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Published August 30, 2022 Updated February 13, 2023

Malaya 1941-1942: King George VI currency notes

Playing cards featuring King George VI Currency Notes, Malaya 1941-1942.

Malaysia Banking & Finance Currency Souvenir Add to Collection
Malaya 1941-1942: playing cards featuring King George VI Currency Notes

This is a relatively niche pack of cards issued by the International Stamp & Coin Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Each suit displays the same images of Malayan dollar banknotes issued by the Board of Commissioners of Currency, Malaya, immediately prior to and after the Japanese occupation of the Malay Peninsula (1942-1945). Banknotes in denominations of 1, 5 and 10-dollar notes had been printed in the UK for circulation in British Malaya in 1940 but with the exception of the 10-dollar note, none of these notes were ever put into circulation by the Straits Settlements Government.

Notes from 1 cent to 10,000 dollars had been printed in Britain either before, or during, the occupation but had not previously been sent to Malaya. These were subsequently issued after the War, with the result that the original date of issue (1941 or 1942) remained in place. The notes of this series from 1 cent to 10 dollars were dated 1 July 1941, those of 50, 100 and 1,000 dollars 1 January 1942. The pack displays all the “new” notes together with the 1940 “old” 10-dollar note (on the 9 of each suit). This old note was gradually withdrawn as the new issue became adequate for the country's needs. The notes display the figure of George VI, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. See the box

Malaya 1941-1942: playing cards featuring King George VI Currency Notes Malaya 1941-1942: playing cards featuring King George VI Currency Notes

Above: playing cards featuring King George VI Currency Notes, Malaya 1941-1942, issued by the International Stamp & Coin Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia The original banknotes were printed by Thomas De La Rue & Company Limited, London. I assume the playing cards were printed in Malaysia. There are no clues either on the cards themselves or on the box of a production date. The words "Souvenir playing cards" is on both sides of the box.

NOTE: The term "British Malaya" loosely describes a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the island of Singapore that were brought under British hegemony or control between the late 18th and the mid-20th century. On 1 April 1946, the Malayan Union officially came into existence, combining the Federated Malay States, Unfederated Malay States and the Straits Settlements of Penang and Malacca under one administration. The capital of the Union was Kuala Lumpur. The former Straits Settlement of Singapore was administered as a separate crown colony. The Malayan Union was unpopular and in 1948 was dissolved and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which became fully independent on 31 August 1957. On 16 September 1963, the federation, along with North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak, and Singapore, formed the larger federation of Malaysia.


FURTHER REFERENCE

• Colnect: Banknote catalog › Malaya › Banknotes

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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