by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Sylvia Karges
July 28, 2016 – Actually, one is inclined to think that because of the active author team of Klein-Raff the monetary history of Württemberg has been researched into every last corner. But, surprisingly, this is not the case. Axel Sigle presents an impressive monograph on the topic of Württemberg paper money. It starts with the first emissions of the royal “Staats-Haupt-Kasse” in 1849 and ends with the emergency money which, after the end of World War II, compensated for the missing small change.
Axel Sigle, Das Papiergeld von Württemberg. Staatspapiergeld, Banknoten und Kassenscheine, 1849-1949. Stuttgart 2016, self-published. 160 pages, color illustrations throughout. 28×24 cm, paperback, thread stitching. ISBN 978-3-00-052020-4. 98 euros.
First of all: It is an opulent work, which offers a fully citable catalog of all banknotes issued in Württemberg. All notes and corresponding test prints are described in detail and depicted in their original size, as well as colorfast. Not only has the author ensured to provide the best images available – several notes are even depicted for the first time, but he has also collected all material useful for understanding the early banknotes.
For example, have you ever thought about the technical refinements of 1849 in order to identify counterfeits? Axel Sigle shows just that using original documents: It was done by inserting individual dots or short horizontal lines which seemed random, but were placed by the artist to detect counterfeits when they were missing. Fittingly, the author also supplies a corresponding crime story.
50 reichsmark dated October 1, 1930. Depiction of Daniel Friedrich List (1798-1846), economist and politician from Reutlingen. – These notes were never issued.
The book combines two purposes: On the one hand it’s a perfect catalog, a standard reference, which anybody who works with Württemberg paper money now should be quoting. On the other hand it also is a wonderful reading book, which can be consulted in order to get to know more about the exciting topic of banknotes – which is why the book is not only interesting to collectors of Württemberg currency.