Paper Money

English city of Leeds site of 'Money Talks' exhibit

The Leeds City Museum is featuring a Money Talks exhibit from Feb. 11 to June 26. Included in the exhibit are notes with a local connection, as the one displayed here.

Screenshot from the BBC.

The Leeds City Museum in the northern English city of Leeds is featuring a Money Talks exhibit from Feb. 11 to June 26.

The exhibition looks at the different forms money takes, as well as the world’s complex relationship with currency over the centuries — the impact that money has had on people and how it shapes perceptions. The exhibit tells stories, asks questions about value and worth, and even delves into sensitive subjects such as gambling and addiction.

Among the wide range of items on display are an Operation Bernhard counterfeit bank note of one from the Bank of England’s Leeds branch. Operation Bernhard was an attempt by Nazi Germany to forge British bank notes using concentration camp artisans and wreck the British economy. In addition to Leeds, notes were also counterfeited representing the branches in Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester. Operation Bernhard has since become the subject of a movie, and the forged notes are popular as collectibles.

Some local 19th century bank notes, from before the passage of the Bank Charter Act in 1844 gave exclusive note-printing powers to the Bank of England, feature the city prominently. Included in the display are examples from the defunct and infrequently seen Leeds Union Bank and The Leeds Bank.

One of the more recent items is a 100-trillion dollar bill issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

Other items include Swedish plate money and a pair of what are described as coin clippers said to be especially good for clipping half crowns.

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