Introduction & Comments

The illustrations on the following pages are my restorations of Kurt Lehrke's renditions of paper watermarks found on German banknotes.   They are adapted from his monograph Deutsche Wertpapierwasserzeichen which is referenced by watermark name and number in Dr. Arnold Keller's catalog Das Notgeld der deutschen Inflation.   There are many gaps in the numbering system, and I assume it is because the work was unfinished - there are watermark names and numbers in Keller's catalog that are not found in Lehrke's listing, and watermark patterns in other German Banknote catalogs that are also not illustrated.   I have only been able to identify a few missing watermarks in the Keller catalog from banknotes that I have in my collection and have inserted them here.

Where possible I have tried to maintain the correct light-dark orientation of the patterns as you would see them in the notes when held up to a strong light.   However, as I do not have example notes of all the watermarks, much of it is guesswork.   Also, please note that Lehrke's listing of watermarks encompasses more than just the banknotes in Keller's catalog of 1923 inflation issues.   I believe that these watermarks apply to all German notes from WWI up to 1955 when the list was published, so you should find it useful for all German notes of this period.

My illustrations are rather small and crude - my copy of the original lacked much detail, and drawing with a mouse on a computer is like trying to write your name with your nose - but I hope they are useful.   Sometime in the future I will create a B&W document with larger illustrations for downloading.   Also, I have not indicated any enlargement or reduction factors as Lehrke did in his original.   The patterns are generally very unique and easy to identify even without some scale to judge by.

German Paper Money Watermarks

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