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Auction: 23009 - World Banknotes
Lot: 199

Commercial Bank of India, Front Proof 5 Rupees, ND (1845), The Extremely rare front Proof 5 Rupees, a testimony of the fascinating chapter in India's financial history.

The Commercial Bank of India, was established in 1845 during the British Raj in Bombay Presidency, now Mumbai, it emerged as a prominent financial institution, and established a network of branches across key international cities.
These branches included locations like London, Calcutta (now Kolkata), Hong Kong, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Hankou (now part of Wuhan), Yokohama, and Singapore, demonstrating its global presence. Notably, it also maintained an agency in San Francisco for the acquisition of bullion, reflecting its engagement in international trade and finance.
Unfortunately, the Commercial Bank of India faced insurmountable financial difficulties and ultimately succumbed to the crash of 1866. This financial crisis led to its downfall, marking the end of its 20-year tenure as a banking institution.
In the aftermath of its insolvency, the bank had to undergo a winding-up process as directed by the Master of the Rolls. This winding-up procedure likely followed the relevant sections of the Companies Act of England. Although the bank was registered under Indian law, its international operations necessitated adherence to English regulations, as it conducted business in England as well.
The Commercial Bank of India's story is emblematic of the challenges faced by early banks in India during the colonial era. It illustrates the complexities of conducting international banking operations during that time, highlighting the risks and uncertainties associated with the financial sector in the 19th century.
While the Commercial Bank of India's existence was remarkably short-lived, it left a lasting impact on the development of banking in India. It serves as a historical reminder of the growth and challenges faced by financial institutions in the British Raj period, contributing to the evolution of India's banking sector in the years to come.
This 5 rupees remainder is a remarkable testament to the brief but impactful bank existence. We didn't find any other records of previous sales, leading us to believe that it is possibly unique or at most a handful of survivors, making it an exceedingly rare piece of currency. It's truly amazing how it has arrived in such great condition, serving as a remarkable link to a bygone era.
(S174p1) in PMG holder 62 Uncirculated, previously mounted

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