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Is This Just Fantasy? Umm, yes. (Part 1)

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Fenntucky Mike


I just find this stuff interesting as hell for some reason, anyway....

I picked up some more Ukrainian fantasy banknotes a few weeks back. After some haggling with the seller and discovering that there was a set of six, not just the three I was initially making offers on, I pulled the trigger on them. I had seen some of these before, selling in auctions (typically hammer for around $20 - $25 each) but I knew absolutely nothing about them. Once the notes arrived I gave them a quick onceover and notice the text "M. GABRIS FEC. 2003" printed at the bottom of the note, ok let's start with that. After a little research it appears that M. Gabris (Matej Gabris) is a graphic designer from Czechoslovakia and designing/creating and printing fantasy banknotes is one of many interests/hobbies. He has quite a portfolio of fantasy notes, if you like that sort of thing. Typically his notes will be inspired by a bit of history, myth or legend associated with the country. Using those topics he will create the artwork for the note, his vision of the country that the note is designed for whether that be in the form of a tribute or a touch of irony. If you're interested in this kind of thing just do an internet search of him (add the word banknote in the search) and you can check out his work. I'm pretty sure his banknotes are on ebay as well, just be sure to check "worldwide" in item location when searching. 

Banknotes like these always make we wonder if the person/s are crossing a line in regards to, are notes like these deceitful, forgeries, knock offs, works of art, something else or a little bit of everything. To me, notes like these fall solidly into the "Fantasy" category, imaginative fiction. They do not resemble, at all, any past or present Ukrainian banknotes in terms of design, subject or security features, the majority of the text is in Czech and for the lack of a better word whimsical. The only thing Ukrainian about these notes is the text ΓРИΒЕΗƄ (HYRVEN) for the denomination. I see a lot of Russian iconography including a two headed eagle and standing bear with stars and one of the portraits is a straight knock off of a 1912-1919 100 Kronen, Austria-Hungry note. All of which is interesting as both empires (Russia, Austria-Hungry) controlled parts of Ukraine during that time period (1912-19), and the artwork on the notes, to me, screams Art Deco which would also fit into that time period. Maybe that is what the artist was going for, that time period, that piece of history? Hmm, interesting. No doubt to me that these are just fantasy.




This is the knock off of the 100 Kronen





I bought some more fake or fantasy notes yesterday, I think I may have a problem here. 

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