Bank Restriction Note – Objects In Focus

In 1819 George Cruikshank designed this
imitation banknote as a mock entry to a competition to produce a forgery proof banknote. His design was a protest against the harshness of the anti forgery laws. Anyone found guilty of producing, distributing or handling fake banknotes could be executed by hanging
or transported by sea to Australia. Cruikshank replaced the features of a Bank of England note with gruesome imagery. Britannia is crowned by a skull and eating a child. The pound sign is a hangman’s noose. The chief cashiers signature has been replaced with that of the former public executioner. Although Cruikshank later claimed that his note helped drum up public support for the abolition of the death penalty for
forgery the law was not changed until 1832 13 years later

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