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Rare two-century old paper scrip money is on show at Eesti Pank Museum

05.04.2019

An exhibition of paper scrip money of the 19th and 20th centuries in Estonia will open at 11.00 on 12 April at the Eesti Pank Museum at Estonia pst 11.

The third exhibition in the series on the treasures of Estonian money collectors, dedicated to the centenary of Eesti Pank, features the scrip money or shop money issued by Estonian companies, manors, towns, societies and merchants, from the collections of Tõnu Karu and Ago Kõrva, and the Estonian National Museum, the Tartu City Museum, the Hiiumaa Museum, the Estonian History Museum, and the Eesti Pank Museum.

Siiri Ries, the curator of the Eesti Pank Museum, said the exhibition of this money from over two centuries makes an exciting journey into the history of money. “It is a miracle that this home-made money has survived over two centuries until today”, she said. The display features over 100 exhibits that were historically used for payments. Among them are the 50-kopek token made of white leather issued by the Tartu city Treasury in 1812, and the 25-kopek cardboard token issued by the Kanuti Guild from 1808.

Companies and manors used their own money to pay wages with. The exhibition features money called the zettels issued by Kloostri Manor, the klubs of the Hiiu-Kärdla Kalev factory that were once used all over Hiiumaa and beyond, the shop money of the Võisiku mirror factory, the bread money issued by the Narva Kreenholm plant, the tokens of the Narva Kalev factory, the Narva linen factory, the Sindi Kalev factory and Port-Kunda, and the Neps used in Saaremaa. There are also two printing plates that were used for making such home-made money.

Scrip is money that has local significance, for example in a town or a particular company, and is made of paper, cardboard, leather or metal. It was used when there was a shortage of real money, during or after wars for example, or to simplify internal payments within a company.

The exhibition remains open until 27 April 2019.

The exhibition series on the treasures of Estonian money collectors will run throughout 2019 with six different displays. The next display will feature Estonian money used as jewellery, error coins, and coins showing particular themes. Eesti Pank is running the exhibitions to celebrate its 100th birthday by showing the varied collections of money and by doing so is making a symbolic present to all coin and banknote collectors.

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