Dharmapala Thangka CentreTibetan Antiques

Fifty Tam with additional Stamp after Bank Robbery

[1926 - 1941]

Front Page Aditional Stamp after bank robbery Back Other 50 tam banktnote without secutity stamp Back Detail 1: Snow Lion Back Detail 2: Tiger Back Detail 3: Dragon Back Detail 4: Mythical bird [khyung] Detail 5: Handwritten Serial no.: 201516

50 Tam
50 tam = 7½ srang blue [1926 - 1941]

The highest denomination note [50 tam] was often forged, and the Tibetan government decided to introduce a new multicoloured version printed in a more sophisticated manner. The legends on the obverse were printed from woodblocks, while the remaining design on both sides was machine-printed using several different metal blocks.

The first notes of this new issue were dated 1926. New notes of this denomination were produced every year until 1941.

The main design consists of two snow lions facing each other and playing with a ball.

Reverse: Four panels are printed in red on a yellow background containing the image of the four animals which are believed to be the guardians of the four quarters, a concept which goes back to Tibet's pre-buddhist Bon religion: Snow lion [seng ge] [upper left], dragon ['brug] [upper right], tiger [stag] [lower left] and mythical bird [khyung] [lower right].

Bank Robbery in old Tibet

This bill has an interesting very unusual feature, which is certainly unique in the history of paper money. In the upper right corner of the front you can see an additional round red stamp. This stamp was subsequently applied by the Tibetan State Bank after a large number of 50 Tam banknotes were stolen during a bank robbery.

In order to prevent these stolen banknotes from being put into circulation, the State Bank decided to declare all 50 Tam banknotes invalid. The owners of these now invalid bills could 'legitimize' them again by presenting them to the State Bank. Since the serial numbers of the looted banknotes were known, it was possible to check whether the money presented belonged to them. If this was not the case, the banknotes received the additional stamp and the owners could pay with them again. Detail 4 shows a 50 tam banknote without this security stamp. Obviously, it was part of the bank robbers' booty.

Measurements: 7.7 x 4.7" | 19.5 x 12 cm
Price: 154 $ | 145 €
High resolution: Display [1.0 MB, 1399 x 2320 px.]
Inquiry / Order