In 1922, Germany issued its largest banknote to date – the 10,000 Mark note. This note has three styles; the first has the reverse with the heraldic eagle in rectangular box bounded by ornamental designs, and measures 210x124mm. The second style depicted the reverse with a much simpler monochrome ornamental eagle, and with the same measurements. The third note is the same as the second, but with a smaller dimension of 180x100mm. The front of the note features a painting by Albrecht Durer titled “Portrait of a Young Man” done either in the year1499 or 1500. Albrecht Durer was a very well known painter who created over 1,000 masterpieces.
This note depicts the anti French sentiment held by most Germans at the time. Although Durer’s painting “Portrait of a young man” was chosen to be on the banknote, this painting was slightly altered by the engraver at the Reichsdruckeri, who had altered the banknote in the neck of the portrait to depict a rather gothic looking vampire, representing France, which is sucking the life blood out of the throat of Germany through reparations for World War I. It takes a bit of imagination, and a ninety-degree turn of the banknote to the left, to see the hooded vampire, but once spotted, it is readily noticeable from then on.