives for security purposes.

Each note had hand written serial number, values, date and three signatures, some twice on the front and then more on the back of each and every note.  All notes were signed by Lauritz Mouritzen Thrap, the Exchequer (signature with the flourish), Jørgen Thor Møhlen and Jacob Søfrensen. The flourish on Thrap's signature went to the right onto the tallon. All are dated 10 Aug. 1695 with the 10 August hand written.

The notes were intended to circulate for five years only in Northern Norway but rumors of scarce liquidity spread and they were quickly redeemed. Even with the King's authorization, monogram and seal at the top of each note this experiment with paper money failed. The notes were declared illegal tender by decree on 21.8.1696 as few circulated as intended.

Thor Møhlen struggled on for a few years but died in poverty 25 December 1708.

A number of these notes came on the market a few years ago, mostly 20 RC and some 25 RC denominations. Most of these notes had sequential serial numbers and matching tallons.

The denominations of these notes are hard to read as they are hand written in Norwegian text, located on the last line of printed text. Another method of identification is by using the serial number suffix which identifies the value according to the following table:

Suffix Value Norwegian

10 RC

c 20 RC Tyve
b 25 RC Fem og Tyve
a 50 RC Femti
None 100 RC En Hundre

(1) Meddelelser Om Ældre Danske og Norske Seddelpenge før 1736, O. Andersen,Kjøbenhavn 1893  "Information of Danish and Norwegian Paper Money before 1736."

NP catalog numbers from Norseke Pengesedle 1695-2005 med Svalbard og Bjørnøya Sæthre & Eldorsen 2006
Norwegian Banknotes 1696 - 2005 with Svalbard and Bear Island, Karl Saethre and Hans-Gunnar Eldorsen 19th Ed. 2006

© Garry Saint, Esquire 1999-2011