Egypt's First Paper Pound: Where'd That Bactrian Come From?

From MEI Editor's Blog Mon Jan 7 2013, 12:31:00

Here's one for any of you who are numismatists or historians of paper currency. Though the Egyptian pound was first authorized in 1834, it circulated as specie until 1899, when the first Egyptian paper pound appeared (January 5 marked its anniversary):

Look at the camels. The sitting camel has two humps: it's a Bactrian, from Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia or points East. Outside of zoos, there are no Bactrians in Egypt or the rest of North Africa. (And while it may be due to the artist, it seems smaller than the one-humped camel, whereas Bactrians tend to be rather bulky and have longer hair.)

So why? A European engraver who had no clue about camels? Lobbying by the Camel Campaign for Equal Humps? (And all this is without commenting on the stereotype of choosing camels as Egypt's symbol in the first place: why not pyramids?)

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Central African Republic:   Pope Francis Visits Mosque in Bangui to Plead for Unity (news)
30 November 2015

Pope Francis visited the central mosque in Bangui on Monday, where he urged Christians and Muslims to conduct themselves as "brothers and sisters". [read more]

Africa:   No Rhyme Nor Reason Behind Africa's Mobile Data Prices (news)
Balancing Act
27 November 2015

The way almost all African operators are selling data to their customers is the biggest barrier to developing a broadly based consumer data market. African users' fear that they will run out of data ... [read more]

Nigeria:   Fears of Resource Conflicts Fuelled By Climate Change in Nigeria (news)
Deutsche Welle
30 November 2015

150 world leaders have gathered in Paris in a bid to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The accompanying risks include worsening conflicts over resources as events in Nigeria indicate. [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!

Today's Featured News
Mozambique Ruling Party Faces Tough Contest

Renamo supporters: Ruling Frelimo faces a stern challenge at Wednesday's polls from...

Surge in Central African Republic Violence

African Union troops in Bangui (file photo): The UN has expressed alarm...

Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana Get Crucial Wins

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana (file photo): The Super Eagles have boosted their...