BANKNOTE PAPER with WATERMARKED PORTRAIT of KING GEORGE VI FOUND on the OCEAN FLOOR
Just two days before Christmas of 1940, as the English Ship, S.S. Breda ( on her way to India ) was lying in Banderloch, Scotland ( the convergence point for several WWII convoys ), two German Heinkel bomber planes dove out of the skies to drop their explosives on the assembled shipping group.
Although the S.S. Breda did not receive a direct hit, the blasts ruptured a water inlet pipe and the ship was towed back in part for beaching. The rescue teams were able to clear the deck cargo, and the horse/cattle stock swam to safety before the ship finally sank. And there, the remnants of this ship and her below deck freight remained for 50 years.
The Admiralty, of course knew what this vessel was carrying, but made no mention of it in any official reports, and it was not until a treasure diving team began scouting the holds, that it was discovered that the S.S. Breda was hauling a shipment of high quality banknote printing paper, prepared and security watermarked by the firm of Portals ( owned by the Bank of England ). This had been expressly manufactured for printing the 5 & 10 Rupees banknotes of India.
Offered here is a watermarked paper of the 10 Rupees banknote with obvious signs of it’s having laid on the bottom of the ocean for many years. And yet this terrific watermark is still evident ( as it’s embedded into the paper ) when held to the light – It’s an outstanding conversation piece.