Obviously, Slania is wellknown as engraver, but he was an complete artist; so, his pencil drawings were very good, but his watercolours were also masterpieces. For example the Monaco projects for Princes were great. But here I am talking about Slania´s watercolours due that he used this pictorial technic to paint, as jokes, fake stamps and banknotes. When Czeslaw Slania was still young and in college in Poland he took great pleasure in creating “counterfeit” banknotes. One of the first ones, that would have fooled any banker, was the below 5-Zloty banknote, portraying his girlfriend from college, Danuta Drabarek.

In the upper row is showed the front and back of Polish 5 Zloty “counterfeited” banknote, portraying Danuta Drabarek.  Image scanned from the books by Lennart Bernadotte “The life and work of Czeslas Slania”.

In the bottom row the genuine banknote, issued in 1930.

Up these lines, in the upper row, we can see the fake 10 dollars banknote, painted in watercolour, and below the original american banknote from 1934 series.

When Czeslaw Slania started to do stamp engravings for Monaco and the reigning Grimaldi-family, he engraved this very special 1-dollar note for Princess Caroline, the eldest daughter and first child of Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace (former Grace Kelly).  This “banknote” contains two personal details:

– The serial number of this banknote is Princess Caroline’s birthday, 23rd January 1957 (23.01.1957). Probably letters K and M menas “Karoline of Monaco”.

– The emblem to the right is engraved:  “Engraver Cz. Slania – Rönninge Sweden”.

Finally Czeslaw Slania created a 20 dollar note congratulating President Dwight D. Eisenhower on being re-elected, painted in watercolour. The painted banknote, in the upper row, has been scanned from book about life of C. Slania by L. Bernadotte. handpainImages provided by courtesy of Mr. Jerzy Krysiak (Sweden), from one of his many awarded exhibits. Mr. Krysiak informs that by request of CIA, this banknote is not engraved, but painted in water colour. The red arrows refer to the explanatory text on the exhibit image. 

The personal “interpretation” of this banknote by Slania is:

– At bottom, right side of portrait of President Jackson: “Presidential Election 6.11.1956”.

– Upper, at left side of portrait, in the text lines, Slania replaced original text writing “To President Eisenhower on the ocassion of his second election, with respectul wishes for long life and continued success in his humanitarian works. From Czeslaw Slania, polish refugee engraver – Sweden.”

– Back side: D.D. EISENHOWER and not Twenty Dollars.


Source: “The Life and Work of Czeslaw Slania” by Lennart Bernadotte and personal info and articles by Mr. Jerzy Krysiak.