I discovered this beautiful pair of original Brass Bank Address Plaques poking out from under a pile of old newspapers at a roadside petrol bowser after getting lost on a spluttering motorbike north of Ubud in Bali, Indonesia. Each a little smaller than an A4 sheet of paper they have a beautiful and rich pantina.
The Banco do Brasil S.A. (Bank of Brazil) is the second largest bank by assets in all of Latin America. The bank, headquartered in Brasília, was founded in 1808 and is the oldest active bank in Brazil, even older than the country's central bank. It is also one of the oldest banks in continuous operation in the world.
Banco do Brasil was founded in 1808 by then prince regent John (later King John VI of Portugal) to finance the kingdom's public debt when he moved from Europe to Brazil. Under state control, the Banco do Brasil served as a commercial bank, the government's fiscal agent, and Brazil's first bank of issue.
GFC's must come and go as the Bank of Brazil went bankrupt two times in history: once during independence in 1821, when John VI did a runner back to Portugal taking with him some of the bank's assets, and a second time in 1898.
The markings on the brass plates are:
BANCO CENTRAL DO BRAZIL
BASMIL CRUZADOS NOVOS
While I have not been able to find any references to the Bank having an Indonesian branch in the 1950’s, I did discover that the ‘Cruzados’ was the currency of Brazil from 1986 to 1989 after replacing the second cruzeiro (at first called the "cruzeiro novo") in 1986 and replaced again in 1989 by the cruzado novo.
Then again, I discovered the Cruzados was also the 1985 self titled debut album of Los Angeles rock band the ‘Cruzados’ and featured the band’s best known songs, such as "Motorcycle Girl" "Flor De Mal" and "Just Like Roses".
Either way, there’s a little mystery awaiting a fellow explorer of the unusual and obscure and these pair of embossed brass plates are truly delightful and would look great either mounted on a wall, resting casually against a bookshelf or laying flat on a hallway table.
Could you think of a more fantastic original and treasured gift for an accountant or banker friend or loved one?
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