Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Devil's Face

Doesn't the title read like a cheap horror story? Well, it ain't all that bad, just slightly mysterious! See here which item our postie brought me yesterday:

and see here which other item accompanied it:

See the difference? No? Well, there is a big difference, I can tell you!

The top banknote was issued in 1954 and includes a lovely portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, engraved by George Gundersen. He's not just a banknote engraver, but has engraved stamps as well, which is why he is 'allowed' to be in my database.

Now, when this banknote was issued, the whole of Canada panicked after attention had been drawn to the fact that The Queen's hairdo incorporated the devil's face! And here it is (look away now if you're of an impressionable or feeble disposition):

Poor old Gundersen had a rough time of it, even though he fiercely contested his innocence. Eventually, though, when the photograph on which the engraving was based was analysed, it was found to have been tampered with by its maker, a certain Peter-Dirk Uys, who was known for dabbling in the occult!

By that time, though, the wretched banknote had long been withdrawn and The Queen's hairdo had been modified to erase any signs of the devil. This modified portrait, which is on the lower of the two banknotes I've shown above, has been engraved by Yves Baril. Here is the modified bit:

Baril, too, of course, was a stamp engraver, so these two banknotes make a perfect couple for in my collection. All I have to do now is decide whether to place them under Gundersen, or Baril, or maybe split them up...


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