Tag Archives: WWII

Throwback Thursday: Notgeld, German Emergency Currency

If all money looked this pretty, I’d definitely be more apt to save it.

The images presented below represent a selection from Lliazd’s unbelievably expansive Flickr set of Notgeld, which was German emergency currency used during the post-WWI years. Lliazd’s provides us with an in-depth look into the personal, political, and aesthetic significance of these images on his Flickr page:

walter-muller-notgeld_skaliertAfter 800 years of life in the same region, my wife’s family left Germany. In 1935 Nazism had become unbearable. They were lucky enough to understand the risk it posed for Jews living in Germany and they left. Until then, her family was part of a comfortable and prosperous middle class, involved in the tobacco business in the city of Karlsruhe.

At the end of the First World War her grandfather started collecting Notgeld produced by many German and Austrian towns and companies to make front to deflation first and inflation later with the objective of providing stability to workers and residents. Notgeld (emergency currency) was issued by cities, boroughs, even private companies while there was a shortage of official coins and bills. Nobody would pay in coins while their nominal value was less than the value of the metal. And when inflation went on, the state was just unable to print bills fast enough. Some companies couldn’t pay their workers because the Reichsbank just couldn’t provide enough bills. So they started to print their own money – they even asked the Reichsbank beforehand. As long as the Notgeld was accepted, no real harm was done and it just was a certificate of debt. Often it was even a more stable currency than real money, as sometimes the denomination was a certain amount of gold, dollars, corn, meat, etc.

They made it very pretty on purpose: many people collected the bills, and the debt would never have to be paid. It was printed on all kinds of materials: leather, fabric, porcelain, silk, tin foil. (Read more HERE)

Behold, the beauty of Notgeld:













Wordshop Wednesday: Raquel Masri!

Thanks to my new BBFF (Best Blogger Friend Forever), Mme Perpetua, for introducing me to the lovely porcelain creations of Raquel Masri, which you really should check out if you know what’s good for you (and I think you do).

The following images are borrowed from Raquel’s Etsy shop:

My love for this "Majuscule" alphabet dish would not exist without Mme Perpetua's prompting. :)

My love for this "Majuscule" alphabet dish would not exist without Mme Perpetua's prompting. 🙂

Pen + Ink + Porcelain alphabet = Perfection

Pen + Ink + Porcelain alphabet = Perfection





And, finally, the following tiles with the WWII message that has gained a noticeable increase in popularity in recent months:


I kind of resent this statement (“Keep calm and carry on.”). It sounds somewhat dismissive to me. Sort of like, if you’re calm about what’s going on right now (or during any wartime — which, to me, is a time of great unrest and injustice to some/all), then you’re not paying attention.

Maybe I’ll write more about it on my other blog.

But, for now, enjoy the ceramics. They’re cool regardless. 🙂