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For more uses of "French 10 franc banknote", see French 10 franc banknote (disambiguation).
10 francs
General information

Flag of France France (Banque Rouennaise)




c. 18701871








Value, bank title

  • Value, legislation
  • Legislation
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The 10 franc banknote of the Banque Rouennaise of France is a piece of emergency money issued during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871. It was issued alongside similar notes denominated at 1, 2, and 5 francs. As its face value indicates, the note had a value equivalent to 10.00 French francs.

Two types of the 10 franc note were produced.


First type[]

The first type mimics the design of the 5 franc note issued by the Banque Rouennaise. It is predominantly printed using green ink, even though certain elements are also black. The paper used to print the note is light brown in color. As with all of the issues of the Banque Rouennaise, the 10 franc note is horizontally-oriented, and a significant portion at the side is generally cut off, which indicates it was redeemed for its value.

The value of the note is printed in French as "DIX FRANCS" (English: "ten francs") in black ink in the center of the obverse. Written above it in green ink is the text "BANQUE ROUENNAISE DE BONS DIVISIONNAIRES" (English: "Bank of Roeun of Divisional Bonds"), the "BANQUE ROUNNAISE" printed in large print on one line, and the remainder printed on a separate line in a smaller font. Below the value a serial number is printed over a quadrilateral shape, prefixed by a green, italicized "N:". The signature of the Cashier Manager of the Banque Rouennaise is present below the serial number to the left, captioned above by the French "Le Directeur Caissier" (English: "Cashier Manager"). Next to it is the signature of an administrator of the bank, with the caption "Un Administrateur" above. All of these objects are encircled within a border consisting of vines. A green circle in which a large "10", representing the note's value of 10 francs, is located breaks the border at the left and right sides of the obverse, while a circle with the text "TIMBRE POUR LEGALISATION" (English: "Stamp for legalization") arched above interrupts the boundary at the bottom center of the note. This circle is generally stamped over with a blue "BANQUE ROUENNAISE", signifying the note was validated for circulation. Printed around the curves of the vine border at the top of the note is the text "La contrevaleur des Bons émis est déposée à la Banque de France" (English: "The value of the bonds issued is deposited in the Bank of France"), essentially signifying that the banknote is equivalent in value to 10 francs issued by the Banque de France, the French central bank. Written at the very bottom of the note in a straight line is the text "Caisse de remboursement ouverte de 9 heures à 12 heures et de 2 à 4 heures. Rue Jeanne d'Arc, 4" (English: "Cash refund open from 9:00 to noon and from 2:00 to 4:00. Jeanne d'Arc Street, 4"), which states that from 9:00 am to noon and from 2:00 to 4:00 pm bearers of the note could obtain a refund at the site of the Banque Rouennaise, 4 Jeanne d'Arc Street in Rouen, France.

A large "10" is printed lightly in green ink in the center of the reverse. Superimposed over it is text concerning the legislation of the notes of the Banque Rouennaise. The first line reads "Art. 1. La banque mettra en circulation des bons de 1, 2, 5, et 10 francs, en échange de billets de Banque de France et de numéraire," which translates to English as "the bank will issue bonds of 1, 2, 5, and 10 francs in exchange for banknotes from the Bank of France and cash." It is followed by the wording "Jamais le montant des bons émis ne dépassera celui des billets de la Banque de France et du numéraire échangés," meaning "the amount of bonds issued will never exceed the number of notes from the Bank of France and the cash exchanged". "Extrait de l'art 10. Lorsque l'encaisse dépassera dix mil francs, l'excédant sera déposé à Banque de France." is printed below that, signifying that per Article 10, "when the cash exceeds ten thousand francs, the excess shall be deposited in the Bank of France." The next line reads "Art. 4. La banque n'échangera pas pour une somme moindre de 25 francs et prélèvera une commission qui ne pourra être supérieure à 1 %," stating that under Article 4, "the bank will not exchange for a lesser amount than 25 francs and will charge a commission which shall not exceed 1 percent." Underneath the text of Article 4, "Art. 5. Tout porteur de bons pourra exiger le remboursement à vue en billets de Banque de France lorsqu'il en présentera pour au moins cent francs" is printed, stating that "any holder of bonds can ask for a repayment to get banknotes from the Bank of France when present of at least hundred francs." The sentence "Le remboursement à vue sera également exigible lorsque le porteur en présentera pour une somme inférieure à cent francs, à condition de compléter la différence en billets de la Banque de France ou en espéces", translating as "reimbursement will also be given when the holder will have an amount less than a hundred francs, only if the holder will fill in the difference in notes from the Bank of France or in specie," is written below, followed by "Art. 12. La contre-valeur des bons divisionnaires non présentés à l'échéance dans les trois mois qui suivront le jour de l'ouverture de la liquidation sera déposée à la Caisse municipale," which essentially states that per Article 12, "the differences of the bonds not shown within 3 months of the opening day of the liquidation will be deposited at the Municipal Fund." The last two sentences read "La caisse municipale sera tenue au remboursement de ces bons pendant une année encore", meaning "the Municipal Fund is in charge of the reimbursement of these bonds for another year", and "L'année expirée, les porteurs seront déchus de tous leurs droits," stating that "when the year expires, the holders will forfeit all their rights." The entire selection of text is surrounded by a green rectangular border. At the very bottom of the reverse the text "Imp E Cagniard Rouen", a shortened form of Imprimerie de Espérance Cagniard, Rouen, is stamped, identifying the note was printed at the Printing Office of Espérance Cagniard in Rouen, which at the time was administered by Julien Lucerf.

This type is currently included in the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. Like all notes of the Banque Rouennaise, it is relatively rare.

Second type[]

The second type is very similar in design to the 1 and 2 franc notes issued by the Banque Rouennaise. Its obverse bears a predominantly green background with black text printed over it, while its reverse is printed solely using black ink. Like the first type, the paper used on the second is light brown in color.

A floral background makes up the background of the note's obverse. The bank title "BANQUE ROUENNAISE DE BONS DIVISIONNAIRES" is printed at the top center, the first two words printed on one line in a larger and bolder font and the final words written on a separate line in less noticeable print. Underneath it is the serial number, prefixed by an italicized "N:" and superimposed over a quadrilateral shape. In the very center of the note the value "DIX FRANCS" is written, the signature of the Cashier Manager displayed below to the left, captioned above by the text "Le Directeur Caissier". To the right of it is the signature of an administrator with the words "UN ADMINISTRATEUR" above, and a small floral pattern is present between both signatures. Underneath those elements the text "Vu pour légalisation" (English: "Viewed for legalization") is printed, and is usually accompanied nearby by a blue stamp and another signature. This essentially signifies that the note was inspected and approved for circulation. Written to the left of the aforementioned elements in a vertical upwards direction is the text "CAISSE DE REMBOURSEMENT" followed by "Rue Jeanne d'Arc. 4," and then by a small floral design. To the lower right of this text "IMP J LECERF ROUEN" is stamped in small print. All of these elements are surrounded by a single rectangular border. "BANQUE ROUENNAISE" is printed vertically along the left edge of the note in a stylistic cursive font, while the text "Art. 5. Tout porteur de bons pourra exiger le remboursement à vue en billets de Banque de France lorsqu'il en présentera pour au moins cent francs" is written horizontally at the bottom of the obverse in a more standard font, separated onto two lines between the second "e" in "remboursement" and the "m".

The reverse of the second type does not differ much from its counterpart. However, it is entirely black in color, the "10" in the background is not included, the percent sign in the text is instead stylized as "p. 0/0", and the name of the printer instead reads "IMP J LECERF ROUEN" and is located inside the rectangular border.

Krause Publications does not currently include this type in its Standard Catalog of World Paper Money.


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