Promissory note

Promissory note


During the 16th century the goldsmith-bankers began to accept deposits, make loans, and transfer funds. They also gave receipts for cash (gold coin), deposited with them.

These receipts, also known as “promissory notes”, could be made out to the “bearer”, and were a promise to repay the gold in exchange for the note. In this way they formed very early banknotes which could be exchanged and circulated in a similar way.

A similar phrase “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of…” still appears on British banknotes today.

Text set within a decorative garland border. Amsterdam Wisselbank Obligatiën. The signatures in a column are accompanied by the bank’s embossed seal.

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Object details

Object Type Banknote
Materials and techniques
Creators Thomas Love
Creation date 2017
Project The Miniaturist
Copyright © The Forge / BBC

About this object record

This object was created as a prop or piece of scenic set dressing for a film or television production. It is neither an historic original or an object from the archives but a carefully crafted fake designed to entertain.