RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson

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Britain's and the European Union's second commemorative banknote issued on the 100th anniversary of Robert Louis Stevenson's death in the island of Samoa.


Britain's and the European Union's second commemorative banknote
Issued on 3 December 1994

On 3 December 1894, a great Scottish writer, far away from home, died on the Pacific island of Samoa. On his desk was the unfinished manuscript of Weir of Hermiston, a novel of passion and conflict set in the rolling landscapes to the south of his home city of Edinburgh. Robert Louis Stevenson had not forgotten his Distant Hills of Home.

Throughout 1994, his fellow Scots honoured his memory in lecture and exhibition, performance and display, and in gatherings academic and convivial. On the one hundredth anniversary of his death, the largest bank in his native city, The Royal Bank of Scotland, remembered him with the rare distinction of a commemorative £1 banknote, designed and pro­duced by the distinguished banknote specialists, De La Rue.

The front of the banknote carries an emblem of a manuscript, quill pen and inkwell and the dates of the author's life, while the reverse of the note has been completely redesigned.

The centrepiece is a new engraving of RLS, created by one of Britain's leading banknote engravers, Alan Dow, while the background is from the manuscript of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The design also incorporates the skyline of Stevenson's native city and the house which was his final home in Samoa, as well as images from his works.

These include Dr Jekyll's foaming flask, the brawling pirates, two characters from Silverado Squatters based on drawings by RLS's daughter, the galleon from Treasure Island, the fleeing David Balfour and Alan Breck and Modestine the donkey.

Two million notes were issued, all bearing the distinctive RLS preface to the numbers. This banknote has the very low serial number 0002700.

This is a limited edition commemorative pack with the note in its own collector's envelope which contains a two-fold card with details of the note and milestones of the Bank's history since 1728.

The banknote is in mint (uncirculated) condition.

The Royal Bank of Scotland was set up by Royal Charter on 31 May 1727. It was open for business by the end of that year and one of its first steps was to issue a series of banknotes. These were £1, £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 and, with the exception of the £50 note, the bank has issued these denominations continuously since that date.

Innovations in that history of banknote issue came in 1777 (Europe's first multi-coloured banknotes). 1826 (pioneering double-sided banknotes in Britain) and 1992 (the European Community's first commemorative banknote, marking the European Summit in Edinburgh).

In December 1994, the Robert Louis Stevenson banknote added another important milestone to the list.

RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson - Front

RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson - Reverse

RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson - Envelope

RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson - Card front

RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson - Card inside

RBS £1 Commemorative Banknote - Robert Louis Stevenson - Card reverse

  • SKU: MON-NOT-GEN-1002

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